Easily stencilling techniques for beginners

July 29, 2015

You can stencil on just about any surface or object around the home. Done with care, this rewarding craft can be an attractive alternative to more expensive decorating techniques. Here are some helpful tips for stencilling around your home.

Easily stencilling techniques for beginners

Cutting technique

  1. Hold your cutters firmly and cut at an angle of 45 degrees, taking care not to overshoot on acute angles. Do not stick the design to the cutting board. That way, you can revolve the design around the tip of the blade to cut curved lines and circles.
  2. So that you will be able to work with both hands, lightly spray the back of your stencil with contact adhesive. The spray can be harmful. Do the spraying in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside, to avoid inhalation. When dry, your stencil will stick to the wall or floor easily, without the need for you to hold it in place. The stencil will pull off without disturbing the background finish and can then be applied to the next section.

Rolling colour

Pick up small amounts(too little is better than too much) of creamy paint on your roller and roll it out evenly on a piece of clean paper.

  1. Test on the paper first.
  2. Build up colour gradually, gently rolling the colour through the stencil.

That finishing touch for furniture

Preparation is the key to creating a well-painted piece of furniture. Furniture to be stencilled should be in good condition and should have a smooth timber surface. If there are any holes, fill them. Be sure to sand the surface smooth, even if the object is made of painted or clean wood.

  1. Apply an undercoat of oil-based paint first and then paint two coats of main colour. Do not overload your brush or you will get dribbles. Rub any dribbles flat (if they are wet) or remove them with a scalpel (if dry). Sand smooth.
  2. When the base paint has dried, use a clean rag to apply a thin coat of white French polish over the surface. The polish acts as a barrier between the colour coat and the stencil coat, so mistakes can be wiped off with turpentine. After polishing, you are ready to begin stencilling, following the techniques described above. Once your stencilling has dried, protect it with a coat of satin varnish.

Traditional fern or ivy-leaf spatterie

Consider decorating your furniture with traditional fern or ivy-leaf spatterie (these are the traditional plant-stencils but you can choose other types of foliage). Spatterie can be done straight onto raw wood or varnished surfaces.

  1. Lightly contact-spray the front of the leaves.
  2. Allow to dry.
  3. Arrange the leaves in an attractive pattern on the surface to be treated. Border and cluster patterns work best.
  4. Press them down so that they make good contact with the surface.
  5. Before spattering, protect surrounding areas with newspaper.
  6. Dip an old toothbrush in thin dark brown or black oil paint, diluted with turpentine, if necessary.
  7. Draw your thumb across the top of the bristles (while wearing rubber gloves) to make spatterings of tiny drops.
  8. Cover approximately half of the background, and remove any unsightly large drops with cotton buds. When the background has dried, remove the leaves.
  9. Protect the design and give it lustre with a coat of satin spray varnish.
  10. Later, apply wax polish.
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