Tips for do-it-yourself floor stencils

Tips for do-it-yourself floor stencils

If you're looking for a colourful and stylish way to decorate a room, consider decorating wood or concrete floors with painted stencil designs.

Tips for do-it-yourself floor stencils

Materials

You can find all the materials you need for this project in home improvement and craft stores and online. First you have to pick the stencil, and you have a vast array of options from which to choose. You can select a geometric pattern like chevrons or stripes, or you can go with a classical motif like Fleur-de-lis or arabesque stripes. Another option is an all-over design that looks like damask, Moroccan tiles, zebra stripes or a floral pattern.

Once you settle on your design, you'll need concrete paint in the colours of your choice, a tape measure, a pencil, stencil brushes, masking tape or spray adhesive, paper towels and polyurethane or other sealant.

Clean the floor

This is a tedious but necessary step to allow the paint to evenly adhere to the floor. Sand off any varnish and thoroughly sweep and vacuum to remove any loose dirt. Then scrub the floor with soap and water. Allow the area to dry completely before painting.

Painting

Measure the area to be painted, locate the centre and mark it with a pencil. Position the stencil at the marked centre and secure it with masking tape or spray adhesive.

Load your stencil brush with paint. Dip the stencil brush into the paint and tamp it down on a paper towel to remove any excess. Too much paint on the brush will allow the paint to seep under the stencil and blur the design lines. Begin painting. Lightly tap the stencil brush over the entire surface of the stencil. This light tapping motion is called stippling and instead of using the side of the brush as you would when painting strokes, you tap with the flat top of the stencil brush.

Once the whole surface of the stencil is covered, make registration marks so you can easily line up the pattern next to the area that's already been stencilled. Pick the stencil up and change the position using the registration marks. Repeat this process until the design has been applied to the entire area. Allow the paint to fully dry for at least five days before applying a sealant.

Seal the Floor

Polyurethane is a tough, clear topcoat that will protect the paint from peeling due to foot traffic, dirt or moisture. You can apply it with a roller, brush or rag. Different brands have different curing and drying times, so follow the manufacturer's directions.

Stencilling is a fun, easy and inexpensive alternative to carpeting or refinishing wood floors and there are infinite design possibilities.

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