Stencilling: Clear Step-by-step Guide




Stencilling is a wonderful technique for creating designs and styles with the use of a perforated tool. Pictures and letters can be imprinted onto walls, paper, cloths and other types of materials. This method is widely used to decorate ceilings, furniture, textiles and wallpaper. It is a very, very beautiful technique. However, it is also very easy to get paint everywhere. How to stencil with caution and how to clean the mess if things go wrong – find out below.

Basic tips

There are a few basic tips to follow to make the process more enjoyable and less messy.


  • Low tack masking tape or repositionable spray adhesive can help you position the stencil well on the surface.
  • The brush you paint with should be kept as dry as possible. If you are going to use acrylic paint, we recommend you have a damp sponge nearby, which will help you keep the place cleaner and the paint more efficient. Before you apply the brush on the surface to be painted, rub it slightly into the sponge. Then remove the excess paint on lining paper or another absorbent surface.
  • The paint should be applied with a circular motion. Make sure the brush and the surface make a right angle. The paint should cover the edges of the stencils.
  • Oil based and water based acrylic paint should not be mixed in one room.
  • It is recommended that you use one brush for one colour. This means that if you choose to apply six colours on the surface, you should have six clean brushes. When you are painting, you should start with gentle movements, slowly increasing the pressure you apply to make the colour more solid and intense.
  • Repositionable adhesive is recommended in cases when you want to achieve a clear outline of your design. This requires that the stencil is fixed to the surface.


How to clean paint from the surface

If you discover paint stains have reached places of your surface you didn’t plan to paint, here are a few tips:


  • If the stain is on the wall, use soapy water and rub gently the affected area with a clean cloth as soon as you notice the problem. You can also use a non-abrasive multi-purpose cleaner and warm water. Don’t apply too much pressure.
  • If the stain is on a paper, you have two options. Either act immediately while it still hasn’t absorbed into the paper completely or wait for it to dry. If you don’t want to wait, grab a paper towel, sponge or cloth and dab it gently on the affected area. These materials can lift the stain, causing it to stick to the absorbent fabric. Don’t press too hard, however, as you risk pushing the stain further into the paper.


If the paint is dry, take a clean brush and dampen it slightly. Now brush gently the affected area, brushing the stain to the most adjacent areas of the surface. Complete removal here may not be possible, however, so try to be as careful as you can.

  • The paint on the stencil itself can be soaked with water and scrubbed with a firm brush. Just be sure to place the stencil on a cutting board or another type of flat surface and put it under the running water.

 Author Bio: July Minor is a businesswoman and a mother. She manages a cleaning company that offers a good carpet cleaning prices.