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Water-based Paint Tips
for Floor Cloths

Paint. Jo Sonja acrylic paints in tubes are great. They have an emulsion base which prevents cracking and yellowing, and mixed with all-purpose sealer they adhere well to wood, cement and canvas. There is an excellent selection of colors and the mediums allow for creating a solid or a transparent look and for painting one color over another. Work with a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio paint to all-purpose sealer. The paints clean up easily with soap and water and even when dried on the stencil, clean up with Simple Green™ and a ScotchBrite™ pad with the stencil laid on a flat surface. When putting away paints get the air out of the tube – that is, squeeze the tube to see the paint before screwing on the cap.

Brushes. We now carry many stencil brushes. Always slip the brush into a plastic baggie whenever you set it down. Work on a wad of paper towels taped to a flat palette. Dampen one end of the palette somewhat and squeeze paint onto the wet end. When stenciling, get the paint into the brush and then wipe off excess on the dry end. You will soon understand the proper amount. (You could practise on a sample board at first.)

Maintaining Your Brush. After you have been stenciling awhile, your brush will get “crusty”. To fix this, put some water on a folded paper towel in the palm of your hand and pass the brush across it closing your hand around it. Brush the tips of the bristles too. Be very careful with water! It can cause too wet paint and a great mess very easily. If a few drops of water must be added to the paint, spritz it on and mix it thoroughly with your palette knife. Never go directly into it with your brush while painting. At the end of the day clean your brush very well with soap and water. Roll it in paper towel so the bristles will maintain their shape as they dry. Do not use again until dry. (It may be placed in a warm oven overnight.)

Clean The Stencil when:

  • Paint smears on the back.
  • The pattern’s small holes are clogging and edges seem ragged.
  • When you take a break.

When cleaning always use a flat surface. Be careful of vulnerable places such as serrated leaves and long curved openings. For water base paint, I clean in a sink on the flat with fingers and soap and water or Simple Green™ and a Scotch Brite™ green pad for stubborn paint. If using again right away, be certain the back is totally clean and dry.

Freeing Up Stencil. Take care to free up and away from your work. Do so gently so as not to stress it and cause it to tear.