Stenciling is a fun and gratifying way to decorate and personalize your home. Your friends will be amazed by your talent. MB Historic Décor is pleased to offer you historically accurate stencils from the last two centuries.
Remove your stencil from its plastic bag. There will be one layer of mylar for each color in the stencil. If you are doing a two color stencil, there will be two layers, etc. If you look on the bottom corners of the stencils, you will see our name and the stencil number. When you can read them, the stencil is facing in the correct direction. Locate the registration marks near the corners of the stencil. These little holes allow you to accurately line up your stencil for repeats. Multiple layer stencils also align with the same registration holes for accurate placement.
Nervous about starting in on your freshly painted wall? Practice on a piece of poster board or cardboard – you will gain confidence very quickly! Locate the most visible corner in your room. You should start here and move to the left and to the right, ending in the least visible corner. Spray the back of your stencil with the temporary bond spray adhesive. Allow it to dry a couple of minutes. This will make the stencil adhere like a post-it note. You can reposition it, and it sticks tightly to the wall. You may also use painter’s tape to affix the stencil, but it isn’t as tight a bond. You may need to reapply the spray if your wall is dusty or your spray is not good quality.
Position Your First Layer
A few of our patterns have places where colors overlap deliberately. If you have such a stencil, make sure the correct layer is used first. Mark your registration holes with a pencil or chalk. You can wipe the pencil dots off with the wet ones when you are done. Wet ones also work very well for removing mistakes, should such a problem occur.
Squeeze a small amount of paint – about an inch across – on to the Styrofoam plate. Take a clean brush and dip it in the wet paint. Move to a clean area on the plate and swirl the brush to get the paint up into the bristles. Your bristles should not be glistening with wet paint when you look at them. Another way to apply paint is to dampen an old piece of terrycloth and wring it out well. Swirl your brush on the cloth and the paint is less likely to smear. Lightly swirl your brush on the mylar near the first cut-out to see if your paint is flowing well. Continue in a circular motion over the openings in the stencil trying to go from the outside in. You will need to use some pressure. Go back into the paint and repeat the swirling on the plate as needed. Gently lift the stencil away from the wall. Check the back for any wet paint, and then line it up with the registration marks, mark the new holes, and keep stenciling!
Do not try to fill in every hole perfectly and to the same tone. The stencil will look great with some color variations – more authentic – and you are less likely to smear or get paint under the stencil. Go around the room with the first color, and then, if applicable, do the second, third, etc layers.
Corners can be a little tricky. First make sure that there is no wet paint on the back of your stencil. Smooth the part of the stencil that fits on the first wall into place. Place painter’s tape around the corner so you don’t paint it by mistake. Stencil side one. As you lift side one toward the corner, line up side two, allowing side one to come loose. Move the painter’s tape and stencil your second side, making sure to mark your registration holes. Do not try to paint tight in the corner, a little color will go a long way and will look much nicer than too much paint. Acrylic paints tend to dry very quickly and may become gummy on your stencil. To clean the stencil, place it on some cardboard and spray it with Lift Off. You can then gently wipe the paint away with a sponge. Be careful wiping spiky leaves, etc – always wipe toward the spiky end to keep from bending them back. If your brush is feeling gummy, dampen a paper towel and wipe down toward the ends of the bristles. Swirl the brush lightly on the paper towel. DO NOT get the bristles too wet or your paint will smear. Taking a break? Be sure to wrap your brushes in plastic and cover your wet paint.
Clean Your Stencil
Clean your stencil in the same way when your project is done. You may need paint remover to get the adhesive off the back. Clean the brushes with the Lift-Off and then soapy water. Wrap a paper towel around the bristles so they do not splay out while drying. Do not use the brush again until it is totally dry.