Stencils are becoming the new wallpaper; more and more people are thinking about using a stencil for more than just the inspirational quote. But like wall paper the most daunting part of using stencils is getting the pattern to match. We have outlined step by step instructions that will make you want to stencil all your walls.


  1. Stencil(s)
  2. Sample board (poster board, cardboard etc)
  3. Latex or acrylic paints, including some basecoat paint
  4. Dense foam roller with rounded ends, stencil brushes
  5. Paint tray or a large styrofoam plate
  6. Low tack painter’s tape, spray adhesive (optional)
  7. Cutting Edge Stencil Level (optional)
  8. Paper towels or rag, cleaning tools & liquid soap
  9. Step ladder (optional)

Let’s get started!

UntitledBefore you start use the sample board or area to test the colors and get your technique down. Your walls need to be clean, free of any damage or cracks and the base coat or primary color needs to have been painted and dried for at least 24 hours before working with the stencil. You are able to stencil over house paint, finish or surface including some wallpaper but flat latex paint is recommended. Make sure your walls are clean, dust free and in good condition.

If you decide to use a surface that has something other than flat latex house paint you might need to use a spray adhesive for the supplication to be successful. This will give you the best results with limited paint seepage and will be needed if using high contrasting colors. Elmer’s spray adhesive works the best, you will need to shake well and only use a light mist to the back of the stencil. Let the adhesive dry then place it on the location you have ready. If you are using the adhesive you will find that you will need to reapply to the stencil after a few using it a few times. Simple Green has been found to work the best to clean up the stencil and remove any adhesive residue.

If you are not using an adhesive, then you will need to tape the stencil to the wall. Once you have the stencil positioned to the area where you want it, tape it to the wall using low tack blue painters tape. We love using Scotch Blue 2″ painters tape. Only use the blue painter’s tape it is made to stick to painted surfaces without damaging the paint when you pull it off.

If use a stencil that needs to be perfectly vertical or horizontal, instead of using tape to mark the wall or make lines on the base paint you can get a Clip-on Stencil Level to help with positioning. If you are using a stencil that can be more creative and free with the positioning, then the level is not needed.

Time to paint!

Your wall is prepped, your stencil is on the location you want, now comes the fun part! If you have a small area to cover you can put a small amount of paint onto a foam plate or if you have a large area, then put the paint in a paint tray. The key to perfect application is not using a lot of paint. If you have a stencil that has smaller areas pour the paint onto a foam plate or into a paint tray. When using a roller, make sure it is a dense roller with rounded edges not the fluffy kind these will not work.

Come back soon for the next step!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *