Stenciling Steps by Ed Roth, author of 'Stencil 101':
- Choose your surface.
Stencil1 stencils can be used to paint t-shirts, paper, wood, walls and more. Stencil paints will adhere more readily to walls with flat paint versus a semi-gloss paint.
- Use surface-appropriate paint.
If painting interior walls, we recommend a flat interior acrylic paint. To see the details of the stencils, we prefer spray painting. Spray paint is now readily available in low-odor latex paint for indoor use. This also allows for soap and water clean up.
If painting fabric, you have a few choices as well. Airbrush kits are available at many art supply stores and when used with fabric paint, you can stencil fabric with great results. You can also use fabric paints. They require no mixing, are a thick consistency and richest in pigmentation, and give long-lasting results.. Also, If you want to use acrylic paint, it needs to be mixed with "fabric medium" in a 1:1 ratio and well blended. You can also use traditional spraypaint for a rougher look. This will last numerous washings.
Other surfaces will require specialty paint, consult with your art supply store.
- Positioning your stencils.
Position your stencil and secure firmly in place, using either spray adhesive or masking tape. If you are using spray adhesive, apply a light layer of adhesive to the back of the stencil, allow to dry until the surface becomes tacky, then position your stencil. If you are using masking tape, two small pieces are usually sufficient depending on the size of the stencil.
- Begin painting.
You can use spraypaint or stencil brushes to apply paint. If spraypainting, wear safelty gogles. Once stencil is held in place, also cover outer areas of stencil with thick paper so as to not spray outside of the stencil. Then, spray several small light sprays in the open areas of the stencil. Once areas are filled, carefully remove stencil from wall to see your design. If brush painting, do not overload brush with paint -Too much paint on the brush causes blotchy designs. Remember - stenciling is a "dry" brush technique. The most common mistake is overloading your brush. It is far better to build up the color gradually, layer by layer, instead of one thick paint application. If paint begins to seep behind your stencil or if your designs do not have crisp defined edges, you are using too much paint. Simply tap or dab the loaded brush against the stencil openings. I recommend practicing on paper before you begin on your wall.
- Clean up.
Careful cleaning and drying of your stencils will enable them to be used again and again. Our stencils are cut from mylar (polyethylene). They are extremely durable and with proper care and handling they will last years. I recommend using soap and water, with a gently scrubbing if necessary.
Stencil1 is a Brooklyn-based brand founded in 2005 by graphic designer Ed Roth. Born out of his interest in graffiti art and nostalgia from his upbringing in the New York area, Stencil1 is on the fast track to becoming one of the hottest brands creating products for the urban market today. Stencil1 recently released its first collection of reusable graffiti stencils featuring popular iconic and eclectic images from the 70's and 80's ranging from turntables and go-go girls to semi trucks and joysticks. The stencils are precut on heavy duty Mylar. They can be used to customize anything from walls and furniture to t-shirts.
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