We are becoming quite popular here at Fine Craft Guild for stencils, so I thought to share you 5 tips for successful stenciling. Why I am passionate about stencils is that they offer a fast and professional way to transform simple objects into designer statements or art even, without a fush, really.
To help you work with stencils successfully, I thought to share 5 stenciling tips that work for me:
Stenciling Tip 1: Use Quality Templates
Whether to make stencil art, to stencil your entire floor, or to embellish small decorative items using stencils, the quality of your stencil template is important. You can tell the difference in quality already from the packaging. Better quality stencils tend to be packed with a detailed guide to illustrate you how to use and clean the stencil. Have a look at these gorgeous stencils by artist Tracy Moreau, for example. Aren’t they beautiful?!
Stenciling Tip 2: Get The Right Tools
Apply your stencil paint with a roller, brush or sponge. When you use a brush, make sure you use a stencil brush, i.e a brush that is round, soft and quite stiff.
Stenciling Tip 3: Securing The Templates is Key for Stencil Color Layering
It is likely that you will use more than one color in your design. Tape the stencil template to make sure that it stays in place until you finish painting. Use acid-free, Low-tack tape which can be easily removed without harming your work.
My Favorite Book on Stenciling
This is what I just received for Christmas: Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens
Stenciling Tip 4: Learn and Practice a Range of Stenciling Techniques
Oh there are a million of different stencil techniques (so it seems at first). There are some excellent books on stenciling techniques , and I recommend you get one or more books and practice the various techniques before working on actual projects.
Stenciling Tip 5: Apply Thin Layers
Take care in your paint application and apply your paint in thin layers. Wait for your paint to dry before applying another coat.No matter which tool you use to apply the paint, use your paint sparingly, taking care that the paint is not collecting along the edges of your stencil, or even worse, goes under your stencil. Always best to build the paint up rather than to lather things on at once. Apply your paint from the edge of your stencil towards its center. This minimizes the chance that paint will get under your stencil. Another nasty effect of applying too much paint is that it will result in a poor quality of the design.
For multicolored stenciling work, you have 2 options: make or buy 2 stencils or wash your stencil between each color use. Which route to take depends on the project. Do what sames you most time.
Stenciling Tip 6: Multiple uses of your stencils
If your design requires you to use of the same stencil more than one, you either make/buy another stencil, or wash the one you just used and re-use it. I suggest you even clean your stenciling template between two applications of the same color, as stencils with paint on them can ruin your design work.
Stenciling Tip 7: Store Stencil Templates Properly
When your decoration or art work is finished, don’t throw your stencils away. I wash my stencils to get all the paint of, and when thy are dry, I store them between cardboard sheets so they stay nice and flat. I mark on the cardboard what the stencils are about. Small stencils I store in a zip-lock bag, which I place between the same kind of cardboard sheets, and all these cardboard sheets are stored together in magazine holders on my bookshelves in the studio. This way I can actually find my stencils back easily.
I hope that these tips will help you to create beautiful stencil work. Show us what you have made, as we sure love to feature our readers.