Want to revive your interior decor without investing a ton of time and money? We suggest learning how to stencil, a DIY skill that can be applied to a surprising number of different home improvement projects. The good news is that you don’t even have to be artistically gifted to skillfully add these decorative touches to your surroundings.
“Stenciling is a quick and easy way to add a touch of color or artistic flair to your home,” says Matt Michaels from Lowe’s. “The key to making your own stencils is contact paper; its adhesive backing forms a tight seal that creates professional-looking results.”
You can buy premade stencils or make your own (which can be fun for those with a particular design in mind). Below is a primer on everything you need to know to custom stencil like a pro.
Tools you’ll need
- Contact paper (peel-and-stick variety)
- Craft or utility knife
- Painter’s tape
- Paintbrush (foam or bristle) or foam roller
- Paint of choice
- Spray adhesive (for more complicated stencils)
How to stencil
Step No. 1: Attach contact paper face down to a hard, flat surface (like a piece of plywood) with painter’s tape. It is easiest to use peel-and-stick contact paper.
Step No. 2: Cut out desired stencil with a craft or utility knife. You can freehand this step or sketch beforehand.
Step No. 3: If you’d rather use a printed design, affix your printout to the contact paper by covering it with spray adhesive and pressing down. Then use the knife to cut out the pattern.
Step No. 4: Peel away the backing on the contact paper. Separate carefully in order to keep it from sticking to itself.
Step No. 5: Stick the stencil on your desired surface (e.g., wall, pillow, door, etc.). Press the edges down, and smooth out the stencil.
Step No. 6: Pounce the brush instead of using strokes to apply the paint. Keep the brush vertical to the area being stenciled. This technique is more like dabbing on paint and will help keep excess paint from bleeding or slipping under the stencil, which would mess up the design.
Step No. 7: Peel off the stencil to see your design. Lift carefully so you don’t smear the paint if it’s still wet.
Step No. 8: Use this technique on any type of surface. Remember that the three key tenets of custom stenciling are cut, pounce, and peel.
For a deeper dive on stenciling, watch the video below courtesy of Lowe’s.
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