HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Very important: Work out your technique and color combinations with a sample first. It is always a good idea to make a sample. Use a wall in the garage, a piece of cardboard, or even an old pizza box as your sample surface. Make sure you like your color combinations and are comfortable with your stenciling technique before hitting the real wall!
Make sure your walls are clean, dust free and in good condition. Any cracks or chips should be repaired, filled, primed and painted prior to stenciling. Basecoat your surface in your desired latex flat color. You'll need at least 2 coats of basecoat for good coverage. Your base coat should be fully dried for at least 24 hours prior to stenciling.Position Stencil #1 from your Kit on the wall and tape it to the surface with a few pieces of low tack blue painters tape. Do not use regular white masking tape because it's way too sticky for most painted surfaces and will likely pull off the base paint when you remove your stencil. You can also use a spray adhesive to achieve even cleaner and crisper edges. Don't worry about perfect placement. Our wall pattern kits are designed in such a way so placement by eye produces great results. Just randomly place your first stencil, make sure it's level (if needed) and let's go!
Now pour some acrylic or latex paint onto a foam plate. You don't need much, about 2-3
tablespoons of paint is enough to start with. Have your dense foam roller (or stencil brush)
Now blot off the excess paint on a folded paper towel by rolling it back and forth a couple
times. There should be no visible paint on the roller surface; it should look almost dry. Remember,
it's better to have less paint on your roller than too much paint.
|STENCILING WITH A ROLLER
Roll the stencil with your
|You can easily check how you're doing by carefully un-taping and lifting one corner of the stencil and taking a peek. Do you like what you see? Is it enough pressure or can it use a little more paint? If it's too pale, just put the stencil back and roll it a couple more times back and forth, slightly adding more pressure. When stenciling lighter colors over darker colors, you may need 2 coats to achieve good coverage. Let the 1st coat dry for a couple of minutes and then roll the stencil again.|
|Make sure the stencil got even paint coverage before removing it unless you want a faded, antique look. Now remove the stencil and enjoy your artwork! A note for the impatient: Don't just yank the taped stencil off the wall! It's always a good idea to remove it somewhat slowly so the blue tape doesn't accidentally pull off any background paint.|
|Continue stenciling by re-positioning Stencil #1 until all walls
are done. Place the stencil by eye, trying to keep a similar
distance between repeats. You can use our packaging photo
as reference. Step back and see where your next repeat should
be. You can space the designs tightly or loosely, depending on
your personal preference. In a way, there is no making a mistake
with these forgiving free-form wall patterns! If you want to preview your
stencil placement, first position pieces of blue tape on the wall
and adjust them until you're happy. No need to clean the stencil
in between repeats. Each stencil is good for many repeats
before it will need to be cleaned.
Don't avoid edges of the wall when you stencil. As with wallpaper, the best look is when
your pattern is cut off at the ceiling and floor. Tape off the area at the ceiling or floor with
a piece of blue tape. Position
|Now you're ready to stencil the next design: Stencil #2. We recommend a separate foam roller for each color. You can certainly use the same roller by cleaning it well under running water and drying it as much as possible before the next use. Using the packaging photo as reference, place Stencil #2 by eye, and tape it to the wall. Load your roller with the second color, blot off the excess paint, and repeat the stenciling process until all walls are done. Make sure to get the edges, too.|
|Now, repeat the process for Stencil #3 until your wall pattern is complete. Try experimenting
by creating your own patterns and color combinations by using various elements
When you need to take a break from stenciling in the middle of the project, just cover your paint tray with plastic wrap, and tightly wrap a piece of plastic or foil around the roller to prevent the paint from drying out. When you're ready to re-decorate, lightly sand your walls and simply roll 2 coats of basecoat paint over your stenciling and it's gone.
TIPS, TRICKS AND OTHER NOTES
LOADING THE ROLLER
About seepage and imperfections:
Even with a proper loaded roller and correct technique you might get
some minor seepage here and there. In most cases it's not noticeable,
especially from a couple of feet away and it can be easily touched up
with a small brush. Don't forget that you're creating a "hand-painted
wall finish". A few imperfections and some paint seepage here and
there are natural and inevitable for this type of work. To avoid
seepage, use spray adhesive and less paint on your roller and brush.
|CLEANING, STORAGE AND REPAIRS|
The stencil will eventually accumulate a thick layer of paint after many repeats, so it will have to be cleaned. You can let it dry completely and simply peel off the paint skin, or you can give it a brief soaking in a tray or tub of water and then wash off the paint. Best cleaning method we have found is to place the stencil on a flat surface like a large baking tray, and scrub it with a dish cleaning brush under running water. The paint comes right off and the stencil doesn't get entangled or damaged this way. Please don't let pieces of paint go down the drain. It's bad for your plumbing and for the environment! Always insert a mesh strainer into the drain hole and then shake out the paint pieces into a trash can.
After the stencil is clean, place it on paper towels to dry, and pat it with a roll of paper towels to speed up the drying process. For a large project it may be smart to purchase 2 or even 3 stencils to save time on cleaning. Store your stencils flat, in large drawers if you have them, or under the bed interlaced with paper. Alternatively, you can hang them clipped to a clothes hanger, but don't store them rolled, unless it's the only option.
|Brushes are best cleaned under running water using this smart cleaning tool (see pic.) which helps to get out all the paint particles. Add a drop of Murphy's Oil soap for better cleaning and for conditioning of your brush bristles. Liquid soap also works. Repairs: If you accidentally break one of the "bridges" in the design while stenciling or cleaning, you can easily fix it by attaching small pieces of clear packing tape on both sides of the break.|