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Using Stencils
How to Spray Paint Stencils
How to Spray Paint Stencils

The basics of using your stencil

Kath Ramirez avatar
Written by Kath Ramirez
Updated over a week ago

Never used stencils before? Here are a few tips to get you started with using a stencil and spray paint.


Step 1). Use painter’s tape to attach the stencil to your painting surface

Lay the stencil on a flat surface and attach the tape like in this diagram:

Taping a stencil to a wall

Place the tape halfway on and halfway off the stencil. It doesn’t need to be perfect, as long as the tape isn't covering any part of the design or necessary registration marks.

Optional: Use a spray adhesive

If you're worried about your stencil falling off of its surface or want to effectively avoid paint bleed, use a spray adhesive on the back of the stencil. Spritz the spray in short bursts from 10-15 inches away from the stencil. Smooth down the whole stencil when placing it on your painting surface.

Step 2). Place the stencil on your painting surface

Whether you're using a wall, canvas, box or other object, you'll easily be able to place your stencil and smooth down the tape's edges. Make sure it's facing the correct way!

Step 3). Spray the stencil with paint

Make sure your spray paint is well shaken before starting. Do a test spray on scrap paper or cardboard beforehand.

Spray your stencil in short bursts from 10-15 inches away from the painting surface. Spraying in short bursts will help avoid dripping paint and bleed under the edges of the stencil. It also allows you to layer on paint in a controlled manner.

Step 4). Remove the stencil from your painting surface

Wait a moment for the paint to dry. It doesn't need to be fully dry for the stencil to be removed, but we want to avoid accidentally smearing the new paint. Luckily, the spray paint we use dries quickly.

Grab one of the top corners of the stencil and pull in a downwards motion towards yourself and away from the wall.

Stenciling uneven walls?

Watch our video, How to Use a Stencil on Uneven Surfaces

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