How to stencil your walls

Stencilling can be an easy and quick way to add pizzazz to drab walls, but if you haven’t picked up the utensil since primary school, you probably need a little help in doing it correctly on such a large canvas. Here are some tips for decorating your rooms with great stencilling.

Wall stencil

1Prepare the wall and stencils

Paint a basecoat on your wall with latex paint. While it dries, you’ll need to trace all the stencil patterns on paper, photocopy them and then cut them out. The number of copies depends on how many of the pattern you want to put on your walls.

2Design your layout

Do you want all the stencils to have the same order? Or do you want some going this way and others that way? Get an idea of how the finished product will look by taping the photocopied patterns to your wall. You’ll want to separate each stencil by about 15.24 cm if planning on having a border near the floor.

3Trace the pattern on the wall

Position each stencil over the top of its paper copy and tape one edge. Remove the copy and tape down the other edge of the stencil.

4Paint the pattern

Depending on the pattern you use, you’ll probably need at least one basecoat of paint before applying the colour. You’ll also need varying brush sizes. If you are stencilling a flower pattern, for example, you’ll need a 1.59-cm paint brush for the leaves.

5Complete the border

Measure and mark a line 15.24 cm from the floor and apply low-adhesive tape to the top edge. Paint the desired colour and leave the tape in place while you let it dry. Then, trace any part of the stencil pattern you want onto the wall using your stencil paper. Paint the pattern and repeat until the border is complete.

Exper tips
  • Paint with the lightest colour first
  • Start from the outside in by using a circular motion while you paint
  • Go light on the edges of your stencil to prevent paint from getting underneath

More home decor tips

Decorate a blue living room
Decorate a white living room
Decorate a brown living room


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