Secondly, it’s time for a few tutorials on how to use the stencils, so you get exceptional results each and every time.
Stencilling is actually very easy. But there are a few tricks that will set your work apart from the rest.
Let’s do it!
How to stencil
1. Load a ‘dry’ brush.
* Dab the brush into craft paint.
* Tap on paper or a rag to remove most of it.
Stencilling is all about transferring paint onto your surface without having any paint bleed underneath the edges. Crisp, clean lines is the focus.
So that means, start with as little paint as possible. As in… load the brush up, but then tap it on a rag or paper until most of it is removed again.
Tap the back of your hand as a test… if it leaves very little, you are ready!
2. For beginners, spray adhesive is suggested. Once you learn how to load your brush to be DRY, try without!
* Flip the stencil backwards.
* Lightly mist with spray adhesive.
* Allow to sit for a few moments.
The best way to achieve nice sharp lines is by sticking the stencil to your surface, so no paint seems through.
I no longer use spray adhesive, but I needed to when I first started out.
But if you can achieve sharp lines in a test run, bypass the adhesive. It’ll keep your stencils a lot cleaner in the long run.
3. Tape off areas you desire to remain clean.
If theres an area that’s in close proximity to the stencilled letters, better safe than story. Tape it off.
4. Place stencil into position.
By either measuring, or using the stencil edge as a guide, position the stencil on your chosen surface.
Run your finger firmly around all the cut edges, until you’ve achieved perfect adhesion.
* If not using stencil adhesive, tape stencil into place using masking tape.
4. Fill the letters in by lightly tapping with a stencil brush.
Stencil brushes are flat for a reason. They are geared to load your surface with paint from straight up above. This is to alleviate bristles getting underneath your stencil.
By ‘tapping, you are covering just the surface. If you brush side to side or swirl your brush, you run the risk of bleeding.
5. Stencil all your letters at once.
6. Carefully lift stencil from surface.
The spray adhesive will be activated, so take your time to ensure your stencil doesn’t rip.
Old Sign Stencils are made from an impressive 10 mil, (VERY thick) so they can take quite a bit!
In this case, I left the lettering as is.
8. Clean your stencil.
Paint / At the very least, wipe down all the edges of the stencil free of paint as soon as possible, or run them under a warm tap with soapy water and lightly rub with a cloth or soft brush.
Adhesive / this one’s your call. If you plan to use your stencil again, leaving the adhesive intact can be a good call. To keep it clean, hang it up where it can’t be touched, or try laying it against something that won’t stick, such as *wax paper. (*please test this first)
See how the smallest markings can become the cutest highlights?
I also realize my choice to cut off ‘farmers’ market’ is ultra quirky. I like things to look like they’ve been pieced together from old signs or chunks of crates, so that was my goal here.
But that’s the beauty of a stencil. The hard part of design and fabrication has been done. Now you can have the fun part of utilizing it any way you desire… over and over again!
Disclosure / post contains some affiliate links. You don’t pay more, I just earn a very small commission if you purchase. Thank-you!
Click projects below for even more wonderful tutorials with each Old Sign Stencils design!