How to stencil featuring a pallet wood crate

How to stencil... on a pallet wood crate.

Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils
Stencilling is actually very easy to do! However, here are a few tricks of the trade so you too can achieve exceptional results.

How to stencil

Paint with a dry brush / How to stencil... on a pallet wood crate.


1. A dry brush is key.

When you load your stencil brush with paint, ensure most of it is tapped off again. A cloth or paper will work. This is key in achieving crisp lines.

Spray adhesive on back of stencil / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils.

2. For beginners, spray adhesive is an option.

* Flip the stencil backwards.

* Lightly mist with spray adhesive.

* Allow to sit for a few moments.

Spray adhesive can help. However, you won’t need it if your brush is dry enough.

Tape off areas you don't wish to paint / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

3. Tape off areas you desire to remain clean.

If there’s an area that is in close proximity to the stencilled letters, best to protect it.

Good quality tapes like Martha Stewart’s blue craft tape or Frog tape are great choices.

Place stencil on surface / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

4. Position stencil.

Position the stencil where desired, holding it in place with masking tape if desired.

Stencil using a tapping motion / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

4. Stencil in the letters by lightly tapping with a stencil brush.

Stencil brushes are flat, as 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 can run the risk of bleeding.

Tip: For a more transparent look, wet / dry the brush first prior to using it. Then either tap or swirl the paint on. The water on the paint bristles allow the paint to slide more smoothly, leaving a smooth blend.

Stencil complete / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

5. Stencil all your letters at once.

Use sections of your stencil creativey / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

Tip: get more out of your stencils by using small sections of them in creative ways.

Remove stencil from surface / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils
crate with farmers market stencil-8340

6. Carefully lift stencil from surface.

If you used spray adhesive, lift slowly to avoid damaging the stencil.

Farmers' Market stencil design / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils
7. Allow paint to completely dry, especially if you plan to distress.

To distress: Lightly sand in random areas with either a palm sander or by hand with block styled sanding sponges.

Farmers' Market stencil design / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils

8. Clean your stencil… if you want.

This one’s completely optional. I personally don’t clean my stencils. I ensure the cut edges are free of paint buildup, then allow them to dry until they are needed again.

However, many prefer to clean them. Some tips:

Soak stencils in soapy water right after using.

Try using baby wipes to ‘rub’ them clean.

Crate markings / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils
See how the smallest markings can become the cutest highlights?

How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils.
Muffin tin office organizer and gear pencil older / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils.
Vintage ironing board light for an office / How to stencil... featuring a pallet wood crate, using Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils.
I love my little pallet wood crate paper sorter! 

Learn how to make the crate HERE.

* The miniature Farmers’ MARKET stencil is no longer avail. Click here for the large Farmers’ Market. *

Disclosure / post contains some affiliate links.

All you need to know about stencilling |

Click HERE to read the above MEGA post for All you need to know about stencilling!

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Categories: Junk Drawer, Old Sign Stencils, Signs
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34 thoughts on “How to stencil featuring a pallet wood crate

  1. Love the stencils..congrats on your new store; wish you much success.
    Stencils are HOT for all types of multimedia art these days. You might want to consider doing some smaller for canvas art..6 x 6 or 12 x 12″ for scrapbookers and other paper artist. It is a different market but your art with wood/junk fits right in.

    • Thanks for your idea Eloise,I like the idea of some smaller additions for sure. I’ll be adding some letters and numbers at the very least soon! The flavour will always lean towards old signs though so we’ll see where it goes!

  2. Thank you so much for the tutorial! I bought the Farmer’s Market stencil already and was anxious to try it because I do better with instructions. Can’t wait to use it now!

  3. Yahoo! A funky junk store! I bought two of the stencils previously. Just waiting for some time to try them out. Maybe in the future your store might have some of your creations for sale??? (hint hint – like your toolbox kits or some type of pallet wood kits? (I’m keeping my fingers crossed! LOL) You have definitely been a positive influence in my creativity. Thank you for that. When I go to estate sales or garage sales, I now look for old rusty hardware and banged up abused furniture to use for “projects”. I love the element of recycling and saving the stuff from going to a landfill!

    • Thanks Sharon!

      I know, I thought of selling the kits because not everyone has nor desires to work with saws But I’m still hoping to change that. 🙂

      Still brainstorming how to do that, as each one is so different and it would be pretty labour intensive to document each one…

      I think I just need to sell a cheap ebook on HOW to do it which would also include video clips. It would be filled with cutting tips and working with tools. Or host a live workshop/webinair.

      I just think the value of doing all the work is more valuable than purchasing. 🙂 But don’t worry, I’ve been thinking about it for a long time.

  4. Oh, the new stencils are absolutely fantastic…you should be very proud of these, Donna! Many happy congratulations on the expansion of your stencil business, too…I hope it will be wildly successful for you! And these were great stenciling tips, as well…personally, I like that you opted for a quirkier look because it adds to the interest of the piece. I’m looking very forward to seeing the future post which shows us how you made that very cool crate!

  5. Congrats! I love signs and can’t wait to try a couple of your stencils. I like how you mix the font and add character to each one like the tree farm stencil. I was thrilled that the coffee stencil featured Seattle…fav place for us. Thanks for the tips..I’m on the hunt for my pieces of wood and maybe a small table for the coffee stencil.

  6. WOW!!! I must own them all! But maybe one or two at a time
    Will you really release an ebook? If yes, then I can’t wait! WOO HOO!!!!!

    • Hi Cindy! We already spoke via email, but just saw this now. Felt it was a good question to leave up. I have never tried it and my fear would be a fine mist seeping in under the stencil. But if you tried stencil adhesive, that would certainly help.

      Let us know how you make out if you go for it! I’d just suggest to do light sweeps, not heavy.

  7. Donna,
    I purchased some of your stencils some time back. I love them! They are heavy, and can handle my roughhouse ways! When it comes to cleaning them up, I wash them in water and a soapy brush, but still a film is left behind and maybe a little paint. However it seems to clean up well with alcohol! Looking forward to seeing more stencils!

    • Thank-you Sherrie! Isn’t the weight of them amazing?! I’ve personally stopped cleaning mine and they work perfectly still. LOL As long as you don’t leave massive clumps of paint on the edges, they are good to go again. But if you can take the time and do it right, absolutely better. I’m working on a Holiday collection as I type…

      • Hi could I just ask what paint can I use to do stencilling I have a couple of projects to do I would like to finish them Of with a stencil design first project is wood bathroom cabinet and second project is just on a wall but getting confused on what type of paints I can use. Also do I need to use anything over the top to seal it over I am new to all this but going to give it a go please help me kind Regards Tracy x

        • Hi Tracy! You can use any acrylic craft paint for stenciling. I also like to Fusion Mineral Paint. It’s an acrylic based furniture paint that doesn’t require a top coat. You could seal or topcoat stenciling if you wished, however I never have. Fusion has a product that’s called Tough Coat that works really well!

  8. Hello,

    I am loving your stencils! I have a shop in Ohio that I would love to make some signs for using your stencils. Would that be ok?

    Also do you know if the spray adhesive does okay on a painted surface versus bare wood?


    • Hi Melissa!

      The stencils were designed for anyone to make signs! If you are referencing to sell, you absolutely can sell what you create with them!

      I honestly have stopped using spray adhesive myself. I’ve just learned to tape the stencil in place, hold it with my fingers as I go along and use a VERY DRY brush. It works wonderful, and that way you don’t have to worry about the sticky stuff. I didn’t notice any residue from the adhesive, but I’d always test an area out to be sure.

      Have fun, and thanks for your interest!

  9. Hi, I just got my stencils in the mail. I was wondering, do you ever use a roller to paint the stencils? I have tried it on some and had some luck, and then not so lucky. I think I put too much paint on. but it is so much faster. LOVE my new garden stencils! thank you!

    • Hi Mary!

      I have only personally used a roller when stencilling on glass. I myself prefer to use a brush. A little trick you could try would be to wet the bristles of your brush, dry, then load with paint, and ‘swirl’ your brush instead of tap. It gives a nice smooth finish! Just be very careful to remove most of the paint off your brush again. That’s the key to super sharp lines.

      Thank you for purchasing the garden stencils! I hope you have a blast creating with them!

  10. I am an avid *junkie* too! I LOVE dumpster diving or finding things that folks consider *trash* and remake it into something fabulous. It is so. very. addictive!

    I just discovered this site.. It looks like it’s right up my alley! I’m now a subscriber and look forward to reading your current and future posts.

    Thank you! 🙂

  11. If you are doing a large Mandela piece (18 inch.) with several different colors, do you leave the stencil in place until It’s done or do you lift and replace as each color grouping dries

    • I loved your blog on how to stencil. I picked up some pallet art boxes on clearance and I want to repaint and stencil over that. what do recommend how to start. If I sand them it becomes smooth and loses it rough pallet look. Should I use primer and then repaint, which primer would you recomment?

      • Hi Namy!

        I personally leave the wood natural and rustic myself. A light sanding just to remove the splinters is all a sign really needs.

        If you wish to use primer and paint you can, however it doesn’t generally last that long outdoors if the wood is already aged. Indoors would be fine.

        You’ll also want to figure out what kind of paint is on the boxes already, oil or latex? Your primer will work according to that. If latex, you may not even require a primer, just paint.

        Have fun!

  12. Hello🙂 Thank you for all the awesome tips and ideas!
    I have never stenciled before and would really like to learn, my question is probably gonna sound really stupid but I have to ask! I’m confused on the paint, some pics it looks like powder🤷🏻‍♀️ And if it’s actual wet paint, how is it gonna be dry to the touch after dipping?
    Also What do you put the paint in, like a cup or something? Thank you!

    • Hi Reisha!

      When you load the brush with paint, you can off-load most of the paint by using a rag. Once it ‘feels’ dry to the touch, your brush is ready to stencil.

      I use mainly liquid paint so I’m unsure about the powder comment. The effect it leaves or the paint itself?

      Milk paint comes in powder form that you add water to.

      I pour the paint into a shallow container or onto a flat surface so it’s easier to grab just a little at a time.

      I have plenty of video tutorials that you’ll learn lots from! Visit them at:

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