Multi-layer stencilling

Multi-layered stencils are used to create images with more detail and depth than you can achieve with single layered stencils. The image is built up using 2 or more different layers of stencils, each layer being a different colour or part of the image. In this way you can create more complex and interesting designs.

In this tutorial we will be using our James Dean 4 layered stencil design. We will be painting it using spray paints on the surface of an interior wall, but you could use a brush or roller to paint this stencil. And instead of a wall this could be painted on any surface... an art canvas, a fabric bag, an item of furniture etc, the method is exactly the same.

As you can see the different elements that make up the final image have been separated between the 4 different stencil layers. Each stencil layer will have registration marks cut into them so that you can quickly and easily line up each stencil layer. In  this tutorial we will be painting the James Dean stencil in monotone colours - Black, gray, light gray and white but this is only a guide, I'm sure that you will want to experiment with using different colours.

PAINTING YOUR STENCIL - 1ST LAYER - BLACK

This first black silhouette layer will show you how much space the final image will take up on the wall allowing you to position it where you want it. Adhere the stencil to the wall using repositionable spray mount or low tack decorators tape. Peel back the stencil and underneath where the registration marks are stick small pieces of low tack masking tape to the wall, doing this will allow you to mark your registration marks without marking the walls surface as the tape will be removed at the end.

We are using spray paint to paint our stencil so we will have to mask off the surrounding area using newspaper. Doing this will protect the wall from all the excess spray paint particles.

Leave the paint to dry thoroughly before painting the next layer, you can quicken up this process by using a hair dryer on a lukewarm setting.

2ND LAYER - GREY
Follow previous steps for the remaining layers. Align using registration marks and paint remaining layers.

3RD LAYER - WHITE

4TH LAYER - BLACK DETAILS

Now you can remove the final stencil layer and the pieces of masking tape off the wall and that is it, great job, you have painted your multi-layered stencil. 

You don't have to stop there you can experiment with using different colours. Try doing an image using 3 shades of red...or cool blues...perhaps repeat the stencil across the wall 3 or 5 times to create a pop arty repeated motif...perhaps make a hand painted art canvas as a gift, there are many uses for 1 stencil!