Hi, Stencil people. Ideal stencils are bringing you another useful stencil tutorial and today we are going to be showing you how to paint your stencil (in this example our star stencil) with a roller. When your stencil has large cut out areas or you have a large project in mind then it may be worth ditching the brush and getting yourself a stencilling roller to make easy work of the job.

If you want to watch the video tutorial then jump over to this link –

What kind of roller do I need for painting a stencil?

Good question! What you need is a dense foam roller. In the U.K this kind of roller is also commonly known as a gloss roller. The fact that it is made of dense foam is very important as this will help prevent the paint from bleeding under the stencils surface. Imagine if you use a cheap kids soft foam roller – the paint would get squeezed with pressure under the stencil causing messy blotchy edges. So the firmer the roller the better. You can get these from any D.I.Y shop and if you can get it with rounded edges then all the better as this will eliminate tracks in the paint as you roll.

Materials for this stencilling project

  • Stencil
  • Dense foam roller
  • Paint (emulsion/acrylics)
  • Polystyrene plate
  • Repositionable spray mount or low tack masking tape
  • Kitchen roll

 Adhere and position your stencil

Firstly we are going to position our stencil onto a smooth and flat wall surface, you can’t expect to stencil using a roller on an uneven and bumpy surface and get good results . We like to use repositionable spray mount to temporarily adhere our stencil to the wall as it keeps the stencil nice and flat to the wall and helps to reduce paint seepage under the stencil. We use the 3M brand as it sprays out nice and fine with no globs and it doesn’t leave any residue on the wall. Spray a light misting over the back of the stencil. You can also use low tack masking tape to hold the stencil in position, you may want to use both.

Load your stencil roller

Put some of the paint that you are going to be using onto the polystyrene plate and roll your roller through it to coat the roller evenly. It is very important to make sure that the roller sleeve is bone dry! If you use one that is damp or not fully dry then that extra water will make the paint runny and cause paint to bleed under the stencil. Next off load your roller onto some kitchen roll. You don’t want to see any visible excess paint on your roller. Too much paint loaded onto the roller will also cause paint seepage under the stencil causing unwanted blotchy edges.

Coat the roller evenly and offload onto kitchen roll

Roller should look practically dry but damp to the touch

Paint your stencil

Once your roller is off-loaded you can start to paint the stencil. Start with light pressure working your way over the stencil design, you can increase pressure with the roller as you go and when you feel you are pressing too hard then its time to re-load your roller…but don’t forget to off-load onto the kitchen roll before you start painting again!

Use light to medium rollering pressure and bulid up the layer slowly

You can always peel back the edge of the stencil to take a look at the results you are getting and if you feel that you need to add another layer then do so. You may like a  slightly worn finish to a stencil (this can be done by painting each repeat with a slightly uneven layer) especially if you are repeating a motif over a wall, so that each one is unique and visually different. So just paint the stencil until you are happy with the result.

Remove your stencil

Once the stencil is fully painted you can remove the stencil with out having to leave it to dry. You can then position it somewhere else and paint it again. You do not have to wash the stencil after every time you repeat it, just at the end of a project or when the paint build up is compromising your results. You can wash water based paints off in warm soapy water in the sink or bath. You may need to leave it to soak for awhile until the paint starts to soften and bubble off. You can then use a washing brush , stencil brush or sponge to clean off the paint. You can then pat your stencil dry with kitchen roll and store it away flat for next time.

You can experiment with whatever colour combinations you want when it comes to choosing you paint. Have a look around on-line and get inspiration for you theme. Good luck in all your stencilling projects, and getting unique and beautiful results.

What do you like to use to paint your stencils? What was your last project?How did it go? Let us know by posting a comment!

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