How to stencil a repeat pattern

Painting a stencilled pattern on a wall using one of our single motif stencils ( in this case our stag stencil ) is a cost effective way to make a big difference to a room. Doing your own D.I.Y decorating and stenciling your own feature wall is a fun and exciting way to experiment with colour and pattern. It is also the best way to add personality and style with out having to commit to decorating the whole room. 

There are two basic ways to produce an allover pattern effect. The 1st is a motif repeated in a straight lines across and down and the 2nd is where the motif is staggered like a brickwork.

How to stencil a straight line repeated pattern

Materials you will need:

- A stencil/ or 2 to make the job quicker
- Repositionable Spray Mount
- Blue low tack decorators tape
- Light colored water soluble pencil or chalk
- Spirit level Metal Ruler or stiff strong cardboard
- Paint - acrylic/emulsion
- Dense foam roller A.K.A Gloss roller and stencil brush
- Kitchen roll

Think about the wall you will be stenciling and how best to stencil it

A blank wall that has no obstacles to stencil around like a door or radiator is going to be easiest and quickest to stencil and is also more suited as a feature wall, so that is what we will base this tutorial on, but you can use the flexible stencil to paint around obstacles if necessary.

We will be starting our first repeat in the top left hand corner and working our way across in rows from left to right. This will mean that the complete stag motif will run along the top of the wall and down the left side of the wall and we won't have to worry about stenciling into the corners in these areas. If you want to have the motif cut off at the top, bottom, and sides for a more 'total wallpaper' look then place your first repeat so you know the design will be cut off at the top by the ceiling or picture rail. Think about the wall you want to stencil and how best to approach it. You may also want to start your first repeat in another area of the wall perhaps down the side of a door to avoid having to stencil into the side of the door frame.

Place your first stencil repeat

Use the masking tape crosses to line up all your repeats

Finish mapping out your wall and get ready to paint your stencilled pattern

If things don't line up perfectly when mapping out the wall, don't panic! There is bound to be some inaccuracies. The thing to remember is that when the allover pattern is complete your eye will NOT notice! 

Now you are happy with your marked out wall you can start painting the stencils on the walls. As this is a large project we would recommend using a dense foam roller to paint each stencil. To learn how to do this please view our How to page on painting stencils with a roller

Start stenciling your wall

How to tackle stenciling into corners

Pattern variations that you could consider

Optional button

How to stencil a staggered repeat pattern

Mark out your top row of stencil repeats: Start off the project as in the previous tutorial. Align your stencil in the top left corner and using your spirit level and pencil mark a light, dashed straight vertical line down the wall on the right side of the stencil and also a line running horizontally across the wall using the bottom of the stencil.  

Hopefully now you feel more confident to try it for yourself and create your own wallpaper pattern effect. Use this as a guide to help you. There other methods of marking up your wall which you may want to do if your require more spacing between your repeats.  

Great results can even be achieved by simply placing your stencil by eye... so it doesn't have to be a methodical exercise.

Remember that some misalignments of the repeats will not be noticed when the pattern is complete, so have fun and paint your own unique stenciled feature wall!