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Decorative Painting: What is Stenciling?


While we have talked about the various decorative painting techniques extensively, we still have not covered one of the most popular methods – stenciling. Let’s fill in the blank.

Stenciling Possibilities

Stenciling is quite easy but delivers big impact. Some stencils will make your walls (or ceilings) appear wallpapered. For that effect, you will need a stencil that can be applied in continuous patterns. With other stencils, you can create the impression of art pieces or accents. These stencils need to be applied sparingly or only in one or two places. What stencil you use depends on the look you are after.

First off, you may be wondering what a stencil is. A stencil is a sheet of material, usually, plastic, with cut- outs that make up a design. Those cut-outs allow the paint to be transferred onto another medium to replicate the design. Stencils can be used on walls, ceilings, furniture, and more. Stencils can be small or quite large but all look similar to the one pictured below.

Plastic Stencil Sheet

Examples of Stencils

Once of the walls in a kids’ rooms is painted with a wallpaper-like stencil.

Whole wall stencil resembling wallpaper

Now, you may be wondering why bother with a stencil when you can apply wallpaper. The answer is simplicity. Stenciling is much easier than wallpapering in every aspect. It is easier to apply with fewer materials, supplies and steps involved. It is also much easier to remove or change – just paint over it.

Below an example of a stencil that mimics two pieces of art hung on the wall.

Art-like stencil

Image below shows how striking a stencil can be and how it can resemble the old-world décor. Note: Stencils that create antique looks are best applied over a textured or faux-finished surface (not a plain painted wall) for the most impact and periodic resemblance. Read on how to create faux finished walls or textured walls.

Stenciled accents on ceilings and walls

Let your imagination work and customize the final design beyond the shape provided by a stencil. An example is to use not one, but several colors. You can use two or more. You can paint the entire shape in one color, then repeat it in another color, and so on.

Several colors used for stenciling

Or you can paint different elements of a shape with different colors, much like you would draw a picture.

Accent stencil is painted with multiple colors

Stay tuned for the part 2 where we will learn how to apply the stencils.

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2 Responses to Decorative Painting: What is Stenciling?

  1. Velva says:

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  2. Fishing says:

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