Mark Powers tapes a printout of the stencil pattern around the French doors for reference
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 2: 2. Create the Pattern

Sketch a design freehand or print one using a computer. (You can download the pattern we used.) Affix your sketches to the wall with painter's tape. Be sure to leave a consistent space between the edge of the casing and the stencil design. (Ours was 1½ inches.) Lightly mark the ends of the border on the wall with a pencil. Our project required four stencils: a top detail centered above the doorway, a corner detail, a tail detail, and a linear pattern to fill space between the details.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • black marker
      Fine-tip permanent marker
    • straightedge guide
    • self-healing cutting mat
      Self-healing cutting mat
    • X-Acto knife
    • electric stencil cutter
      Pane of glass and electric stencil-cutting pen for cutting curved lines. Get one at crafts stores or Amazon
    • small plastic putty knife
      Plastic putty knife
    • small paint tray
      Paper plate or small bucket or tray for holding the paint.
    • stencil brush
      Flat-tip stencil brush. Get a size that suits your pattern's scale and shape. We used a No. 8 brush, which has a diameter of inch.

    Shopping List

    1. Stencil film
    Sometimes called template plastic or acetate.

    2. Painter's tape
    for delicate surfaces.(It won’t remove the wall paint.)

    3. Repositionable mounting spray
    4. Old newspapers

    5. Latex paint
    Use a flat or satin finish to achieve a timeworn look.

    6. Lint-free cloths
    or sturdy paper towels for cleaning stencils and to dab when prepping the stencil brush.