Mark Powers traces the stencil pattern onto stencil film
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 3: 3. Trace the Pattern

On a work surface, lay a piece of stencil film over the top detail so that one edge aligns with the edge of the pattern that's closest to the door casing. Cut the film to size, leaving a space of at least 1 inch all the way around the pattern to keep the stencil intact. Tape the film to your sketch to prevent shifting. Trace the pattern onto the film with a fine-tip permanent marker, using a straightedge as needed. Measure and mark a centerline on the bottom edge of the top stencil.
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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.