Mark Powers stipples paint into the stencil pattern
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 9: 9. Paint the Pattern

Using a dabbing motion and a very light touch, stipple the brush onto the open areas of the stencil. Avoid stippling near the ends of the stencil where the pattern will continue, as this may create a visible, overpainted seam. Continue stippling until the pattern is filled in but the wall color underneath still shows through. Avoid using a back-and-forth motion while painting, which may leave brush marks and cause paint to bleed beneath the stencil.

If you prefer full paint coverage instead of a stippled look, dab on the paint in thin layers instead of applying a single thick coat.
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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.