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How to Guide for Custom Stencils

Because stencils can be used on almost any surface, we can only offer some tips for painting or finishing your stencil on the most common surfaces. Generally, these techniques apply to most applications. If you come up with a new one, we would love to hear about it.
IMPORTANT: Adhering stencil to surface being painted.
We suggest in almost all cases using a Repositional Stencil Adhesive spray to give you the best results for your project. Hold the can about 8 inches away from the back of the stencil and spray (waving can back and forth) enough to cover most of the stencil sheet. Allow one minute for the spray to set up and dry on the stencil before sticking to surface. You may want to press down on the stencil in various sections to make sure it is properly stuck to the surface you are painting or marking. Please practice first!



If you are using your custom lettering stencil on a painted surface, make sure the surface has completely dry (if the surface has been recently painted.) You may also want to stick the stencil to a piece of fabric or cardboard to lessen the tack level. Once you have used the stencil a couple of times you will have a better feel for how much spray adhesive to apply based on your surface and painting technique.


If you are using your custom lettering stencil on outdoor surfaces, concrete floors or other high traffic areas, we suggest using a little more spray adhesive and using it more often. If the surface is porous or dirty the tack level will need to be greater. In this case you will want to make sure the stencil is securely stuck to the surface as different sprays, marking inks and rollers can produce different results. Please practice first!

Always ask yourself, what paint will you be using? 
Every paint has specific instructions on how to use it, what surfaces it can be used on, drying time and clean up. Please carefully read these instructions and if possible, practice using this paint on the type of surface you will be painting.

- If using spray paint, do not hold the can too close to the stencil. Paint can build up on the edges and run underneath the stencil. Practice holding the can 8-10 inches or more away from the stencil and gently waving the spray side to side. We have found this technique gives the most control over how much paint is applied an allows a gradual build up of color.

- If using liquid paint and a roller, we suggest high-density foam rollers. These high-density foam rollers are designed to apply less paint and not “load” on the paint like a traditional nap roller would. Remember, if you are painting a surface and want to COVER it with paint, use a nap roller. If you adding paint through a stencil, use a high-density foam roller.

- If using dry-solid stencil paint  you will need a stencil brush. There are separate instructions that come with dry-solid stencil paints that should be followed. These include wiping away the skin coating on the surface of the paint, wiping off excess paint and drying time for various surfaces.

- If using marking inks and ink rollers, please follow the instructions on the ink or ink roller package.

- Using ink pads. Using Ink pads with our high-density foam rollers is a great way to control how much ink and color you apply to a surface. Roll the foam roller several times across the ink pad and then roll onto a paper towel to determine how much ink the roller contains. Begin stencil rolling and use a softer touch to apply less ink initially. You can lift the stencil and gauge how dark the color is. You can always go back over the stencil a second time pressing harder on the roller to make letters darker. High density foam rollers are ideal for these applications and allow for great control of inks, paints and stains.