How do I prepare the area to be painted?
- Prepare the area to be painted. It must be clean! Paint will not adhere to a dirty surface!
- Sweep a couple of days before
- Power wash the area to clear it of all debris
- Sweep or blow the day of (brooms need to be available)
- Identify a paint station location (Consult the principal/custodian)
- Near or at a water source (water key, faucet with a hose!)
- Ability to wash paint brushes
- Determine where you will paint your stencils before your paint day
- Consult with teachers and students
What should I do to prepare for my paint day?
- Set a date
- Set an alternate date in case of rain
- Recruit a project leader/co-leader
- Identify leaders on painting day (red hat, blue t-shirt, etc.)
- Solicit volunteers (parents, teachers, community members, P.T.O.)
- Advertise around campus for your big paint day
- Provide food and water for the volunteers
- Ask for food volunteers to donate water and healthy snacks
- Anticipate child care set up (especially if your paint day is during the weekend)
- Plan activities or show movies in the gym
- Recruit childcare volunteers for child care
Organize Your Paint Day!
- Set up a check-in table
- Make a sign-in sheet for volunteers
- Provide the instructions for painting the stencils that were provided in your kit.
- Make copies of the instructions for each stencil you are painting to make it easier on your paint volunteers
- Assign volunteers to the stencils
- Set up the paint station before painters arrive
- Use a drop cloth
- Turn on water (key) (hose with a spray nozzle is best)
- Organize paint containers and open lids (but keep the lid lightly on)
- Organize brushes
- One idea is to turn a milk crate upside down and place the brushes in the slots. Do this for clean and dirty brushes
- Manage the process
- Ensure that you or one other person is overseeing the entire effort
- Always look for areas that need help and assign volunteers to the cleaning station as needed
Always refer to the instructions in your kit and the guidance here on the website. Paint days are a great way to build community, school spirit and have a lot of fun! Best of all, everyone knows the end result is something special for the kids!
How do I paint the stencils?
- We recommend using foam rollers for most of your stencils.
- We’ve provided a special paint and supplies shopping list for each stencil on this site. You can download the list when you are checking out.
- For smaller areas or stencils, use less paint on the roller and dab the paint on to the surface to start.
- For larger areas, like the MyPlate or the US Map, use more paint on the rollers
- Practice first on paper!
How many people or volunteers will I need?
Our recommendation is 2-10 people, per stencil, depending on the size of the stencil.
- Fuel Up Logo, Food Spots: 2 people
- MyPlate: 2-4 people
- Jump and Move: 4-8 people
- Centipede, U.S. Map, and Multiplication Tables: minimum of 6 people; Best if you have 8-10.
Coordinating volunteers requires organization and planning. It is also a great way to build support and bring together the community.
Painting with a Contracted Company
Schools and organizations may want to contract a company to paint the stencils. While this is an added cost, it does alleviate any volunteer coordination. When using an outside company, it may be helpful to send them a link to the site and the instructions. Stencils often have multiple pieces and it’s important to demonstrate the scope of the project.
Other functions and responsibilities would be:
- Cleaning the surface (powerwashing)
- Cleaning the surface prior to actual painting (sweeping)
- Set up and preparation
- Clean up and storage
NOTE: The stencil material specified for these Fuel Up Playground stencils is designed to work with high density foam paint rollers! If you are hiring a painting contractor, they should know that the standard material that comes with the kit was designed to be used with rollers. If a painting contractor is planning on using a spray painting machine, they may want to order the material in a thicker plastic. If this is the case, please call us at 1-800-334-1776 and we can provide you with pricing for our thicker material, which a contractor would be more familiar with using for pavement painting. Keep in mind, that he/she will have to run several colors of paint through his spray painting machine depending on the playground stencil kit you have selected.
How many people are needed to paint the stencils?
To provide an accurate scope of the project for a contracted company, our recommendation is 2-10 people per stencil depending on the size of the stencil.
- Fuel Up Logo, Food Spots: 2 people
- MyPlate: 2-4 people
- Jump and Move: 4-8 people
Centipede, US Map, and MultiplicationTables: minimum of 6 people. Best if you have 8-10
Where should I paint my stencils?
- Paint anywhere that has a clean surface including hardtops, sidewalks and pathways. Remember to always prepare your area first and make sure it is clean and free of debris. The paint will not adhere to a dirty surface
- Avoid areas that hold water.
- Work with your school principal and staff for ideas of where to paint the stencils.
- Create a stencil map of your campus to help plan on placement.
- In addition to creating physical activity and learning opportunities, some schools also use the stencils to help guide the children.
- For example, you could line up the food spots in a single file line outside a door.
Is the paint permanent?
It is recommended to purchase paint that is permanent and durable on a concrete/asphalt surface. If the paint is applied properly, as suggested throughout the site, the paint should last. Touch-ups may be needed due to wear and tear.
What do I need?
- A plan as to where the stencils will be placed
- Buy-in from principal/staff/administration, etc.
- Volunteers or staff to help you paint (refer to the page “How to Paint” for guidance)
- Paint and Supplies
- Paint day set and organized
- Volunteers assigned
- Food, water, sunblock, etc. for your paint day
- Organize, prepare and organize!
- A camera to take lots of pictures!
NOTE: Please note that paint, brushes, and supplies are NOT included with your stencils. For simplicity, there is a suggested list of paint products that you can order for this project linked below. Ordering these suggested paints is not a requirement for this project. If you would like to use different paint, please be sure to purchase paint that is permanent and durable on a concrete/asphalt surface.
- Pressure wash 1 or 2 days prior to the painting day.
- Coordinate with schools or sites to have sandblaster (graffiti removers) on call in case of spills.
- Talk to the schools or sites in advance to figure out where to fill water buckets and dispose of dirty paint water at each campus. There are services that recycle paint and paint water—consider safer and more sustainable options.
- A small crew should arrive at least 30 min early to set up the paint station, fill water buckets and organize stencils. Be sure to put down a drop cloth under the paint buckets to protect the ground from drips and spills.
- Have color printouts on hand of how each stencil should look once it’s finished.
- Have your list of stencils prioritized by number of layers and complexity. More layers will take longer due to drying time. Start the more time consuming stencils first.
- If using volunteers: list the number of people needed for each stencil to facilitate the organization of volunteers as they arrive.
- Don’t load the paint rollers with too much paint! It’s better to start with a little paint and build up.
- Before placing the Jump and Move stencils, mark the placement of each footprint or symbol with chalk first. Get help from an elementary school student to determine the stride.
- Remind the volunteers to place their paint rollers in bags or plastic wrap whenever they aren’t using them, even for short breaks.
- Stencils should not be stacked on top of each other until they are completely dry.
- Allow the paint to dry in the sun, but if you have enough help you could wipe them down with a wet sponge, especially if they have a lot of detail that might be lost with too many coats of paint.
- If stencils do begin to lose their shape under dried paint, it is best to wait until the paint dries completely and then peel all the paint off. The stencil material is designed to allow paint to peel and flake off. If they still have a curl to them, just lay them on warm pavement for 5 minutes and they will become flat again and ready for rolling more paint!
- Observe people as they work together. If you are short on time, break up the groups that tend to talk too much into smaller, more productive teams.
- Constantly remind the volunteers to put lids on any containers when they are done with or even just walking away from their paint for a bit. This will help to conserve paint.
Student-created games are the foundation to the stencils’ success. It stimulates imagination, creativity and problem solving. It also contributes to teamwork and collaboration. The Austin Independent School District in Austin, TX, generated 250 student-created games throughout the 80 elementary schools that installed the stencils. The district integrated the stencils into the lesson plans and held school wide contests.
How do I order?
- You can order any of the stencil kits right on this web site using a credit card. We accept any Visa, MC, Discover or AMEX. Click here to place your order online.
- You can also submit a school purchase order and email: [email protected]
- Please make sure your school purchase order is an official Purchase order on school letterhead and signed.
How do I order Paint and Supplies?
When you click on each stencil set, we provide direction on how to order the paint and supplies. Please note that paint and supplies are not ordered through Stencilease.
We recommend using foam rollers for most of your stencils.
We’ve provided a special paint and supplies shopping list for each stencil on this site. You can download the list when you are checking out.
For smaller areas or stencils, use less paint on the roller and dab the paint on to the surface to start.
For larger areas, like the MyPlate or the US Map, use more paint on the rollers
Practice first on paper!