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How to Choose the Best Stencil Material

What painting technique will you use for your project?

 MATERIAL USE FOR
125 mil (1/8") - 60 mil (1/16") Spray painting equipment, parking lots, athletic fields or outdoor uses.
40 mil Spray paints, aerosol paints, good for smaller numbers, letters, outdoor/indoor.
14 mil, 10 mil,  7.5 mil Rolling, brushing applications. Indoor uses. All vertical surfaces and most horizontal surfaces, Great for fine detail
7.5 mil adhesive Industrial surfaces for precision painting. Sticks to drums, pipes, buckets. Reusable. Spray or roll.
6 mil vinyl adhesive One-time use, can be used on walls, easy peel and stick. Brush or roll.

Note: Some of the larger stencils like hopscotch and shuffleboard can be done with 14 mil using spray due to the total sheet size and overall weight.

How thick is our material?

 MATERIAL MILLIMETERS INCHES
4 mil 0.10 mm

0.004 in

7 mil 0.18 mm

0.007 in

6 mil 0.16 mm

0.006 in

7.5 mil 0.19 mm

0.0075 in

10 mil 0.26 mm

0.01 in

14 mil 0.36 mm

0.014 in

40 mil 1.02 mm

0.04 in

60 mil 1.54 mm

0.06 in

125 mil 1.54 mm

0.125 in



Not sure what material to choose from? Get a material sample pack

Heavy-Duty 1/8" or 1/16" LLDPE
Uses: field stencils, parking lot stencils, concrete applications when a heavy-weight stencil is needed. We recommend 1/8th inch material for heavy contractor use, as it will stand up to many uses and will resist the curl caused by heavy overspray. These can be used in  windy conditions when other materials may blow around. Spray equipment, spray paints, inverted marking paints and landscape chalks can be used with these materials  (note: paint rollers, brushes and stencil brushes are more difficult to use with this thicker material and are not recommended unless you have tested your application and achieved acceptable results).

Stencil Ease manufactures industrial grade stencils using LLDPE (Linear low-density polyethylene) plastic.

LLDPE
Stencil Ease is now manufacturing all parking lot stencils, athletic field stencils and many others on a new “super-durable” plastic called LLDPE. Our current stock is 1/8" and 1/16" and results from our core contractor base have been all positive.

OUR NEW LLDPE: (Linear Low-Density Polyethylene)

  • Can be rolled and flattened out without curl
  • Sheds paint with ease and won't crack or break
  • LLDPE has a higher tensile strength than LDPE
  • LLDPE has a higher impact and puncture resistance than LDPE
  • Superior stress crack resistance
  • Superior resistance to chemicals

**If there is any doubt about what material is right for your job or you have any other questions, then please contact one of our customer service representatives at 1-800-334-1776 or 860-395-0150. You can also request a free material sample pack here -http://www.stencilease.com/material-sample.asp

**NOTE: Stencil Ease recycles every ounce of plastic during the manufacturing process. Beginning in 2009, we vowed to keep even the smallest scraps of plastic out of landfills. Today we sort scrap by plastic-type for several plastic recycling centers. These scraps are then converted into new stencil sheets, plastic bottles and a variety of other materials. Read more about the Stencil Ease green initiative Click Here.


40 mil LDPE
LLDPE material is a durable and flexible plastic that is great for laser cutting small alphabet stencils, small number stencils or graphic stencils with lots of detail. LDPE stencil plastic can be cleaned and reused many times. It does not shed paint as easily as the LLDPE but can still be cleaned with common solvents. 

Mylar films:

Mylar is a great plastic film for stenciling. It is cost effective. It is very tough. It does not stretch, so it can replicate images accurately and repeatably. The material is cleanable, tolerates common paint solvents and  can stand up to multiple uses. It is light so that it easy to manage and place. If our repositionable spray is used, it will adhere to walls and ceilings; it can also conform to  gently curved surfaces.  It is flexible and is shipped rolled up. Once unrolled it will relax and again become flat. While usable outside, mylar film, especially the lighter grades, are affected by wind. You can apply paint by brush, roller, or spray. We recommend low air flow with spray applications especially for the lighter film grades to reduce bleed.

We carry three grades of mylar. The thicker mylar is more durable but less flexible.  Our application recommendations balance those attibutes. 


Medium-Duty Mylar 14 mil Mylar= 0.014 inches (0.36 mm)

Uses: this is an extremely durable polyester plastic. It is durable enough to withstand heavy repeated use and multiple cleanings. 14 mil is ideal for use with sprays, paints and industrial inks. Most commonly used for DIY playground stencils in rolling applications. This material is not recommended for fine decorative applications when paint is being rolled on. It can still be used on vertical surfaces. It is not as flexible as the lighter mylar materials and should only be used on flat surfaces. 
Standard-Duty Mylar 10 mil = 0.010 inches (0.26 mm)
This is our most commonly used stencil material for indoor uses.  Can be used outdoors but will be impacted by wind.  Can be used on almost any surface. Uses: for projects that require moderate repeated-use and repeated cleaning of a stencil. The 10 mil stencil material can be used with brushes, rollers, inks and most paints and stains. It is a great material for super fine detail like our cookie stencils. When used with our our repositionable spray, it can will adhere to vertical surfaces and to gently curved surfaces. When using with spray applications we recommend using the repositionable spray and light air pressure so reduce bleed under the stencil. 

Light Duty Mylar 7.5 mil = 0.0075 inches (0.19 mm)
Our 7.5 mil mylar is can be used much like the 10 mil but as it is thinner is slightly less durable.  

Adhesive-Backed Mylar Material 7.5 mil = 0.0075 inches (0.19 mm)
Adhesive-backed, 7.5 mil material, comes with a repositionable, medium-tack backing to secure your stencil in place. This durable, reusable, plastic material can be used on any painted surface, floor, sign, car, boat or craft project. The adhesive-backing assures that paint will not seep under the stencil design if you are using liquid paints, spray paints, inks or other mediums. Additionally, the medium-tack quality of this material will allow you to easily lift the stencil from the surface and reposition it securely onto your surface over and over again. See Tips on how to use this material >


Low-Tack Adhesive-Backed Vinyl 6 mil = 0.006 inches (0.16 mm)
Uses: Trucks, boats, walls or any job that requires precision stenciling. Our peel and stick low-tack vinyl can easily be removed from any surface and reapplied. Ideal for air brushing, spraying or rolling applications on clean smooth surfaces.