How To Make A Fabulous Stencil Art On Wood
If you are like me and love to browse in flea markets and thrift stores for cheap home decor, you most likely ended up with a lot of plain wood pieces.
They only need a little love, a creative design, and paint.
Painting with a stencil onto wood is fun. You can create a very unique home decor in no time. BUT, have you ever noticed that it takes time and trials to learn a new DIY skill?
That is especially true when you are working with stencils and different paint on wood or wooden furniture. You want to know which tools and materials are the best for your project.
I have good news for you! I went through many trials, made a couple of mistakes, so you don’t have to.
Go ahead, read on, and get my best tips on how to stencil on wood.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
Get Stencils for wood
So, where can you purchase letter stencils or any other kind?
– Etsy is always my stop when I’m looking for unique crafts and decor items. Sellers are crafters just like you and me, and I like to support them.
– Michales, Joanns, Hobby-Lobby are perfect for those of you who want to touch and see the product before you buy.
– Cricut. Make your own stencil with the machine and the company’s wide variety of vinyl papers.
Stencil paint for wood
Let’s talk about paint options!
I never pay attention to what type of paint to use. Whatever I have at home. Don’t be like Andrea, and choose the one that works for your craft.
– Stencil Creme has a velvety, creamy formula. This kind of paint is perfect for stenciling on walls and furniture. It dries quickly and works on a variety of surfaces you want to stencil on.
People also like to use them because it doesn’t bleed under the stencil. BUT we are talking about making a small wood sign, and I don’t think it’s necessary to spend the money on this paint for today’s project.
It dries and adheres to wood, and wooden furniture perfectly. I always have acrylic paint at home and use them for most of my craft projects, like creating crazy pumpkin faces. Acrylic paints are budget-friendly, and your kids love to use them too!
It covers quickly and dries fast. They tend to dry out soon, so you might want to pour out a small amount into a small plastic cup and close the original holder of the chalk paint.
Best brush for stenciling
– Foam brushes have excellent absorption and distribute the paint evenly. Its foam cells absorb paint and reduce drips until you apply it on wood or other surfaces.
– Stencil brushes have a round shape and so easy to use with the dry brush technic.
– Round stencil sponge brush. These are great. It is a combination of foam and regular stencil brushes. It has a flat top and a rounded shape. Which makes it perfect for applying paint with the tapping, pouncing motion. Since I had some old makeup sponge at home, I decided to use it as my round stencil sponge.
All 3 works perfectly for your stencil crafts, so it is genuinely based on your preference. Whichever you’ll choose, make sure to apply a small amount of paint on the brush or sponge. If you picked up a lot of paint, tap it off on a paper or cloth before painting on the project.
How to stencil on wood without bleeding
At my first couple of intent to work with stencils, I failed miserably. Expecting a perfect crisp design under my stencil, I ended up with smudged letters and a lot of paint bleeding.
After a while, I was not looking forward to lifting up the stencil when I finished with the project.
Here are my favorite technics to prevent bleeding on your wood when you stencil.
– Use a repositionable stencil adhesive spray. Spray a light layer on the back of the stencil. Now you can position it to where you want your design. When you work with letters, consider centering and straightening the stencil before you place it on the wood.
The adhesive spray is strong enough to hold the stencil in place while you work, but you won’t have a problem removing it later easily. Working with this adhesive will seal the edges of the stencil; therefore, it prevents paint bleeding. Win-win in my book.
– Use a contact vinyl paper. Ohhh, you lucky ones out there who have a Cricut machine. You can design your own stencil and cut it out with your Cricut. Then you place the stencil on the wood. Press it down to make sure it’s adhered throughout the surface.
– Use Matte Mod Podge. For my project in this post, I used only Mod Podge, and it’s terrific. My design is crisp and avoided paint bleeding.
You need to apply a light coat of matte Mod Podge to your sign. It will prevent the paint from sneaking under the stencil. Make sure you coat in all directions when applying your Mod Podge. Drying it overnight if you can, but a couple of hours would be sufficient too.
– DRY brushing technic. No matter what kind of brush or sponge you decide to use for working with a stencil, you want to make sure when you load your brush with paint, tap off most of it again.
A cloth or paper will work fine. This way, you will have crisp lines.
Do you remember how you paint a wall? You move the brush back and forth, rubbing the paint with that motion. This will allow the paint to leak under the stencil. Ditch the back and forth motion on the surface. Instead, you want to bounce or dab the brush up and down motion.
You might see that the paint likes to stick to the stencil more than it sticks to your wood, but no worries, it’s normal. I usually work in a 2-3 inch area with a makeup sponge at a time, and it works great.
How to fix stencil bleed on wood
When you peel back the stencil and suuuurpise, you see sneaky paint seeped underneath, take a piece of damp paper towel wipe the excess.
Sometimes the problem is tiny. Wrapping a damp paper towel around the end of a butter knife is your best tool for fixing small paint bleeding spots. You can wipe off the excess paint with the tip, and the edge of the design will be crisp.
How to paint with stencils instructions
Yeey. Now we got to the fun part. You chose your brush, paint, stencil, and wood for the project. Hopefully, you read my advice and got the mode podge too.
Let’s create a beautiful stencil art together!
Step 1: Apply the stencil to your wood
- Position the stencil where you want the letters or art to be on the wood.
- Tape the stencil to your project to keep it in place. Or use contact paper or adhesive spray, as we discussed a little bit earlier.
Step 2: Mod Podge your stencil on the wood
This step is essential to prevent the paint from bleeding under the stencil. It seals the edges.
- Using a brush, apply a coat of matte Mod Podge to your sign. You can use your fingertip too.
- Try to apply it evenly. Not too thick but not too thin either.
- Let it dry about an hour or until it is completely dry.
Step 3: Paint your design.
- When the Mod Podge is dry, grab your brush or sponge and get to painting.
- Pick up the paint with your brush and tap it off on a paper or cloth. The dry brush will still have enough paint to work with.
- Apply the paint with a pouncing motion. Which means to bounce the paintbrush up and down rather than brush it side to side.
- You will probably need to bounce a couple of times in one spot before you have the desired coverage of paint on your project. It is especially true if you are using white paint over reclaimed wood.
- I used a makeup sponge to get a more even texture.
- After one layer dries, you can add more layers if you prefer a crispier fuller look.
- Let it dry. It will take about 2 hours, but usually, I leave my stencil project to dry overnight.
Step 4: Remove the stencil
Good Morning! It’s time to peel off the stencil from the wood project.
- If you used contact paper or adhesive, you want to remove the stencil in the opposite direction of the wood grains. This movement will help to avoid unwanted paint from lifting.
- If you used the plastic stencil as I did, just carefully remove tapes and peel the stencil lifting up one corner and work your way away from that corner.
- Sometimes a little accident happens, and you might lift up some paint with the stencil. You can use a small straight pin and dip it in the paint then patch up your work.
Step 5: Seal art
This is optional. I cover my wood projects with a polyurethane spray to protect it from the humid weather we have.
It is a good idea to seal your wood sign and art if you know it will be used outdoors.
How to stencil onto wood experience
With a couple of hacks, you can create professional-looking signs and stencil art in no time.
Useful tips to make perfect decoration:
- You can get crisp stencil lines using Mod Podge to seal the edges of your stencil.
- Chose a good brush for dry-brushing “dabbing” technic.
- Wait for the Mod Podge, adhesive, and paint to dry before you move on to the next step.
- Remove stencil when the paint is dry.
- If you use your decoration outdoors consider to seal it.
I had fun and hope you will too when creating a unique wood decoration for your home.
Do you want more inspiration for your next painting craft project?
- How to decorate a plastic flower pot?
- Wooden snowmen DIY with acrylic paint
- Crazy pumpkin faced on fan blades
- Boho terracotta pot with chalk paint
Don’t forget to PIN it and come back later for instructions. Do you have questions or stenciling tips? Leave a comment, please.