My Wonderful Walls Blog
How to Stencil a Floor 1
While the overall process to stencil a design on your floor versus your wall isn’t all that different, preparation is even more important when you are talking about how to stencil a floor. With the right preparation, you can pull off any floor project you desire, even an elaborate design. Here are step by step instructions you can use to stencil a floor.
- First, you’ll want to decide what shape your floor is in general. You don’t necessarily need to strip it and sand it unless you want the look of new wood. You will want to sink any protruding nails, fill in holes and sand the surface sufficiently that the primer can hold. If you have a vinyl floor, strip any wax then clean thoroughly with ammonia, rinse well and sand to a dull finish. You’ll want to let concrete floors cure for at least a month.
- Choose a primer that is suitable for your floor material. Make sure the floor is clean, dry and free of dust before priming. You’ll want to use a long-handled roller to apply the primer after cutting in the edges with a brush. Let the primer dry according to the manufacturer’s direction.
- Apply a basecoat. You may be using paint or stain here depending on your floor material. You will need to allow the basecoat to dry for several days before you continue. And when you are ready to continue, you’ll want to take your shoes off and wear clean socks to maintain a pristine surface.
- Create your registration marks. For an all over pattern, you’ll want to mark a grid on the floor with a chalk line (except on bare wood – see below for how to create). Measure and mark the center points of the two opposite walls. Snap a chalk line between the then repeat with the other pair of walls.
- Start at the center of each side of the floor and measure off intervals of the grid on both sides of center. Then match up grid marks on opposite sides and snap a chalk line in between them. This will give you a complete grid. If you have regularly spaced floorboards or parquet squares, you can use those as a guideline instead. Note: You may need to fudge the registration marks a little if your room isn’t perfectly square.
- Now you’re ready to stencil! You may want to place your tools and paint on a tray on top of a drop cloth and move it along with you while you’re working. Use a roller brush to make the work go faster. The process is again the same as described in our How to Stencil Using a Roller Brush with Liquid Paint article except you're stenciling the floor.
- After your stenciled design has had time to cure, you’ll want to seal in your floor décor with several coats of clear finish. Water based finishes will give a colorless coating while oil-based products give an amber cast to whatever they cover. Make sure to read the label for whatever product you buy to make sure it can be used over paint. Again, using a roller brush will make the job quicker. After applying the finish, keep off the floor for several days. Then for the next few days at least, make sure to wear only socks on the floor until your finish has cured.
A note about bare wood floors: Chalk lines on a bare wood floor will not come off without sanding. For creating a registration grid in that case, you can use string held in place with adhesive putty. You will need to take extra care not to disturb the strings while you work and will need to move them temporarily while stenciling underneath.
When stenciling on bare wood floors, you also can’t easily correct a mistake. Applying a thin coat of a clear sealer first, will prevent the stenciled paint from soaking into the floor and can be easily wiped off if caught in time.
Now that you have an idea of how to stencil a floor, which room will you start with first?
How to Create a Jungle Paradise in 5 Simple Steps 0
If you are considering painting a jungle mural in your baby nursery or child’ room, you’ve come to the right place. There is no need to hire a professional painter to fill your walls with jungle animals and colorful jungle trees. Just follow these 5 simple steps and soon your friends and family will be ‘roaring’ with delight about your child’s spectacular jungle paradise.
Michael of My Wonderful Walls takes us through the whole process of painting a jungle mural with the Jungle Safari Wall Mural Stencil Kit. Learn how to paint the hills, blend colors and more in this quick tutorial video.
STEP 2: PAINT THE BACKGROUND WALLS
For a scene with sky and hills, you will need two colors of latex paint. We recommend an eggshell or a satin finish. Paint the sky and hills and let dry. If you want the hills to come above the furniture, use chalk to mark out where the furniture will be, and then sketch the hills. An easy way to paint hills is with a paint roller. Save background color paint for touch-ups. For a full tutorial, check out the article How To Paint the Sky and Hills in the Background.
STEP 3: PLAN THE LAYOUT
It's a good idea to plan out the layout of your design prior to stenciling. We’ve designed a useful tool for just that: The Virtual Mural Builder allows you to plan the whole room. Simply drag and drop the elements from the panel, try different variations and see what you like best. Once you get the jungle mural just as you want it, simply print it out to use a reference when you are painting your walls. We suggest creating a different scene for each wall. Also, it is useful to start with the jungle trees as this will give you a good framework for your scene.
STEP 4: GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES
In addition to the Wild Jungle Safari Stencil Kit, you’ll need just a few more items before you get started:
- An assortment of acrylic paints or our conveniently pre-assembled Jungle Acrylic Paint Pack
- 10-20 foam brushes of various sizes
- 1 fine-tip brush for touch-ups
- 1-2 foam rollers for the larger stencils
- Paper plates used to hold acrylic paints
- Paper towels and baby wipes used for keeping stencils clean
- Snacks because food makes is feel like a party
- Your favorite music to jam out to while you paint
STEP 5: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS & PAINT YOUR SCENE
The stencil kit comes with a detailed painting guide jam-packed with tips and tricks for easy mural painting. Read it from beginning to end and you’ll feel ready and prepared to begin painting your child’s jungle room. Learn proper stenciling techniques, how to create depth in a scene, how to avoid bleeding, with which stencil you should start with and so much more. Check out the full Jungle Painting Instruction Guide that comes with the kit.
We hope you feel excited and ready to paint your jungle nursery or jungle themed room that your child remember forever. With the Wild Jungle Safari Stencil Kit and other tools and resources provided, we are confident that you’ll find the experience of painting your own jungle mural a fun and rewarding one. Happy painting and please contact us if you have any questions. We are available 24/7 via email, through the chat feature or by phone (423-815-1703) from 10am to 6pm. We are happy to help and eager to get you the jungle room of your dreams!
Check out these amazing spaces that have been transformed all around the world with the DIY Jungle Safari Stencil Kit! You can do it too!
- Jungle Paradise in Montana
- Charlie's Jungle Themed Nursery
- Serene Jungle Scene in Switzerland
- Jungle Room for New Baby in D.C.
- Animal Lovers Create Jungle Room for New Baby in Ontario, Canada
- Community in Australia Comes Together to Paint Church Nursery
- Expecting Parents Bring the Jungle to New Jersey
- Jungle Room Makeover In Carlsbad, California!
- Netherlands Dad Paints Jungle Mural for His Precious Little One
How to Decorate Paper 0
With summer almost upon us, it’s the time for weddings, graduations, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and so many reasons to celebrate. If you’re looking for a unique way to show how much you care, you might want to make your own cards or wrapping paper for your loved one. Stencils are a perfect way to do this and there are a couple of ways to approach your project; painting or embossing. Either technique is a wonderful way to create something personal for anyone on your gift giving list or just to create something for you. Keep reading for some easy ideas on how to decorate paper.
One easy way to add some fun to paper is to emboss it. You can do this with a stencil, an embossing tool and a lighted work surface. For this technique, you’ll want a simple stencil, ideally one piece. Metal or mylar stencils of 7-mil thickness or more do well. Laser cut stencils are best because they will produce clean edges. Don’t have an embossing tool? Try a knitting needle. Don’t have a light table? Use a lamp set under a glass table. You’ll want good quality cardstock or medium weight paper but not too thick or darkly colored so that you can see the stencil through the paper when working.
To emboss your paper, attach the stencil to the paper with low tack tape. Turn the paper over and place it on your lighted surface. The stencil should be backlit through the paper. Using the larger end of your embossing tool or knitting needle, trace the inside edge of the design. Make sure to press hard enough to make an impression but not tear the paper. Now use the smaller end of the tool to trace again, this time press a little harder but again be careful not to tear the paper.
Remove the stencil and turn the paper over to see the finished impression. This is great for the corner of a note card, personal stationary or a border around notepaper. You can also choose to stencil paint your embossed image by stenciling the paint first then embossing.
To create gorgeous cards or wrapping paper, try using a stencil brush and blank tissue paper or cardstock. The lighter the paper, the lighter touch you should use. Fabric paint can be an excellent choice for stenciling paper, as it will go on smoothly and blend well. Oil paint also works great on paper because it contains no water.
To paint your paper, use low tack tape to attach your stencil to the paper. With very flimsy paper, you’ll want to hold your stencil by hand. Any paper can be stencil painted but you’ll want to make sure excess paint is offloaded and a gentle touch is applied. With heavier paper, you don’t need to be as concerned with excess offloading. You can also layer more prints and add in free form stenciling if you wish.
To make a set of cards with less hassle, stencil some free form motifs on loose paper, then cut out and frame them into cards with small cutout windows. This way, you’re not wasting expensive cardstock while you figure out how best to design your card.
For larger motifs you can use a roller brush instead. This will even work for tissue or wrapping paper but with tissue paper, make sure to offload plenty of paint or it may pass through to your work surface.
For heavier paper and a roller, you may want to use spray adhesive to keep your stencil in place. If there is any residue left over, use an art eraser to remove it.
These are some quick and easy ways to decorate paper and cards with stencils. Who wouldn’t like a card made by hand on their special day? If you’ve ever tried stenciling paper, let us know how it worked out in the comments below.
How to Stencil Any Surface 0
We talk a lot about stenciling walls here but our self-adhesive stencils are great for so much more! We’ve had customers use them on ceilings, floors, furniture, mirrors, crafts, etc. But if you’re going to use our stencils on something out of the ordinary, it’s best to know what makes a good stenciling surface and how best to get your surface ready. Keep reading below for some tips on different surfaces you can stencil.
- Wood: For best results, if finished, sand smooth first and remove dust with a damp cloth. If unfinished you can skip this step.
- Stone: Sand with a fine grit sanding block and remove dust with a damp cloth. If surface is uneven, make sure to use extra spray adhesive if necessary to adhere the stencil to the stone completely.
- Tin/Metal: If dirty, wash with warm soapy water and allow to dry. Wipe the surface with a cloth dampened with white vinegar or rubbing alcohol and allow to dry. There are some stencil paints available strictly for painting metal you may want to check out.
- Paper Mache: Wipe clean with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove dust. Let it dry.
- Glass/Ceramics: For best results, wash well with soapy water then allow to dry. Wipe surface with rubbing alcohol damped cloth or vinegar/water solution. Let dry completely before stenciling.
- Canvas: Wipe canvas clean with dampened cloth to remove dust before applying stencil.
- Terra Cotta: Wipe the surface clean with dampened cloth or paper towel. Seal interior of terra cotta flower pot with clear acrylic sealer.
- Fabric: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions from the fabric paint that you choose. If not using fabric paint, wash in soapy water. Do not use dryer sheet or fabric softener. Allow to dry and iron to remove wrinkles if needed, without using spray starch. See our blog post on Stenciling Fabrics for more information.
What other surfaces can you think of that you might like to stencil? With our easy to use stencils, the sky is the limit! If you’ve created something unique using one of our stencils please send us a pic at email@example.com! We’d love to see your masterpiece.
What Type of Paint Should I Use for My Stenciling Project? 0
When stenciling walls, we generally recommend using acrylic craft paints and or latex paints. But what about for all of your other stenciling projects? Here is a short list of different types of paint and their features and benefits.
Acrylic Craft Paints: Great for many applications, acrylic craft paints are what we sell on our site. They blend well, have a large variety of colors and are easy to clean up. They’re also not very expensive.
Stencil Cremes: Stencil crèmes are oil-based paints in a wax medium which won’t drip or run. When working with stencil crèmes, you must first remove the thin wax layer from the surface of the paint before loading your brush with color. Stencil crèmes blend together beautifully and create a soft, hand-painted feel.
Chalk Paints: Chalk paint has become very popular in recent years. It allows the do-it-yourself enthusiast the opportunity to paint, distress, stencil and possibly distress the stenciling using only one paint while decorating a piece of furniture.
Fabric Paints: Most fabric paints are thick and work well for stenciled application. Because most fabrics are very absorbent, you will need to offload more paint then with other projects. For more information on painting fabrics check out our blog post How to Stencil Fabrics.
Spray Paints: For some surfaces like plastic, spray paints can be used. They do require very good ventilation and you will need to mask the area around the stencil cut outs to make sure you don’t spread the color outside of the desired area. Spray paints can be very messy so they aren’t necessarily the most desirable choice.
Solid Oil Paints: You can purchase solid oil paints that look like crayons or that come in little pots in a craft or art store. The upside is they won’t bleed or spill because they are solid. They also blend and shade easily because they dry slowly. The downside to using solid oil paints is that you need to use a stencil brush rather than a roller or an airbrush which can make the process very slow.
Latex Paints: Great for large wall designs and all-over stencils, latex paint can be an economical choice. Latex paints dry quickly to the touch but can be slow to cure. This can cause problems when removing a stencil or tape which can peel little bits of the paint off with it. This can slow a project down as curing time is very variable depending on temperature and humidity.
These are the basic types of paint you may run into as you start planning your stenciling project. There are a large variety of additives, finishes and glazes that you may want to investigate as well depending on what you are stenciling. Having the right type of paint for your project ensures your success! Stay tuned for our next blog post regarding types of surfaces you can stencil.
How to Stencil Using a Sponge 0
If you are looking to add texture to a stenciled design, using a sponge to apply your paint is one easy way to do it. In this blog post, we will explore how to stencil using a sponge. This technique is great for many home and hobby stencils like our Herringbone Pattern Stencils or Hearts Allover Stencil.
You can choose to use something like a large sea sponge to create a stone effect or use a fine grained, soft sponge like a make up sponge for painting on glass surfaces. When painting with a sponge, your print will have a somewhat primitive look. If that isn’t what you are going for, look to our blog posts on How to Stencil Using a Roller with Liquid Paint or How to Stencil with a Brush.
No matter what type of sponge you select for your stenciling project, use a clean, dry sponge for each color. You will want to prepare the sponge by misting it lightly with water. Knead the sponge in your hand until the dampness has permeated it and your sponge is no longer stiff. You don’t want the sponge to be wet, just damp.
Next, you will want to pour several spoonfuls of paint onto a plate or palette. If you can pour more than one color without mixing them, do so, otherwise start with one color at a time.
Apply your stencil to the surface you will be painting. My Wonderful Walls stencils are self-adhesive but other commercial stencils may need an application of low-tack spray adhesive or tape.
Now you will dab your sponge into the paint. On a fresh spot on the plate or palette, dab the sponge up and down to work the paint into the crevices. Now offload (remove) some of the paint by dabbing your sponge onto a stack of paper towels. Because sponges tend to retain more paint than a brush be careful when making your print. Using a light touch, you can continue to dab the sponge all over the cutouts until all the areas are filled in.
Just like with any other stenciling project, you can remove the stencil from the surface before the paint is fully dry. You will be able to continue the process as you like until you have achieved the desired effect.
Another great way to use a sponge with a stencil is to create a faux stone effect on a wall, floor or other surface. You can combine sets of three or four colors to imitate granite, weathered concrete, terra-cotta or sandstone. Acrylic house paints are perfect for a project like this. Using the same basic steps as above, start with a base coat of paint in the color you want to be most prominent. (You may need to do some research on what different stones look like to decide the colors to use.) Apply an uneven layer of your base coat over the stencil cutouts with a roller.
Now, using a sea sponge dab on the other two or three colors in no way attempting to blend them. Let the paint start to dry then roll over the entire thing with a hardened stencil roller or rubber brayer. Exert just enough pressure to blend the colors slightly. Then roll over the surface again, even harder. This will cause the colors to blend and lift patches of the sponged-on paint. If not, you can spritz the surface with water lightly, wait a few seconds and roll again. The dampened bits should lift onto the brayer. You can then remove your stencil from the surface and move on. While this might seem like a lot of work when you can easily buy paints that mimic different stone effects, this will be much easier to paint over if you decide you tire of it as the texture is an optical illusion.
Now that you know how to stencil with a sponge and create some special effects, you are ready to redecorate that boring wall in your home you’ve been staring at! Let us know in the comments if you have ever used a sponge for painting or stenciling.