Post details: Stenciling Away


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Stenciling Away

Add life to any room in a few easy steps.

Stenciling AwayGetting Started
Stencils aren't just for borders anymore. You'll find them accenting kitchen cabinets, dressing up drapes, and punctuating painted furniture. Here's a quick primer on this popular decorative technique.



Add a bit of nature to any room.

Fruit Vine Stencil
The easiest, and most typical way to stencil is by repeating one design in one color. But if you want a design that looks more like a hand-painted picture, consider using a stencil pattern with multiple overlays. This fruit vine stencil is made by first painting the vine and leaves, then adding each piece of fruit, using a total of three stencil layers. We used the thicker, cream-type stencil paints. This allowed us to blend and shade the paints to add depth. The effect is luscious, full, and colorful. While this design would make a great wall border, we've used it here to edge a painted floor. (For durability, the design is covered with several coats of non-yellowing polyurethane.)

Fruit Vine StencilOne advantage to this multiple overlay stencil is that you can pluck individual morsels from your vine and apply them in surprise spots. For example, this peach would look great on a tabletop. Also consider putting fruits on pillow shams, window treatments, or lampshades.


Stenciling Step-By-Step

The fruit vine stencil shown on the previous page is a good example of a relatively easy multi-color project for a beginner. You can use these general techniques on just about any stenciling project.

What You Need:

- Stencil creams in avocado green, gray, red, antique gold, blue, and dioxazine purple
- stencil brushes
- low-tack painter's tape
- paper plates

When painting, dab a dry brush into the stencil cream, then dab excess paint onto a paper plate until the effect is powdery. Very little paint is needed. You can let paint dry between colors and overlays (about 2-4 hours) or immediately blend colors on top of each other for a soft effect in shaded areas. Be sure to clean stencil plastic frequently with all-purpose cleaner.


Fruit Vine Stencil1. Tape the first overlay in place. Use green to paint vine, leaves, and tendrils. Shade leaves and branches with gray. Remove first overlay and continue around the room until done.



Step 1

Fruit Vine Stencil2. Tape the second overlay in place. Use red to paint the cherries and apples; shade with gray. Block out the grape with tape while painting the apple. Paint the grape with blue and purple; shade with gray. Block out the apple while painting the grape. Continue around the room.


Step 2

3. Tape the third overlay in place. Use gold to paint the peaches and cantaloupe. Shade the peaches with red, using curved plastic or cardboard to create the peach's center ridge. Shade the cantaloupe with green, using curved plastic or cardboard for the center ridge. Continue around the room.

Better Homes and Gardens



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