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Paint - FAQ's

Will my stenciled designs need to be sealed or protected?

How do I stencil on fabric?

I would like to stencil my refrigerator, what paint is best to use?

Can I use colored pencils instead of stencil paints, with your stencils?

What brand of paints do you recommend?

What are stencil cremes?

Which do you prefer, stencil cremes or liquid acrylic paints?

I would like to stencil fabric for upholstery. What paint do you recommend that will hold up to daily use?

Can I use stencil cremes on wood?

Can I apply latex paint over a surface finished with an oil-based product?

Oil based paints seem to become brittle after years of wear. Will acrylic latex paint deteriorate like this?

I am preparing to stencil a metal mailbox that will be placed outdoors. What type of paint do you suggest I use?

I will be stenciling a dresser that has been painted with an interior semi-gloss. Can I use semi- gloss paint on top of the semi- glossed surface or do I need to purchase acrylic paint?

I am thinking of stenciling an old porcelain sink. Do I need to use a special type of stencil or paint?

Can I use stencil cremes on fabric?

How much paint will I need to complete my stenciling project?

What are paint crayons?

How do you use paint crayons to stencil?

Can I use spray paint on your reuseable stencils?




Will my stenciled designs need to be sealed or protected?

Most stencil paints available today have proven to be very washable and durable and under normal use do not need extra protection. However, if your stenciled designs are exposed to excess traffic, wear and tear (kitchens or children's rooms) or the outdoor elements, we recommend that you use a more durable paint such as Plaid's Durable Colors or DecoArt's Patio Paint for these areas. These brands are weatherproof and waterproof and have proven to be excellent choices for outdoor or high humidity, or high traffic areas and do not require a sealer. Enamels may be a good choice and typically dry to a hard, washable surface and are fairly glossy. If you've already stenciled using the normal craft acrylics or gels and worry about your work, we suggest you protect your stenciling with a waterbase urethane for exterior use available at any Wal-Mart or hardware store. Allow your stenciling to cure for several days, then apply the sealer/finish according to the manufacturer's instructions. I've had great success with applying the finish with a roller, although others prefer a paint brush. Your choice.

FAQ graphic example

How do I stencil on fabric?

Before stenciling fabric, wash and dry fabric according to label instructions. This will remove the sizing (chemical coating) in new fabric. If this sizing is not removed, your stencil paint will not bond well with the fabric. Place a piece of cardboard under the layer of fabric being stenciled. This is to prevent bleed-through to other parts of the fabric. Secure your stencil in place with low tack masking tape. Load your brush and stencil. Apply several light applications of paint, instead of one thick application. Allow fabric to dry for at least 48 hours or according to manufacturer's instructions. Some fabric paints (and stencil cremes) need up to two weeks for the paint to cure. Curing for other paints require heat application ins some form, either by covering the stenciled area with a cloth and applying the heat with an iron or the clothes dryer. Check the manufacturer's instructions for proper heat setting and laundering instructions.

I would like to stencil my refrigerator, what paint is best to use?

We recommend Durable Colors by Plaid.

Can I use colored pencils instead of stencil paints, with your stencils?

Yes, you may use colored pencils. It would be time consuming compared to applying paint. Also, the shading and color variation effects produced with pencils is quite different than that of stencil paints. But if that is your preference, yes, certainly you can use pencils.

What brand of paints do you recommend?

There are so many good brands on the market; Plaid, DecoArt, Folk Art, Delta Ceramcoat and Apple Barrel. I feel comfortable using any of these brands and usually base my decision on specific colors available for my project and cost.

What are stencil cremes?

Stencil cremes are a type of paint that has the consistency of lipstick or a solid shoe polish. You can stencil on walls, fabric, wood, metal and most surfaces with the stencil cremes and they clean up easily with soap and water.

Which do you prefer, stencil cremes or liquid acrylic paints?

Each type of paint has it's advantages. Liquid acrylics come in a wide variety of colors, are less expensive and they dry quickly. Stencil cremes are easier to blend, dry slower, and do not cause "drip" problems. I would say that it depends on your project.

I would like to stencil fabric for upholstery. What paint do you recommend that will hold up to daily use?

After some research, I found a website that would answer that question better than I. The website is: http://fabricpaint.com/library/PaintingUpholstery.txt They recommend a paint made by Tri-Chem called Stencil-On Paint.

Can I use stencil cremes on wood?

Yes you can. However, the color will not be as bold if the wood has been stained. Stencil cremes work best on unfinished or painted wood.

Can I apply latex paint over a surface finished with an oil-based product?

Yes. You have two choices to do this. First would be to wash the surface then sand and then clean the sanding dust off. You then apply your latex paint over the oil based paint. That process works for both interior and exterior applications. Your other option is to wash the surface and then apply a coat of a bonding primer and then topcoat.

Oil based paints seem to become brittle after years of wear. Will acrylic latex paint deteriorate like this?

No. The particles of acrylic latex paint fuse together to form a film that remains flexible over the life of the paint. This film has the ability to expand and contract with the surface, which helps give the paint superior durability.

I am preparing to stencil a metal mailbox that will be placed outdoors. What type of paint do you suggest I use?

We recommend No-Prep Metal Paint by DecoArt. There are a variety of colors to choose from , no primer or varnish required and it is easy to clean up. We do suggest though that you do a sample design first to test for colorfastness.

I will be stenciling a dresser that has been painted with an interior semi-gloss. Can I use semi- gloss paint on top of the semi- glossed surface or do I need to purchase acrylic paint?

You can go right ahead and use the semi-gloss paint. No need to use acrylics.

I am thinking of stenciling an old porcelain sink. Do I need to use a special type of stencil or paint?

You can use any type of stencil however you will have to use a paint especially designed for porcelain surfaces. We recommend Porcelaine 150. Porcelain paint does have to be fired or baked in the oven. With the Porcelaine 150 paints you can bake them in the oven at 300 degrees for 35 minutes and then allow them 24 hours drying time. They come in a variety of colors and are soap and water washable before baking. You can find out more about these paints at www.pebeo.com.

Can I use stencil cremes on fabric?

Absolutely. You will achieve a nice effect with cremes on most types of fabric. Simply make sure you prewash your fabric first. After stenciling, simply wait 2 weeks before the first washing. If you're unsure about the fabric you're using, simply do test the paint on a scrap of the fabric.

How much paint will I need to complete my stenciling project?

There are two factors to consider when determining the quantity of paint you'll need, the design itself(how large the design is, and the number of colors required), as well as the distance from left to right that the design will need to fill. A good rule of thumb is that one jar of stencil creme, or one bottle of acrylic paint will stencil an average room. This estimate is per color. If you're unsure, two will definately suffice.

What are paint crayons?

A paint crayon is a solid stencil paint in crayon form.

How do you use paint crayons to stencil?

You would remove the seal from the end of the crayon using a wiping motion with a paper towel. Apply a circular spot of paint onto an uncut part of the stencil you are using. This will serve as a palette for you to swirl your brush in. Apply paint to your brush and begin stenciling.

Can I use spray paint on your reuseable stencils?

Yes. Just make sure to use light, sweeping coats of paint, so as not to overload the stencil, which would cause the paint to run under the stencil openings. To clean the stencil afterward, simply soak it in acetone and let dry.