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Surfaces - FAQ's

How do I stencil on fabric?

How do you stencil on rough textured walls?

Can I stencil paneling?

How do I prepare wood objects for stenciling?

Can I stencil on tile?

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

What is the easiest way to remove my old wallpaper border before I begin my stenciling project?

Can I use stencil cremes on wood?

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

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?

How do you stencil onto candles?

Can I paint on ceramic tile?




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.

How do you stencil on rough textured walls?

There are several kinds of textures that home builders use, ranging from a slight texturing (orange peel) to the more heavily textured such as popcorn. We do not recommend stenciling on the more heavily textured walls unless you are willing to smooth the wall a bit before you stencil. Smoothing is accomplished by sanding, application of spackling followed by a light sanding or wet sanding of the area (especially true for ceilings). Keep in mind that a fresh coat of paint after spackling and sanding is a good idea. If you are absolutely fixed on stenciling textured walls, you'll have more success if your wall is lightly textured, if choose a more open, flowing design instead of one containing tiny designs, and if you use stencil cremes instead of liquid acrylics. If you are not sure if stenciling will work on your textured wall, purchase a cheap stencil at Wal-Mart (or make a simple one out of thin cardboard or plastic) and test a small portion of the design on an inconspicuous area of your wall first (closet).

Can I stencil paneling?

Yes, you can. First wash the paneling to remove wax or dirt. If your paneling is fairly glossy, your stencil paint may not stick to it. If this is the case, coat your paneling with a bonder or primer such as KILZ. Check with your hardware store. There are several brands available. Apply a coat or two of flat or satin latex paint or oil-based eggshell. Allow to dry. Stencil.

How do I prepare wood objects for stenciling?

If your wood is unfinished, sand first and then wipe with a moistened cloth to remove dust residue. Apply a stain or clear wood sealer (flat or satin finishes). Allow to dry and then proceed with stenciling. You may then apply an oil or waterbase finish after you have allowed your stencil paint to cure (usually 2-3 days). Follow manufacturer's instructions for cure time as well as finish application. Keep in mind that waterbase finishes rarely yellow surfaces, while oil-base polyurethane can. For pre-finished paneling: Wash to remove wax or dirt. If applying a glaze for a pickled look, test the color in an inconspicuous place. If the paneling has a glossy finish, paint may not adhere to it. In that case, paint paneling with a bonder/primer such as BIN or KILZ or with two coats of an oil-based eggshell paint. After stenciling, roll or brush on one or two coats of waterbase varnish for maximum scrubbability.

FAQ graphic example

Can I stencil on tile?

If your tiles are already installed, I recommend that you clean the ceramic tiles with vinegar and warm water or rubbing alcohol. Allow them to dry thoroughly. Secure the stencil with masking tape. Ultra Gloss Air Cure Enamels by DecoArt is a popular brand of paint. There are many other brands on the market that work well, but be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions before you bein. Always use a clean, very dry brush. A damp brush will cause your paint to run. If you need to thin the paint, never use water. Instead, use DecoArt UltraGloss Clear Medium. Load your brush and remove most of it using a paper towel. Use a stippling motion to apply the paint to the stencil openings. It is far better to apply the paint in light layers, one layer at a time, allowing the paint to dry to the touch between layers. When you remove the stencil, it is sometimes necessary to clean up the edges of the stencil design with a sharp edge or tool. Allow the paint to cure. Curing time varies according to the manufacturer. If you are painting an object that can be baked, do so, as baking will increase the durability of the paint. If the object cannot be baked (such as tiles that are already installed) take a hair dryer and dry the painted designs thoroughly. We never recommend scrubbing tiles that have been stenciled. A gentle wiping motion is all that should be used. Protecting your stenciled tiles is important. DecoArt makes a ceramic glaze to apply after the tiles have been painted to create a harder wearing finish/protective coat. This is a must. If your tiles are not installed yet, all the better. If you can paint the tiles and then bake them in your oven, the painted surfaces are at least 2-3 times more durable. We still recommend using the ceramic glaze to protect your stenciling work. Make sure to read the label for additional instructions, such as oven temp and time, etc.

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

We recommend Durable Colors by Plaid.

What is the easiest way to remove my old wallpaper border before I begin my stenciling project?

Simply peel away what you can and then the rest of the border can be removed by mixing liquid fabric softener with hot water (about one cup fabric softener to a gallon of hot water). Just mix up the fabric softener and water, take a sponge and thoroughly saturate it with the solution and "wash" the area of border that didn't come off. Wait a few minutes and then take a scraper and remove.

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.

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.

How do you stencil onto candles?

We recommend combining equal parts of our Apple Barrel Acrylic paint with DecoArt's Candle Painting Medium. The candle medium will allow the acrylic paint to adhere to the candle without running or separating.

Can I paint on ceramic tile?

Yes. First, clean the surface you intend to paint. We recommend a mix of ammonia and water. A 50/50 solution is best. You may want to wash with a mild acid solution afterward, if you have excessive grout on the surface. You can find this solution at most home improvement stores. Let dry. You'll want to prime the surface next. We recommend Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer-Sealer. Let dry. Now you're ready to paint. Oil based paint works best on this surface. You can also various epoxy coatings that are very durable. Let the paint cure for 2-3 weeks, and avoid abrasive cleaners.