Stencilling is a means of design reproduction that dates back centuries ago. Even though it is an ancient technique, it is still relevant today, particularly to the newest digital-cutting methods used by stencil artists. It is no wonder that many people have adopted stencilling for interior décors.

Being versatile, stencils serve a wide range of purposes from creating gorgeous patterns for cabinets to decorative borders on the walls. Here, we shall discuss popular materials, techniques, and benefits of stencils? This is a comprehensive overview of stencilling.

What Are the Best Materials for Stencils?

Stencilling is about designing perfect images, lines, logos, and patterns for items. Most importantly, it allows you to replicate professional designs without the need for in-depth drawing skills. A number of materials are used to make stencils:

  • Paper cutouts
  • Plastic binder dividers
  • Vinyl
  • Masking tapes

Each material has its own benefits. Vinyl stencils are some of the most durable designs, while paper cutouts are not suitable for creating sharper lines. On the other hand, stencils made from plastic dividers are usually thick and can be reused. Lastly, masking tape is the easiest way to create stencils, but it is less durable than vinyl.

Common Stenciling Techniques

While stencils are hand-cut, there are popular tools for creating them from digital images. Examples of such tools include CNC router, Silhouette, and Cricut. Vinyl stencils are usually made with digital cutting machines. This allows for the production of complex designs with islands but no bridges. However, such designs cannot be reused.

Regardless of the equipment used in production, stencils are classified into two: reusable and one-shot. Reusable stencils are less complicated and are contained on one sheet. Their islands comprise of bridges that hold everything together. On the other side, one-shot stencils do not have bridges on the islands. Usually created on adhesive vinyl, these stencils are highly detailed.

Applying Paint over the Stencil

There are three methods for applying paint through stencils: airbrushing, stippling, and brush painting. In each of the three methods, thin coats of paint are applied to avoid messing up. Airbrushing is by far the most effective way, but it takes time to cover the areas that don’t require painting. When sprayed from a good distance, this method doesn’t cause annoying pools of paint.

The easiest method for painting a stencil is brush painting. However, the paint might seep through the surface and collect around corners. One must be careful when using a stencil brush to avoid over-painting. To minimize the mess, sponges are used to dab the excess paint.

Stippling entails the use of foam stipplers to soak up the paint. Since the stipplers are used to dab the stencils in perpendicular motion, they are more effective than stencil brushes.

Keep in mind that stencils are intended for single-color designs. But they can still work in multiple color images. Designing an image into multi-colored stencils requires an advanced image editor.

You Have all the Reasons to Love Stencils

The best thing about stencils is that they are reusable and unique. Since they can be altered in different ways (shading, over/under spraying, and alignment), the designs can never be the same. That is why you find stencil posters having a primitive yet chaotic feel.

Due to their versatile nature, you can use stencils for advertising, packaging invitations, posters, t-shirt printing, among other types of arts. Install them anywhere you need repeatable images and logos, and your project is good to go.