This is a complete stenciling tutorial. Learn how to stencil using multiple paint colors to give any design a professional look. This special stencil technique is used to create an unbelievably beautiful stenciled design. I learned this technique a few years ago in my trial-and-error painting days.
Our den is decorated in the deep, rich colors of Fall, so I choose the colors for the stencil to match my decor. You guys know how much I love the color. The bolder, the better. No Farmhouse style here.
How To Paint And Stencil Furniture
The cedar chest is a thrifty find from my favorite junk shop. The chest was topless and a little beat up but for $7 who’s complaining and of course it's perfect for painting.
The color I chose is Spanish Moss in FolkArt Home Decor Chalk. I love the chalk finish ultra matte look. The FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Brush is one of my favorite tools. It holds a lot of paint and usually, one coat of chalk paint does the trick.
The chalk paint levels out nicely too so no brush marks. You can apply wax over the paint but it's not necessary.
Stenciling Tutorial Using Multiple Colors
1. Select The Stencil
For added glam, I decided on a large wall/furniture stencil for the side of the chest. The FolkArt Home Decor Peony Stencil is just gorgeous and I knew the perfect color combo to take it over the top. This is a one-piece stencil. It's not necessary to buy a multi layer stencil to use multiple paint colors in the design.
I don’t want you guys to freak out or anything, but I cut the stencil in two. I know….but it’s okay. I still have both parts! To position the stencil for the best effect I needed to cut it. Some of you may have a workaround but this worked best for me.
I am not much on centering stuff or making things look symmetrical. That's why I placed the floral stencil on one end of the front of the chest. I taped down the outer edges of the stencil with painter's tape.
2. Choose The Paint Colors
Now comes the really cool part. Metallic Paint. The shinier the better I say. I selected three FolkArt Acrylic Metallic paint colors; Solid Bronze, Copper, and Antique Gold for the project.
3. Prepare Paints
Before starting the stenciling I pour my paints onto a paper plate. It's kind of hard to get that stencil brush down into the paint bottle so this works great. It doesn't take much paint at all to stencil a design so don't waste your paint.
4. Dip Stencil Brush Into Paint.
Be sure and choose the right size stencil brush. Brushes come in a wide variety of widths. The choice of brush will depend on the size of the cutout details in the design. Dip your brush into the paint.
5. Wipe Excess Paint From The Brush
The secret to stenciling is using a dry paint brush. That means you need to wipe excess paint from the brush onto a paper towel or paper plate. You keep wiping the paint off until the brush is almost dry. You might think you can't see the color once it's stenciled if you have such a small amount of paint but that's not true. Using the dry brush technique will keep you from getting those ugly blobs of paint under your stencil.
6. Stencil The Design Using Multiple Paint Colors
The first color I stenciled with is Solid Bronze. Sometimes I swirl the stencil brush but with the highly detailed stencil, pouncing worked best. I didn’t cover the stenciled area completely. Remember we have 3 metallic paint colors for the job. The edges of the stencil I couldn’t tape down I held in place with my free hand. I don’t normally use stencil adhesive but you certainly can.
7. Add Depth To The Stencil
Once the first color was dry I applied the second color, Antique Gold. Don’t try to paint all areas of the stencil evenly. It will look more realistic to use a random color pattern. Just apply the antique gold color willy-nilly.
I applied the Copper color as the finishing touch for the stencil. Or so I thought. Once the paint was dry and I stepped back to look at my work I knew it needed something else. The metallic colors were beautiful but the flower didn’t seem to have the depth I was looking for.
I went back to my acrylic paint drawer and pulled out a dark acrylic paint called Burnt Umber and poured a little bit onto the paper plate. I stenciled the paint along the outer edge of the flower and a few other areas. Again using a random pattern with the paint.
And the pretty peony turned out just like I envisioned. The peony stencil is such a lovely design. I can see it on a white wall stenciled in metallic silver. Wouldn’t that be dramatic? I painted the cedar chest so I would have a place to store my pillows. The colors of the stencil are so pretty against the leaf print of the pillows and the recliner.
The stencil took about 30 minutes to complete. Really. Do you see how layering paint colors give the stencil depth and character? Some stencils come with two or three sheets used to get this effect. You really just need one stencil.
I decided against using a sealer or wax over the paint. I like the contrast of the metallics against the matte chalk. What’s your favorite part of the project? Don’t be shy. Thanks for being here, Kathy
"This post first appeared on Petticoat Junktion in October of 2016. Reposted for those of you who have questions about the proper way to stencil."
Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com