HomeDIY CraftHow To Stencil A Wall + My Best Tips

How To Stencil A Wall + My Best Tips

Looking for a budget-friendly way to spruce up a boring wall? Try stenciling! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to paint a stencil on a wall.

Although I love peel and stick wallpaper, it can add cost and stenciling is a great way to get an textured look without having to spend a lot of money. All you need are paint and paint tools!

Things you’ll need

  • Wall stencil
  • Paint (I recommend using a matte gloss)
  • Foam roller
  • Paper towels (for cleaning and smudges)
  • Drop the cloth Or plastic covers
  • Stencil adhesive spray, painter’s tape or Museum paste
  • Small paintbrush (for finishing touches, as needed)

Products used for this project

I recommend using matte paint for stencil projects. These matte paints will not show imperfections and it is nice to see your stencil design without the shine. But, of course – this is a personal choice.

I painted my son’s room for this project and he loves the space. Found This celestial night sky stencil is one of the advanced stencils on Etsy, but they have their own website too, so you might want to check out both.

I color matched Newburyport Blue by Benjamin Moore with Behr matte paint. Next, I used Behr Matte paint in Platinum for the stencil portion.

Stencil tips

  • Start with a flat stencil: My stencil arrived rolled. You may want to flatten it by twisting it in the opposite direction and placing it under some heavy books for a while to remove any wrinkles or creases.
  • Test first! Attach your stencil to the wall: I first tried holding up my stencil using painter’s tape. He fell over and over again. I switched to using mounting paste on all four corners of the stencil and never looked back – it was amazing. I think your best bet is to use stencil adhesive spray on the back of the stencil to help it stick to the wall and prevent paint bleeding. If you do this, be sure to follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions. Test and make sure the method you choose will work!
  • Print small spaces and tight corners (do it last!): When you run out of wall space for the entire stencil to fit (such as the bottom or end of the wall), you have to get creative here. You can choose not to stencil the entire design and just the parts of the design that make it easier for you. For example, I decided to forego painting all the stars on the bottom of the wall, even though they fit. It would have been very difficult and the risk of tampering with it was very high for such a small amount. You’ll have to bend your stencil to fit these spaces, so be sure to clean the backing well beforehand – which is why I suggest saving these tight spaces for last.
How to stencil a wall and overlap the design

How to stencil a wall step by step

Step 1: Prepare the wall

How to Stencil a Wall - Start with a freshly painted surface

Start with a freshly painted or cleaned wall. Fill any nail holes before stenciling for more professional results.

Step 2: Start from the corner

The easiest way to do this is to start in the corner and use the wall as your guide. The stencil I used is meant to overlap (by lining up the moons), and this is how you will continue to move forward with the design.

How to Stencil a Wall - Start from the corner

Progressing Mounting putty Or painter’s tape or stencil adhesive and stick the stencil to the wall. Make sure it stays put before painting. I applied Mounting putty (or museum or earthquake putty) in the four corners and press down flat against the wall.

Step 3: Apply paint

Dip the foam roller into your chosen paint color, then roll the excess paint over the surface Paint tray, paper towel or cloth. Roll the paint onto the stencil, do not press too hard on the roller as this may cause the paint to bleed under the stencil.

How to stencil a wall and overlap the design

Step 4: Remove the stencil

Carefully remove the stencil while the paint is still wet to avoid smudging. Don’t allow your stencil to hang there while the paint dries – you will end up “painting” your stencil on your wall!

Step 5: Repeat the process

If your design requires repetition, reposition the stencil using your instructions and secure with painter’s tape. Continue stenciling until the entire wall is covered.

How to stencil a wall and overlap the design

Step 6: Finish and touch up

Allow the stenciled design to dry completely before removing any painter’s tape or touching up any imperfections. If necessary, use a small paintbrush to address any areas where paint may bleed or lines are blurry.

Clean your stencil

Clean the stencil immediately after use to prevent paint buildup so it is ready for future uses. Use warm soapy water and a paper towel to remove any paint residue.

The final result!

Here’s how his room looks now.

How to Paint a Wall with Stencils - Showing a celestial night sky painted in blue
How to Paint a Wall with Stencils - Showing a celestial night sky painted in blue
Close-up view of a stenciled wall against the night sky

I love the end result and he does too. It’s fun, much cheaper and faster than making an entire wall of wallpaper.

How to Paint a Wall with Stencils - Showing a celestial night sky painted in blue

Remember to work patiently and take your time when stenciling a wall to achieve a professional-looking result. Use Pinterest and trending wallpaper designs to help you come up with design and color options.


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