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How To Stencil a Wall

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Stencilling is an inexpensive and easy way to express your creative talent in a room.

What you need: A favourite stencil, tape, acrylic paints, good quality stencilling brush, soft cloth and cotton buds.

1. Choose a stencil that suits the room you have in mind. There’s a great range available online at www.stencil-library.com or www.stencilsource.com. Or try shops such as Laura Ashley and Lincraft.

2. Make sure the surface you want to stencil is clean, dry and dust free.

3. Place your stencil on the wall in the desired position and tape it in place.

4. Gently apply the paint to the cut-out areas in small, neat brush strokes, being careful not to lift the stencil from the wall. It’s a good idea to start from the edges of the stencil and work inwards.

5. Use a moist cotton bud to gently dab at any small spills as you go.

6. When you have finished, gently peel the stencil away from the wall and allow the paint to dry.

7. If you're doing a repeat design, wash your stencil regularly in warm water to keep the edges free of paint. If there's some paint on an edge, you won't get a crisp edge to your painted stencil. Leave the stencil to dry before using it again.

Tips: Avoid using very thin paint as it may bleed and run.

Don’t overload your brush with paint as it may seep under the stencil.

If you make a mistake, peel away the stencil and use a damp cloth to wipe off the paint.

Old x-rays are perfect for cutting your own stencil patterns.

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