#180 or 220 Fine grit sand paper (#60 Grit is using pallet wood)
A few things you should know before getting started:
Paint bleeding underneath your stencil is common when stenciling on wood....
That being said,
Who wants a sign with an unattractive paint bleeding design? 😔
There is a better way to minimize paint bleed and create Beautiful Wood Signs!😊
Your frustrations are normal, this is a way too common issue that all DIYers face when stenciling (especially on wood)
We have a few DIY Techniques to help you stencil like a PRO & ensure your finished signs look AMAZING 😉
Are you ready?
🎉Great! Lets get started 🎉
Step 1: Prepping Your Wood Board
First thing to do is choose your favorite wood board to stencil onto, there is no one right board to use, this is part of the fun.
Some great wood board options:
Pallet wood planks:
Pro: It's typically FREE
Con: Rough surface will cause paint to easily bleed under stencil.
Solution: Sanding smooth the surface of your pallet plank will help ensure you have a ready-to-stencil board and minimize chances of any bleed.
Common Wood Planks from your local home improvement store:
Pro: Boards are smooth and ready-to-stencil with minimal sanding
Con: Not free
Essential Tip: Most hardware stores will cut your wood board to any size needed when asked. Make sure and write down the board measurements you will need for each sign you plan to make. Also, have an extra piece cut so you can practice stenciling onto.
Ok, Now that you have your wood board cut to size, it's time to get your board stencil ready!
1. Sand your board smooth with #180 or#220 fine grit sandpaper.
Remember to sand the edges and corners of the board (rounding out your edges will give your project a more worn rustic look)A smooth surface is important for getting the best finished stencil project.
2. Next, wipe your board clean and stain your board with a favorite stain of yours.
3. Apply thin coat ofpolyurethane with a fine brush, foam pad, or cloth over stain and let dry according to products instructions. (Applying this coating before moving on to painting will give you a beautiful chippy paint look :)
4. Paint your wood board with a chalk white paint and let dry for 30 minutes.
5. Lets make it rustic! Sand the edges and corners of your board exposing your stain underneath, continue sanding until you get your desired look.
There are so many possibilities to choose from when finishing your wood board, this is really up to what you want your sign to look like.
Here are some other great DIY videos/articles on creating different looks for your wood board.
Begin by dipping tips of bristles in paint and remove excess paint by dabbing brush on a paper towel or newspaper.
👉Very little paint should be left on the brush.👈
🎉 HOORAY! It's time to stencil 🎉
Step 4: Stippling Method
This takes patience, especially when you are stenciling a larger design.
Using the Stippling method, which is dabbing brush up and down against stencil openings.
Apply paint along the edge of the window (the shapes cut out from the stencil) gradually working toward the center of the window.
Apply paint to entire design
Continue stenciling entire design until you reach your desired look. (Multiple thin coats work better than 1 thick coat)
Option 2: Use a foam roller to apply your design onto your wood, this will be much faster but typically does not produce crisp clean lines like stippling method.
Step 5: Reveal Your Amazing Stenciled Sign!
Carefully lift stencil from top corner, revealing your AMAZING finished project!
BONUS Tip:Let your sign dry for 24 hours then lightly sand to create a more aged rustic looking sign!
🎉 Celebrate good signs, come on! 🎉
Don't forget to take care of your stencils & brushes
Cleaning your Stencils & Brushes
After each use, stencils and stencil tools should be cleaned thoroughly. Never Allow paint to dry in a stencil brush as it may ruin the brush. If using water-base paints, clean your stencils and tools in warm soapy water.For a quick paint removal, wipe stencils with a rubbing alcohol dampened paper towel. When stenciling with oil based paints, clean stenciling supplies with low-odor turpentine or mineral spirits.
Share your Favorite stenciling techniques in the comments below!