How to Make Spray Paint Stencils
Spray paint stencils range from simple hearts or circles to complex city
scenes or realistic portraits. Homeowners may make spray paint stencils
to liven up an old piece of furniture or create a border in a room.
Artists are usually more interested in making intricate stencils in order
to fully portray their thoughts or ideas. In this article, you will learn
what steps and materials are necessary to create a simple or complex
spray paint stencil.
1Come up with a plan before starting to make spray paint
stencils.<Determine what size stencil you need. If the stencil is going
to be large, it is okay to include small details. If the stencil is going
to be small, a simpler design should be used.
Know how many colors you want to include in the stenciled image. This
will affect the amount of materials you need and how many stencils you
need to create.
2Draw a picture of the image you want to create a stencil from or find a
picture or photograph online.
3Create the final image with clean lines and good contrast.If you are
drawing your own image, clearly outline the areas of the image that will
be cut out for the stencil. Remember that you need to define the edges
and the details of your image, or the stencil will not portray your
If you are using a photograph or an online image, you need to use a
software program that can adjust the contrast and brightness of your
image so that you have defined dark and light areas.
4Print out the final image on a regular piece of computer paper. It is a
good idea to outline the areas that will be cut out for the stencil with
a pencil or marker to ensure you have clean lines for your stencil.
5Choose the type of stencil material you want to use.Cardboard or foam
board are good for large, simple stencils on flat surfaces.
Paper works for a single-use stencil on either flat or rounded surfaces.
Poster board holds up better than paper and can be used on flat or
slightly rounded surfaces.
Plastic or clear acetate are good if creating reusable stencils for
either flat or rounded surfaces.
Frisket film, which is a clear film with a slightly sticky backing, is
good for flat and rounded surfaces.
6Tape the paper with the stencil image to the stencil material.
Alternately, attach it with spray adhesive or transfer the image to the
stencil material using tracing paper.
7Cut out the areas of your image where you want the paint to show using a
utility knife. If the stencil will have more than one color, create
different stencils for each color.
8Attach the stencil to your painting surface with tape or by spraying
adhesive on the back of the stencil, and then waiting 1 to 2 minutes
before sticking it on the painting surface. If the stencil material is
frisket film, simply remove the backing and stick it to the painting
If you¡¯re starting from a photograph or image, it¡¯s okay to alter the
image in order to make your stencil work. Sometimes outside edges need to
be created, or some dark areas need to be eliminated in order to create a
stencil that adequately portrays the original image.
<Things You'll Need
Drawing or image for stencil
Picture editing software
Cardboard or foam board
Plastic or clear acetate
Masking or painter¡¯s tape
Spray Paint (if painting with stencil)
Paint of some kind (if spray paint unavailable
Around $15-$25 (if using cardboard/foam board) (maybe more if using spray
or good quality paint)
How to Paint Walls With Stencils
How to Spray Paint Furniture
How to Stencil an Item Using Spray Paint
How to Make Multi Layered Stencil Art
How to Spray Paint Art
How to Do Spray Painting
How to Stencil Print
Sources and Citations