How to Stencil a Focal Wall

Introduce a dramatic focal wall into a living room by stenciling a wall with a creative pattern.

Gray Stenciled Transitional Stairway With Red Chaise

Striking Stenciled Staircase

By: Janell Beals

Materials Needed:

  • stencil
  • stencil brush
  • painter's tape
  • pencil
  • wall color paint
  • accent color paint
  • paper towels
  • level


Choose wall to stencil and select stencil design, wall color and accent color to paint stencil design. Paint wall if it is not already the chosen wall color.

Ladder Beside Blank Gray Wall in Preparation for Stenciling

Select and Prepare Wall Space for Stencil Project

Determine Starting Point

Determine design layout and position stencil on the wall at starting point. Attach the stencil using painter's tape.

Stencil Attached to Wall With Green Painter's Tape

Determine Starting Point and Tape Stencil to Wall

Paint Stencil Design

Paint design on wall with a stencil brush using dry brush method. Begin by dipping tips of bristles in paint and remove excess by dapping brush on a paper towel.

Paintbrush Dabbing Excess Paint on Paper Towel

Paint Using Dry Brush Method

Paint Using Stippling Method

Apply paint using stippling method, which is dapping brush against stencil openings. Tip: Do not brush paint over stencil openings as this will lead to paint seeping under stencil.

Painting With Stencil Using Stippling Method

Paint Using Stippling Method

Hold Stencil in Place

Apply pressure to stencil around openings while stippling to ensure sharp paint lines.

Painting Using Stencil

Hold Stencil in Place While Painting

Mark Registration Points

Trace all four registration points with a pencil prior to moving stencil.

Pencil Tracing Stencil Registration Point

Mark Stencil Registration Points

Move Stencil

Move stencil by lining up stencil registration points to continue design. Tape stencil in place and repeat painting process. Tip: Use a level to check stencil tile placement to ensure design is painted evenly.

Stencil Taped Beside Painted Pattern on Gray Wall

Move and Tape Stencil

Repeat Steps

Continue painting stencil design, mark registration points and move stencil across and down wall until desired area is covered with design.

Repeating Diamond Stencil Pattern on Gray Wall

Repeat Stencil Design Across Wall

Extend Design To Wall Edges

Paint stencil design to edges of wall and trim to create a seamless look resembling wallpaper.

Repeating Wall Stencils

Extend Design To Wall Edges

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