Decorative Paint Technique: Wall Stenciling Instructions

Danielle Hirsch modernizes this stenciling technique with layers of color and style.


For a custom look, mix decorative techniques any way you see fit. No one else on the block will have a look like this!

For a custom look, mix decorative techniques any way you see fit. No one else on the block will have a look like this!

Materials and Tools:

paint tray
stencil brush
artist acrylics (yellow and red) – Delta Ceramcoat
cosmetic wedges
stencil (Flower Power 4027) –
spray adhesive
tinted Venetian plaster (YM-9 3/4, MA-23, RD-18) – Modern Masters
drop cloth or poster board
latex paint, eggshell finish (base coat: Linen White); strie color (Picante 006) – Benjamin Moore


1. Prepare the walls for painting; apply the base coat and let dry. One way to modernize stenciling is to start with a decorative finish. To create the same look Danielle did, follow the strie instructions to start this project. Or, choose another decorative finish as your starting point.

2. Protect the work area by spraying the adhesive onto the back of the first layer of the stencil against a drop cloth or poster board. Spray adhesive is like tape; it holds the stencil in place, but allows it to peel off easily when done. Put the stencil in the desired position on the wall.

Untitled 2,536


Untitled 2,536

3. Less paint is more in stenciling, so barely graze the top of the brush over the surface of the yellow paint (artist acrylic provides more coverage than regular paint), and brush off the excess onto a rag. The small amount of paint, along with a dabbing motion around the edges, helps alleviate bleeding underneath the stencil.

4. There's no need to wait for the paint to dry when done; just peel the stencil off carefully. If no paint has seeped underneath, position the stencil elsewhere on the wall and repeat the process. The spray adhesive should stick for two or three uses. Wash both sides of the stencil every few uses to remove paint/adhesive, and dry thoroughly. Repeat until done, and let paint dry thoroughly.

Untitled 2,540


Untitled 2,540

5. For layered stencils, it's critical to line up the pattern perfectly. Use cosmetic wedges to add red for the next layer of color. The wedges provide more control of the paint in small areas. Let dry thoroughly.

6. If desired, follow the Venetian plaster instructions to add a hint of texture and shine to the second layer of this technique.

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