I recently decided the corner of my office needed some color. The white walls were glaring at me, but I couldn’t hang an expensive piece of artwork there. I needed to paint something myself.
…And since we’ve determined that painting is not one of my fortes, I decided to try a stenciling project.
…However, in addition to my lack of painting skills, I should also admit that I’ve always had some anxiety related to stenciling. It is one of the few D’s I remember receiving in school.
I was in fifth grade, and I’d never received a D before, never mind in Art class. What’s up with that?! Apparently I didn’t follow instructions, and my work was messy. When I asked my teacher about it, she pointed to the paint I had brushed beyond the stencil borders.
Yes, well… I could see how that was a basic stenciling requirement.
35+ years later, I felt ready to try again, and I promised myself to be very patient with the process.
And even though I was feeling some pressure with such a structured craft, picking out the colors and paint still allowed me to be creative.
I used Martha Stewart Satin Craft Multi-Surface paints in a combination of blues:
- Base: Deep Sea #32081
- Light: Summer Haze #32023
- Dark: Blue Sky #32021
The steps for stenciling are simple (Sure!):
- Paint the canvas with the base color. Allow it to dry completely.
- Place the clean stencil onto the dry canvas to plan the stencil location. If you are planning a symmetrical design, measure evenly between each stencil placement or use multiple stencils.
- Use masking tape to lightly secure the stencil to the painted canvas. Use as little tape as possible.
- Dab the stencil brush into the paint.
- Dab the stencil brush onto your palette (or a scrap piece of paper) until the excess paint is removed.
- Dab the paint onto the stencil, starting from the stencil border and brushing in towards the center. Do not brush outward.
- Take your time. Breathe.
Of course, you might want to search for more accurate instructions from a pro (Not someone who is permanently scarred from fifth grade art class!). I also recommend practicing your stencil technique beforehand on a piece of paper like I did.
This combination of blues turned out to be exactly what I wanted. The colors are calming, and the satin finish absorbs light instead of reflecting it. I am happy with how it turned out…and I’m crossing my fingers for a B this time around.