There are 3 main steps in stenciling
1. Position your stencil: The first step to print design using a stencil is to stabilize your stencil on the work surface. Place your stencil flat on the work surface and adhere it in position using a painter’s low tack masking tape. You can also convert your stencils into low-tack repositionable stencils using spray adhesive. The low tack repositionable stencils
are an especially excellent way to stabilize your stencils when working on walls or round surfaces such as pots and tins.
• To make low tack repositionable stencil, clean the backside of the stencil with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust particles. Lightly spray adhesive glue on the stencil and let it dry for a few minutes before using it. Once you have finished using stencils, clean them with warm soapy water to get rid of the adhesive glue. However, some glue may be left behind on the stencil. Hence, store these stencils on a wax / parchment paper to avoid them from sticking to other stencils or the packaging.
2. Offload and work in layers: Whether you use paint or ink, the golden rule to getting a beautiful stencil design without any bleed is to offload every time you pick up the paint or ink on the brush. This is especially important when working with paints. Offloading means removing excess paint from the brush on a paper towel or rag. The paintbrush should have very little paint on it. You can then apply the paint or ink through a stencil by working in layers. You can either apply paint or ink by stippling motion or circular motion.
• Stippling motion means tapping the paint on the surface using either sponsors, stencil brushes, or a sponge.
• Circular motion means the blending foam is held at a 90° angle to the surface and is moved lightly in a circular motion to print the design.
3. Removing the stencil: Patience is the key to getting a bleed-free design when working with paints. Let the paint dry for a few minutes before removing the stencil from the work surface to avoid any accidents.
4. Touch up: The beauty of stenciling is in the feel of handmade that you get. However, if there are areas that have not been printed properly through the stencil, you can use a small painting brush with your paint and paint to complete the design.
5. Join those bridges: If you are one of those who don’t like the gaps made in stencil design due to bridges (solid parts of your stencil that holds the design together), use a thin paintbrush and paint, fill in those gaps.