How to Paint Letter Stencils

Written by rosa lyn
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How to Paint Letter Stencils
Almost any surface is suitable for painting letter stencils. (no parking garage image by Aaron Kohr from

The art of stencilling is suitable for both decorative and utilitarian applications. Stencils are useful for enhancing home decor, as well as providing lettering for outdoor areas. Stencil paint can adhere to almost any surface, including walls, plastic, shelving, cabinets, paper, metal and some types of fabric. In order to achieve the best results, prepare the surface before painting the letter stencils. This is easily accomplished with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water; a fresh coat of paint can also ensure that you get the best results on walls.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Masking tape
  • Craft or stencil paint
  • Paper plate
  • Round, flat-tipped paintbrush
  • Water
  • Paper towels

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  1. 1

    Place the letter stencils on the surface that you are painting. Mark the placement with light pencil lines. Check for even spacing between each letter. Remove the stencil, revealing the marks beneath.

  2. 2

    Lay the level against the bottom of the letters and flat against the surface that you are painting, ensuring that the placement is even. Adjust the pencil marks, if necessary.

  3. 3

    Block off the areas of the letter stencils where you are not painting with masking tape.

  4. 4

    Squirt your craft or stencil paint onto the paper plate, creating separate areas for each colour that you use.

  5. 5

    Place the letter stencils firmly against the surface that you are painting, matching the stencil with the previously placed marks. Tape the letter stencils to the surface loosely with a piece of masking tape on each side. Hold the stencil flat against the wall by spreading your fingers out across the surface of the stencil and around the stencil opening that you are painting.

  6. 6

    Dip the flat head of the round paintbrush in the paint. Dab the paintbrush on the opening in the letter stencils, filling in the shape fully. Repeat the process for each letter that is being painted in the same colour.

  7. 7

    Rinse the paintbrush, dry with a paper towel and pick up the next colour. Wipe the surface of the stencil with the paper towel if you are using the same set for each colour.

  8. 8

    Repeat Step 3, Step 6 and Step 7 until the project is complete.

  9. 9

    Allow the surface to dry completely before touching, washing or otherwise manipulating the area.

Tips and warnings

  • The same process is used to create any stencilled image. Porous surfaces will create a more mottled look when stencilled while firm and flat surfaces will paint more clearly.
  • Wash your paintbrush and skin immediately after completing the letter stencil project to avoid staining.

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