Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about an application or technique?  This is a brief list of the questions that our clients ask most often. If your particular concern is not addressed here please feel free to give us a call or send us an information request by E-mail.

Q. How can you keep paint from running under the stencils? 

A. Less is best.  Using a brush that you have blotted well will prevent seepage under the stencil.  I find that using the Stencil Paint Creme is an even better way to avoid this.  It is an oil paint that allows you to stencil beautifully with a very little bit of color.  Since it is of the consistency of lipstick or paste shoe polish it is also less apt to seep under the edge of the stencil.

Q. What kind of brush do you use? 

A. I firmly believe that the bigger the brush the quicker the job and the smoother the job.  It is also very easy to overload a tiny brush.  I recommend that for general stenciling you use a brush that is at least 3/8” or larger.  The bristles need to be soft and resilient.

Q. Why do you have to have a brush for every color you stencil with? 

A. When stenciling with Stencil Paint Creme you cannot wash the brush between colors because the water wet brush will not pick up the oil color.  Oil and water do not mix.  

Q. What do you do if your brush gets dirty while stenciling with Stencil Paint Creme? 

A. Put a drop of baby oil on a folded paper towel and wipe the brush in the oil.  Then wipe it dry of oil.  This cleans the “dirty” from your brush.  You can also clean a dirty brush in Turpenoid,  a turpentine substitute, by picking up some on your brush and then wiping it dry.

Q. Can you stencil on rough or textured walls? 

A. Most certainly you can stencil on texture.  However, you may loose some fine detail since the brush and the paint will stencil only the high points of the rough surface.  Choose a stencil with larger detail when stenciling over texture.

Q. Can you stencil on glass? 

A. You can stencil on glass but realize that it will wash off unless you use a glass paint.  I use Delta’s PermEnamel Glass Paint.  It is permanent after 10 days of air drying—no heat setting required.

Q. What paint do you use on fabric?

A. I use Stencil Paint Creme when stenciling on fabric.  Really rub the color into the fiber when stenciling and then don’t even think about washing it before 10 days to two weeks has passed.  Always wash carefully and using a soap rather than a detergent will protect the permanency of the color.

Q. How do you stabilize fabric while stenciling?

A. Mist a piece of cardboard with Repositionable Stencil Adhesive.  This makes the cardboard sticky so fabric placed over it will cling while stenciling.

Q. How do you keep the stencil on the wall while stenciling?

A. I prefer to use low tack painter’s tape to hold the stencil to the wall while stenciling.  Using an adhesive is great if you are not going to flip the stencil over and stencil from the reverse side. If you do that you must clean the adhesive off.

Q. How do you clean the adhesive off of the stencil? 

A. You can use a product manufactured to remove adhesive or baby oil will remove the adhesive.  Just be sure to clean the oil off of the stencil with a spray cleaner or sudsy water.

Q. How do you clean your stencils? 

A. When working with Stencil Paint Creme clean the stencil by laying it on paper towel and wiping it with paper towel.  If it has dried on then wipe it with a paper towel that has a bit of baby oil on it.  Then clean the oil off with spray cleaner.  You can also clean your stencils with a turp substitute or with a good brush cleaner.  I use Delta Brush Cleaner.

Q. What is a component Stencil?

A.  A component stencil is an individual object such as a flower pot that can be combined with other stencils to create a scene or a still life on your wall.

Q. How do you make things look like they are grouped and some objects in the back?

A. Stencil the front object, cover it and then stencil the object behind.  The cover protects the first object stenciled while stenciling the second object.

Q. How can I stencil a jar or vase stencil to look clear? 

A. To give the impression that an object is clear you must stencil something behind the clear object or inside it.  Stencil the clear object, cover it and stencil the object behind.  Then remove the cover up and stencil the portion that would be behind but DO NOT STENCIL OVER THE EDGE OF THE FRONT OBJECT.

Q. What is a theorem Stencil? 

A. A theorem stencil is a stencil with multiple layers of film.  Each layer of film has cut outs that when the layers are all stenciled the resultant picture looks as if it has been hand painted. There are no spaces between the elements in the design.

Q. What are registration points?

A. Registration points are the small holes found at the opposite top corners of multiple overlay stencils and are used to align the several layers during the stenciling process.  The hole is marked by stenciling over it on to the surface you are stenciling.  The ensuing layers are then lined up using these markings.

Q. What do I do if I don’t like what I have just done?

A. You can erase Stencil Paint Creme smudges and whole stenciled designs from painted surface with a Magic Rub eraser.  A little bit of Turpenoid (a turpentine substitute) on a paper towel will also remove stenciling done with Stencil Paint Creme.

Q. Do you have a retail store?

A. No. Stencils by Nancy has recently closed its’ retail store in Northwest Houston. We have moved our Mail Order and Internet Store to a warehouse facility. To contact us by telephone please call 281-686-1226

Q. Do you teach classes? 

A. Nancy does teach stencil and faux finish classes in seminars, special events, and retreat settings. She would be happy to discuss class and or seminar possibilites with you. Call her at 281-686-1226.

Q. How can you make stenciled objects appear as if they are sitting out from the wall? 

A. Imagine that you have just stenciled a bucket on the wall.  Using a stencil brush that has a very little Black Stencil Paint Creme on it stencil a very loose shadow.  This shadow should follow the shape of the bucket and would be placed on the dark side of the bucket, slightly away from the bucket.

Q. Can you mix oil with acrylics while stenciling? 

A. The only way you can stencil with both mediums is to first stencil with the acrylic paint and let it dry.  Then you can go ahead and do the detail and the shadows with Stencil Paint Creme.  This is one way you can stencil with the Cremes over dark backgrounds.

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