6 Tips for Painting with Stencils

This post brought to you by DecoArt // I am a sucker for a good old wood caddy. Even better, is an old caddy that I have dressed-up with some paint and maybe a stencil or two. I have a fabulous picnic caddy that I dressed-up not too long ago and I have receintly found another rustic old caddy to dress-up. When it comes to adding some graphic elements to anything, I turn to the Americana Multi Surface Satin Paint and the Americana Mixed Media Stecils for sure. But… I also have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to using those stencils. Below you will find 6 tips on painting with stencils.

6 tips for successful stenciling from whipperberry

I found another great caddy from Antique Farmhouse (they also have a sister site called Decor Steals)…

Dress-up and old wood caddy with DecoArt Americana Multisurface Paint and Stencil

… And I thought it would look fabulous with a fun geometric design on the floor of the caddy using the new Americana Multi Surface Satin Paint.

DecoArt Americana Multisurface Paint

This paint is fabulous for all kinds of surfaces. Wood, glass, metal, plastic… You name it, it will look wonderful. I recently had a chance to travel to Kentucky to the home of DecoArt and learned all kinds of goodies about all of their different paints. It's amazing how so many of us just grab a bottle of craft paint at the store without really thinking about what surface we are going to use as our canvas. Sometimes… the paint we pick just won't work with our desired surface. With the Multi Surface Satin you won't have to worry about that!

For this project I used a mixture of Coastal Waters and Cottonball. I wanted the blue to be a little lighter, that's why I added a little white. I used one of the new Americana Mixed-Media Stencils called Busy Bee and some painters tape as well.

DecoArt Americana Mixed Media Stencil

I taped down the stencil on the surface of the caddy, just so I didn't have to worry about it moving around.

Americana Stencil

Next, using a Dual Sided Paint Pouncer, I carefully paint the surface of the caddy. Now, here are a few tips when it comes to getting good stencil lines.

  1. Load your stencil pouncer or brush carefully,  A little paint goes a long way. Never just dip your brush into the paint and then go directly to your surface. Always dip your brush into the paint and then have another surface like a paper plate to work out all the paint kinks before you start working on your surface. 
  2. Light, up and down movements are best when it comes to working with stencils. Never brush side to side or press down firmly. This is just asking the paint to slide right under that stencil and create muddy, unattractive lines.
  3. Work in layers. If you want a light weathered look, you may only need one coat. But, If you want a strong vibrant stenciled image, work in light layers. This way you are slowly building your image and will have cleaner lines and a professional looking finish.
  4. Secure your stencil with painters tape so that you don't have it moving around while you are trying to work with it. 
  5. Let the paint dry for a bit before you remove the stencil. This will help ensure that you don't accidentally smear or smudge the paint. 
  6. Use a good brush and stencil cleaner to clean and preserve your brush and stencil for future use.

For this project, I wanted a light weathered look so I carefully loaded just a tiny bit of paint, prepped my brush on a paper plate and then with careful up and down strokes started covering my surface.

Stenciling with Americana Multisurface Paint and Stencils

Because I was only going to do one light coat, the paint dried within just a few minutes. I removed the stencil and then waited for a couple of hours before I distressed the paint. Paint needs time to cure and ideally, I should have waited over night but, it turned out fine this time.

I used some sand paper to lightly distress the paint so that the graphic design matched the patina of the piece itself. When you are distressing, think about how you want the finished product to look. Do you want to work in circles, up and down, side to side, criss cross, there are so many ways to create a 100 different looks for your finished product. I chose a simple side to side motion to match the grain of the wood. 

Here is how the caddy looks finished…

stenciled wood caddy with Decoart Multisurface Paint

Isn't it fun?! A perfect addition to my picnic caddy collection. You bet we are going to be picnicking in style here at the WhipperBerry house! 

You can find all of the products that I used for this project at Michaels, A.C. Moore, Hobby Lobby and other fine craft retailers. To sweeten the deal, DecoArt has even offered a fabulous rebate offer to each of you!!

Americana Multi Surface Satin Rebate from DecoArtDisclaimer // This is a post sponsored by DecoArt. I have received payment along with product to create this project and post. However, all thoughts, ideas and opinons are my very own! 


  1. says

    I love this project- and that color is perfection! I've been playing around with some of Deco Art's patio paints on a few planters lately, and it's time to try these multi surface paints now I think. ;)

  2. GoodDay! says

    The Caddy turned out great! It’s Inspiring.
    I’m thinking of replacing a bad painting in a large frame with stencil art.
    What type of material would be best for stenciling. Canvas, matting, fabric or what?

  3. GoodDay! says

    I’m thinking of replacing a bad painting in large frame with stencil art. What type of material would be best for stenciling? Canvas, matting, fabric or what?

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