How to Stencil on Wood: Secrets to getting perfect results every time

hi I'm Carrie from lovely etc and I am going 
to show you how to stencil wood and get perfect   stencil lines every time. it's the easiest way 
to make signs and lots of other decor so let's   get started. so here's what you need. you need 
something to stencil. I have an old cutting   board Рactually I got it from a thrift store. 
I just kind of like it, it has a nice patina   and it was only a quarter and so that's what 
I'm stenciling. again any kind of wood's gonna   work. you need a stencil Рthis is my stencil. 
I'll put a link to it in the description.

It's a   reusable stencil. you can also get vinyl stencils 
from Etsy that are one-time use or lots of other   reusable stencils from Etsy and other places 
too but that's one of my favorite sources. you   need either repositionable adhesive or painters 
tape. either one will work but the spray adhesive   really helps with getting perfect stencil lines. 
you need some paint. you can use pretty much any   paint but something with a flatter sheen is 
going to be best. I really like to just use   these little super inexpensive acrylic paints you 
can get from craft stores.

They're really cheap,   there's tons and tons of colors, and they work 
great. you need a paper plate or painter's palette   if you have that but this is what you're gonna put 
your paint on. and the secret, one of the secrets,   to getting really perfect stenciling is you're not 
going to use a roller, you're not going to use a   brush Рthose have their place, especially if 
you're stenciling like a whole wall or floor.   but if you're just stenciling something small 
and you want it to be absolutely perfect what   you need are these makeup wedges. they're little 
sponges that you apply makeup with. it's like a   dollar for fifty at Target. maybe it's not quite 
that cheap but pretty close. and they are the   perfect thing for stenciling. whatever wood you 
choose to use to stencil on, the smoother it is   the better results you're gonna get. you want your 
stencil to be on something really smooth.

You can   stencil rough wood if you're going for something 
rustic but it's gonna be really difficult to get   perfect lines because the stencil will not be 
able to lay perfectly flat on the wood because   it's rough so there's gonna be little holes and 
dips and valleys under the stencil and that's   where paint is gonna want to go. so the smoother 
the better. okay get your surface. if it's dirty   or something clean it up but in general just 
take your surface. you can sand it to make it   smoother if you need to. take your stencil. if 
you're just gonna use painters tape you just   take a few pieces and tape it in place. the reason 
that I prefer the repositionable Рthat's hard to   say Рrepositionable spray adhesive is because 
with painters tape Рsay you put a piece here and   a piece there the stencils gonna stay in place on 
the wood. it's not gonna be moving all around but   when you use the spray adhesive the adhesive is 
all over the entire thing so the entire thing is   stuck down to the wood.

Which means all these 
little parts in between each letter are also   firmly adhered to the wood and it just means that 
it's a lot harder for paint to make its little way   under the stencil where you do not want it. when 
you spray the spray adhesive, you should be in   a well-ventilated area but also you want to make 
sure you spray it over some newspaper if anybody   has that or an old poster board or wrapping paper 
something, anything that will catch the excess.   because anything this full spray lands on is gonna 
be sticky and not what you want for your house. so place your stencil on your surface and make sure 
you line it up exactly how you want it. so if it   needs to be centered make sure it's centered. 
if it needs to be straight Рespecially for   words Рmake sure that it is straight. it doesn't 
have to be a hundred percent perfect but try to   get it as good as you can. and then you're just 
gonna press it into place especially if you used   the spray adhesive.

If you didn't you're just 
gonna set it on use a couple pieces of painters   tape to hold it in place exactly where you want 
it. okay so get your paint and pour a little bit   onto your plate and you're just going to use your 
makeup sponge. get some on the end but you don't   want a lot of paint so once you've dipped your 
makeup sponge into the paint you're gonna blot   most of it off. if you're using a paper plate 
for your palette just blot it off right on the   plate until there's just a very thin amount of 
paint left on your sponge.

And then you're just   going to start painting. when you paint you're 
just doing an up-and-down motion to get the paint   into the stenciled area lightly pressing it. you 
do not want to push down really hard because that   will cause paint to squish under the stencil which 
is exactly what we don't want. when it seems like   maybe the paint's getting a little light just 
get some more paint on there and keep going. you may need to do a second coat of paint   especially if you're stenciling 
with white paint on to dark wood.

Okay so it looks pretty good. there is one more 
trick that you can try if you want your sign or   whatever it is that you're stenciling to look more 
hand-painted and less stenciled. the little marks   in between the different stencil sections are 
a dead giveaway that you stenciled. now I have   no problem with something being stencilled. 
I think it can look really beautiful still,   however if that's not the look that you 
want for your particular project there   is a easy method that I use to get rid of 
those little spaces in between letters.   okay so I use a simple toothpick and dip 
it in the paint and then basically use it   like a tiny paintbrush to get rid of the 

You could also use a really small   paintbrush but I find that a toothpick is 
really easy to control and also it doesn't   hold too much paint so it just blends in better 
with the design that's already been stenciled. there is one more trick you can use if you're 
still struggling to get really clean lines with   your stencil. after you put your stencil onto 
your wood before you do any painting use some   Mod Podge.

So mod Podge is mostly used for 
decoupage but it is also a sealer, a glue,   a finish, it does all kinds of stuff. and it's 
clear so when you paint a little Mod Podge over   your stencil before painting it creates a seal 
along all of the edges of your stencil. and   also if there's any little air bubbles under 
your stencil where maybe the wood's a little   rough or it's just not laying really flat, the 
Mod Podge is gonna seep in there under the,   underneath the stencil and seal it up. which is a 
lot better than if your paint seeps under there.   because mod Podge is clear you're not going to see 
it and the paint would be a mess. so if you decide   to try that make sure you pay attention to what 
kind of Mod Podge you have as far as whether it's   shiny or not.

It comes in matte satin and gloss 
I believe. so if you're stenciling on furniture   that already has kind of a glossy finish you want 
to use gloss. if you're stenciling on something   that's matte use matte and if it's more satin use 
satin. if you're not really sure in general I like   the matte Mod Podge the best for just basically 
anything. so that's another tip you could try if   you are having trouble. so okay hopefully that 
helps you next time you're trying to stencil to   get some of those clean lines.

I know for me 
I'm a perfectionist and so every tiny little   imperfection drives me crazy. but with those 
tips I've been able to get my projects looking   really good and as perfect as possible. thanks for 
joining me. I'd love for you to subscribe to my   channel lovely etc where I share inexpensive 
DIY projects to create a home you love..

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