Customizing Your Stencil

Is your stencil working for you, or is it just frustrating you?

We ship non-overlapping stencils by default, but I’m here to tell you that if you want an overlapping stencil (where the surface is painted twice or more, on subsequent passes) it’s often just a few cuts away. We’ll look at a specific example that will make it all clear.

Usually you want a non-overlapping stencil (or ‘abutting’ stencil), in which each part of the surface is painted exactly one time. That way, you can paint the stencil layers in any order, without having to reprime the surface every time you paint. Non-overlapping stencils also leave you the freedom to re-interpret the coloring of the stencil any way you like it. But, as we said before, sometimes you just want to paint (for example) black over a lighter color, and it makes your life much easier.

lizard stencil on wall

In this example, we’re painting a lizard stencil where the body of the lizard is green and details are added in black. In most applications of this particular stencil, you would always paint the green layer first (to mark the boundaries of where the lizard is), and then paint the black detail in afterward. Since black paint over green is never a problem, you probably want to just paint the green, wait a minute, and paint the black. The problem is that the green layer masks out the areas of black, and as a result there are extra bridges visible and you’re required to paint the black very precisely to cover the area of the lizard completely. It would be easier if the lizard were completely green, and all you had to do was paint the black detail in with the black stencil.

Get the lizard stencil.

So, because it’s your stencil, you can just cut those masking elements out of the green layer, no problem. How? With a pair of scissors or an exacto blade. Makes no difference.