How to Stencil a Farmhouse Burlap Sign

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How to Stencil a Farmhouse Burlap Sign

In this How to Stencil tutorial, we will show you how to stencil a home décor burlap sign with our Farm Fresh Eggs, farmhouse style stencil template. Although we use a burlap frame for this tutorial, you can also stencil a home décor sign on a mirror, glass, an upcycled windowpane, cloth, wood, or even a chalkboard. This easy, DIY home décor stenciling project is the perfect project to learn how to stencil if this is your first time stenciling.

This stenciling tutorial will cover basic stenciling techniques for how to stencil a décor sign, as well as how to stencil on fabric and burlap stenciling tips.

Supplies for Stenciling a Décor Sign

    Practice Stenciling First

    We always recommend practicing your stenciling technique on a piece of cardboard or fabric before beginning your stenciling project, especially if this your first time stenciling. The Dry Brush Technique, or stenciling with a bare minimum of paint (explained in Step 3) is key to stenciling, as stenciling with too much paint will cause paint to seep under the stencil and blur the design (this is also known as “paint bleed). To stencil, you will swirl or stipple many faint layers of paint until the color has gradually reached the shade you prefer. Scroll down to Step 3 and practice your stenciling technique first to get a feel for how little paint you actually need for stenciling.

    How to Prepare the Sign for Stenciling

    How to stencil a burlap sign

    If you are stenciling a burlap sign, begin by securing the burlap to a wooden frame using brass tacks. You can also secure the burlap to a piece of cardboard using our Repositionable Adhesive Spray. Which ever method you choose, just make sure that the burlap is stationary and a smooth surface for stenciling.

    If you are stenciling your home décor sign on glass, a chalkboard or wood, clean the surface with a damp cloth before stenciling because dust will prevent the stencil template from adhering to the sign material. If you are going to stencil a fabric or canvas sign, please see our How To Stencil a Laundry Bag tutorial for fabric stencil techniques.

    How to Prepare the Stencil Template

    Now prepare your stencil template for stenciling.

    how to use a stencil template

    Spray the back of the stencil with our Repositionable Spray Adhesive. Hold the spray can 10” away from the stencil (and facing away from the sign you will stencil) and keep your mouth closed while spraying. Wait 30-60 seconds after spraying before centering the stencil template on the burlap sign. Our adhesive spray is strong and if you position the stencil too early you may have trouble removing it later.

    how to position a stencil template

    Firmly press all the cutouts of the stencil template into the burlap and make sure no edges are sticking up. Tape around the outer edges of the stencil template with Frog Painter’s Tape.

    How to Stencil with a Dry Brush

    It is important to stencil with a dry brush which means that your brush should be almost dry to the touch when you stencil. (And yes, we do really mean dry). Stenciling with too much paint will cause the excess paint to “bleed” or seep under the stencil design and blur the template design. Before stenciling, use the Dot Test to be sure you have the right amount of paint for stenciling.

     The Dot Test For Stenciling:

    How to check that you have the right amount of paint to stencil

    1. Dip you brush or roller in your paint.
    2. Dab or roll all excess paint onto a paper towel or rag. (We recommend holding a roll of paper towels in one hand and dabbing the stencil brush onto the roll).
    3. Make a dot or roll of paint on a scrape piece of paper. Brush the dot with your finger. If the paint smudges you have too much paint. Repeat step 2. If the paint does not smudge, you have a dry brush and are ready to stencil!
    4. If using a paint roller, press the foam with one finger, if paint wells up around your finger, you have too much paint. Repeat step 2.

    To stencil, swirl or stipple your stencil brush over the stencil template.

    how to stencil how to stencil with a dry brush

    When you first start stenciling, it may seem that only thin layer of paint is coming through. This is normal, resist the urge to add more paint to your brush. Color will accumulate in many thin layers of paint, 3-4 coats of paint is normal, but you may need a few more depending on your project and the colors you are using. When the brush is completely out of paint, repeat the dot test and continue stenciling until you are satisfied with the color.

    how to stencil on burlap how to stencil a farmhouse sign

    As you stencil more layers of paint, you may notice that the stencil brush seems to remove paint instead of adding it. If this happens, take a break from stenciling to let the paint dry completely. Once the paint is dry, continue stenciling the sign with the dry brush technique. 

    Relax while Stenciling

    Play some music, listen to a podcast or audiobook and enjoy watching the stencil design gradually fill in. This is time you can relax and have some fun with stencils and paints!

    How to Clean the Stencil Template

    When the paint color has reached your desired saturation and the paint has dried, gently remove the Frog Painter's Tape and the stencil template.

    peel off the stencil template

    Our stencil templates are easily washable and reusable. If you stenciled with acrylic paints, clean the stencil template by soaking it in hot water for five minutes. Then clean all the paint off the stencil with a rag, and store the stencil for future use. 

    For more information on how to clean stencil templates, please see our FAQ page.

    Go hang up your DIY home décor sign!

    Watch our How to Stencil a Burlap Sign Video Tutorial:

    Stencils are a fun, easy, budget-friendly way to create personal and homemade home décor that is perfectly tailored to your own taste, because of course you made it! You do not have to be an artist to hand paint your home décor!

    Please send us a picture of your upcycled furniture stenciling projects or share your DIY stenciling projects with us on social media! We love seeing stencils in action.