How to Stencil a Halloween Witchy Welcome Board

Outdoor Decor, Project Ideas, Tutorials -

How to Stencil a Halloween Witchy Welcome Board

Not Every Witch Lives in Salem! This Halloween let your neighbors know where the witches are with this Halloween porch stencil from Oak Lane Studio! Stencils are a fun, easy, budget friendly way to decorate for the holidays. Our high-quality stencils are also washable and reusable!

In this DIY stenciling tutorial we will demonstrate how to stencil a decorative wooden porch sign with our “Not Every Witch Lives in Salem” Vertical Porch Stencil. We will cover the basics of how to stencil (which is not the same as painting), including the Dot Test and how to avoid paint bleed. You can stencil this Halloween sign on a wooden sign board, on glass, canvas or a blackboard. (Stenciling on fabric is a little different: How to Stencil on Canvas).
Let’s start stenciling!

Here are the supplies you'll need to stencil the Halloween Porch Stencil

Stenciling Supplies:

How to Stencil a Halloween Sign

Step 1: Clean the Wood

Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe any dust and debris off the wooden sign. Dust will keep the stencil from adhering fully to the surface you are stenciling on.

Step 2: Spray and Position the Stencil

    Use repositionable spray adhesive on the back of your stencil and press it into place

    Spray one side of your stencil with our Repositionable Adhesive Spray, holding the can 8 to 12 inches away from the back of the stencil. Do this away from the sign you will be stenciling, you do not want the wood to become sticky too. (Tip from our stencilers: Keep you mouth and closed while spraying). After spraying the stencil, wait 30-60 seconds before placing the stencil on the sign. This is very important, our adhesive spray is strong stuff, and if you do not wait 30 seconds you might have trouble removing the stencil later.

    Once the stencil is in place, firmly press all the edges of the stencil design flat and make sure that there are no edges sticking up. Finally, cover the four edges of the stencil with Frog Painter’s Tape. The tape will help prevent accidental paint smudges from decorating the rest of the board.

    Now it is time to stencil!

    Step 3: Stencil with a Dry Brush

    Put paint onto your paper plate, swirl into the stencil brush, and swirl the excess off onto paper towel

    For this Halloween sign, we first stenciled the witch’s hat. Squeeze some of the black acrylic paint onto the paper plate. We recommend stenciling this with a flat tipped stencil brush, (weed out any loose bristles before dipping the brush in paint).

    Stenciling is not the same as painting; applying too much paint all at once will cause paint to bleed under the stencil. The key to stenciling is to use a dry brush to stencil many thin layers of paint. And yes, your brush should feel almost dry when you stencil. Although the color will be very faint at first, color will gradually accumulate with more layers of paint. 

    First, dip your brush in paint, then dab or swirl the brush on a paper towel to remove excess paint. When you think you have a dry brush, dot the brush on a piece of paper then brush the dot with your finger. If the dot smudges your brush has too much paint for stenciling, continue dabbing paint onto the paper towel. When the dot does not smudge you are ready to stencil.

    Swirl paint lightly and gradually through the stencil design

    Stencil by swirling or stippling into the stencil design and along the design edges. (Brush strokes are not used for stenciling). Paint may not swirl out of the brush smoothly after the first time you load it with paint. After loading the stencil brush a second time, the paint will come off the brush much more smoothly.

    As you stencil, keep an eye out on how much paint is accumulated, so that paint does not build up along the edges and create raised ridges around the stencil. (Our stencils are cut in very thin mylar to help prevent these raised edges).

    Next swirl orange through the stencil design

    Next, we will add some orange to the design. Swirl the orange acrylic paint into a fresh stencil brush, then swirl the excess off onto paper towel until you have a dry brush. Swirl orange through the stencil design in 2-3 coats or until you are satisfied with the color. For each new color you will need to repeat the steps of:

    1. Dab your brush in paint.
    2. Swirl paint off onto paper towel until your brush is dry.
    3. Swirl and stipple paint through the stencil design in several light coats of paint.

    You may need to repeat steps 1-3 if the paint seems like it is not coloring the design but be careful not to use too much paint!

    Stenciling is a gradual process so be careful not too stencil too much paint too quickly

    Stenciling is a gradual process and it takes a while to stencil properly. If you rush and use too much paint, you may end up with paint bleed beneath the stencil. Take your time, relax, listen to some music or a podcast and watch as color slowly fills the stencil. This is time to just enjoy crafting and creating.

    To alternate colors, start with the lightest color first

    When alternating colors for the striped leggings, stencil the lighter color first (we stenciled the orange first). This way, if there is any accidental smudging, the darker color will cover up any mistakes.

    Mask off the orange then stencil the purple

    After the lighter stripes have dried, mask off the orange stripes with Frog Painter’s Tape and stencil the purple stripes.

    Mask off the purple and orange next before stenciling the black

    Finally, mask off the leggings with painter’s tape before stenciling the witch’s boots with black paint.

    If we check under the mask we can see the colors came out perfect

    If we check beneath the painters tape you can see that each color came out perfectly.

    Finish painting the design and peel off the stencil to reveal your work

    Finish painting the design and once it has dried, gently peel off the stencil to reveal your work!

    Use Americana Acrylic Spray Gloss Sealer for a shiny finish

    Step 5: Coat in a Protective Spray

    To protect the paint and wood from weathering and give your project a glossy finish, use Americana Glossy Acrylic Spray on the wood surface. Let the spray dry and your new Halloween welcome board will be ready for your front door!

    Step 6: Clean the Stencil

    Last step! At Oak Lane Studio, our high-quality stencils are washable and reusable! After stenciling, be sure to clean all the paint off of your stencil before storing it away. (Dried paint can be difficult to remove and may make reusing the stencil difficult).

    If you stenciled with acrylic paint, just let the stencil soak in warm water for about five minutes. The water will loosen the paint and make it easy for you to wipe off the paint with a cloth. Clean all the paint residue off the stencil before storing it for its next use.


    We hope you enjoyed this DIY stenciling tutorial! Please watch our video tutorial below for more visual details on how to create this DIY Halloween vertical porch sign!

    Share photos of your stenciling projects with us on social media! We love seeing stencils in action!