How to Stencil a Wall without Paint Bleed

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How to Stencil a Wall without Paint Bleed

In this tutorial, we show you how to stencil without getting paint bleed. Using the right technique will leave beautiful results while the wrong technique will bleed paint into the design.

Scroll down to watch our how to avoid paint bleed while stenciling video tutorial. 

The tools below are used in this tutorial:

Water Color Floral Wall Stencil

Repositionable Spray Adhesive

Frog Tape Painter's Tape

4 inch Foam Roller

Stencil Brush

Let’s start with the wrong way. If you load the roller with paint then roll it through the stencil, you will have used too much paint. Paint will seep beneath the stencil design by not using the dry roller technique. When too much paint is used with a stencil it will “bleed” out the edges of the design causing it to appear blurry and unclear. See below what happens when you use too much paint.

Bleeding Stencil Design

The right way to stencil is to use the dry roller or dry brush technique. Use Repositionable Spray Adhesive on the back of your stencil to secure it to the wall. Place a piece of Frog Tape Painter’s Tape beneath the registration mark in each corner then load your roller in paint.

Press a piece of Frog Tape Painter's Tape beneath the registration marks

To use the dry roller technique, to roll the excess paint off the roller onto a piece of paper towel, newspaper, or piece of cardboard. Only when the roller feels to be just about dry to the touch you are ready to stencil. By removing the excess paint you significantly reduce the chance of having paint bleed beneath the stencil design. Now you are ready to stencil.

Roll excess paint onto paper towel

Begin by lightly rolling paint through the stencil design. Build the color slowly in 3-4 light coats of paint. Don’t press the roller down hard or else paint will be forced beneath the stencil edges. By lightly rolling paint in several coats the design will have crisp, clean edges.

Roll several light coats of paint through the stencil design

To stencil the registration marks onto the Frog Tape you will want to use a small stencil brush. Swirl your stencil brush into the paint, then swirl the excess onto the piece of paper towel until it feels dry to the touch. Use the stencil brush to swirl paint through each registration mark, then gently peel the stencil from the wall.

Use a stencil brush to swirl paint through each registration mark

Registration marks are important for aligning the stencil to evenly repeat the design. You can also use the registration mark to put the stencil back in place to add more paint. Line the stencil up next to the design by using the registration marks. Press the stencil in place then you are ready to continue.

Line the registration marks up with the stencil

You may need to reload your roller when paint no longer builds upon your wall. Roll your roller back in the paint, then roll the excess off onto a piece of paper towel until it just about dry to the touch. The roller will become more saturated in paint, making it easier to stencil as you continue.

Continue rolling paint through the design in several light coats

Finish stenciling each repeat, being sure not to press too hard to prevent paint bleed. The most important thing to remember when stenciling is that you can always add another coat of paint, but you can't take one away. Roll paint through the stencil conservatively and lightly so the paint doesn't bleed.

Continue repeating the pattern until your wall is complete

Follow the steps above for clean, crisp designs every time!

Watch our How to Stencil a Wall without Paint Bleed video tutorial: