Aside from a few popular items, most of our stencils are cut to order. We have literally thousands of designs, and it would be impossible to keep inventory of all those pieces. Instead we maintain a high level of production capacity everyday so that most orders can be cut and shipped within 24 hours. Over 95% of our orders are shipped within 3 days of their order. We adjust our machines and work schedules to ensure that we can keep up with our customer demand. If you have a particular timing need we are always willing to try and meet your deadline if possible. Please email or call us if you have a specific timing question.
We use state-of-the-art C&C lasers to cut the majority of our stencils. Lasers cut a microscopic slice out of stencil material to provide the most accurate cutting possible. We prefer using lasers because they can cut a broader range of stencil materials than any other process and consistently produce the highest quality stencils.
Occasionally we do use other Technologies, such as CNC routers and knife cutting, for stencil designs that are better suited by these processes. No matter the process, we always maintain the high quality of our stencils.
Always clean your stencils (and brushes) immediately after use.
If you are stenciling a long project (such as a wall), periodically wipe paint off the stencil with a damp cloth or sponge to prevent the paint drying on the stencil. (Be gentle and don’t bend the cut-out design). When you have finished stenciling, give your stencil a final clean.
Cleaning a stencil will depend on what type of paint you have used: oil-based or water-based paint.
If you don't know what type of paint you are using, the paint can, or bottle will likely say if it is oil or water based. If it doesn't, one clue would be if the paint is flammable, most oil-based paints are flammable, while water-based paints are not. If you are still not sure, an easy test is to run your used paint brush under some water. If the paint dissolves in the water easily it is water based, if not then it is oil based. We normally recommend acrylic paints for stenciling, which are water based.
Preparing surfaces to be stenciled depends on what you are stenciling. General Rule: Clean all surfaces before you stencil. (Wipe all dust off with a damp cloth before applying the stencil). For Rough Wood: sand wood and then clean it with a damp cloth. Wash and Dry Fabrics.
Clean First: make sure that you have cleaned the surface you will stencil, this is especially important when stenciling fabric that you might later wash. If you are stenciling a bag, t'shirt, blanket, ect. be sure to wash and dry the item before stenciling. Sometimes it also helps to run a lint roller over the fabric before applying the stencil.
For Paint: mix acrylic paint with fabric paint medium 2:1 ratio (2 parts acrylic to 1 part fabric).
Stencil: stencil using the dry brush technique and apply swirl on the fabric in very thin layers. Fabric tends to require more layers of paint than hard surfaces, but keep those layers thin.
P.S. sometimes the paint needs to dry between layers. If you notice your brush is removing paint rather than adding it, take a few minutes to rest and let the paint dry, then go back to stenciling.
If using a Brush: The Dot Test: dip your brush in the paint, then blot all excess paint onto a paper towel/paper towel roll. Then use your brush to make a dot on some scrap paper. Brush the dot with your finger, if the paint smudges the brush has too much paint. Repeat blotting, and then make another dot. When your dot does not smudge you have the right amount of paint for stenciling.
If using a Roller: Blot off excess paint on a paper towel or in the paint trough. Be sure the roller is almost dry before you begin stenciling.3. Color is best applied in many light, even coats of paint. (5-6 coats is normal, stenciling on fabric may require more). Swirl the paint onto the stencil design and continue to apply more layers until you are satisfied with color.