wall stencil tutorial

Hey friends! I’ve got a quick wall stencil tutorial for you today! This is a fun project and can be done on both smooth and textured walls.  I will say, if you have textured walls, your stencil will NOT be perfect, so keep that in mind. It’s just nearly impossible to get super crisp lines when there is texture, as you will inevitably have some bleed through.

That said, y’all know I’m a fan of IMperfections, so no way were our textured walls getting in my way.  Many stencil companies specifically advise against stenciling on textured walls because of the possibility of bleeds,so just be aware you’ll have more touch ups to take care of if your walls are textured.  But don’t let that advice scare you away! I promise this wall stencil tutorial will have you convinced that stencils look great on textured walls, too (because just look at mine – LOVE)!


What I love most about stenciling a wall is that it is completely customizable and far less expensive than wallpaper.  You also can reuse your stencil for other projects, so you get way more bang for your buck.

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wall stencil tutorial

What You’ll Need:

How to:

Step 1: Tape off your space.

Step 2: Trim any excess plastic off the edge of your stencil and leave about 1/4-1/2″ around all sides. This will make it easier to maneuver in small spaces.

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Step 3: Using your stencil level, attach your stencil to a corner of your wall using painters tape.  I do not personally use stencil adhesive, but you can do so if you choose here. It DOES help with creating crisper lines on textured walls so you’ll have less touch ups later, but often requires you to go a bit slower and allow the paint to dry more in between each stencil.

Step 4: Begin rolling your paint onto your roller. Back roll any excess paint onto a paper towel, as too much paint on your roller will cause bleeding. Roll the paint onto your stencil, and do so with a medium amount of pressure, because pressing too hard will also cause bleeds.  Once your stencil is completely covered, remove it carefully.

Step 5: Pat the back of your stencil onto an old towel to remove any paint from the back that might transfer onto your wall. I do this between every 2-3 rounds with my stencil, but you can do it every time if you choose.

Step 6: Using the guides on the stencil, tape up your stencil next to your last one. I don’t put tape on the side where I just painted because the paint is not fully dry.  Just be gentle with that section and you should be okay, especially because the paint should dry fairly quickly since it’s a thin layer.

Step 7: Repeat until you finish the main areas of your walls.

Step 8: Next you will tackle the top and bottom edges, and the sides if necessary. If you don’t plan to use your stencil again, you can carefully plan and cut it into pieces to make this part easier. However I don’t recommend that for beginners. Once you cut, you can’t go back!  I always like to reuse my stencils anyway, so I almost never do this.  Carefully place your stencil into the edges and sides of your space, and use a roller and stencil brush (in an up and down dabbing motion) to get into all the nooks and crannies.  This part can get messy because you’ll be holding the stencil in place with one hand and painting with the other! As a result, you’ll probably get paint on your hands.  So if you’ve got an extra set of hands, use them – it will be easier!

For the top edge, I taped my stencil to the ceiling and to the bottom of the well. This served as my “extra set of hands” because I tackled this project on my own!

Step 9: Allow to dry, and then use a small brush to touch up any boo boos! You can get as detailed or not as you want here. I think imperfections add vintage charm and make it look more hand-painted than stenciled, which I love.

Step 10: Step back and admire your handy work!

You’d be amazed how many people on Instagram ask me where I got my wallpaper! So many people can’t believe this is actually a stencil, and it was just a fraction of the cost of wallpaper! Fool people for less? That’s what I call a win win!


And there you have it! An easy and inexpensive way to add charm to your space!  You can stencil your floors, ceilings, a canvas, too – pretty much anything! I hope this wall stencil tutorial was helpful! If you give it a go, give me a shout in the comments below!  And if you want to watch the entire process in video form, you can check out my tutorial video on Instagram HERE!



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