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Pro Tips On How to Avoid Stencils from Bleeding Through 

Wall stencils allow you to decorate the wall and other surfaces in your home just like wallpaper but at much less cost and hassle. However, you must know the correct method of applying the stencils for a crisp and appealing result. One of the main issues DIY enthusiasts encounter when painting on stencils is the paint bleeding under the edges of the stencil and spoiling the look of the patterns. Some tips from the professionals on how to avoid the paint from seeping under the stencil and other handy ways of getting good results:

Prepare the Surface Correctly 

The first thing you need to do is ensure is that the walls are clean and perfectly dry. Ideally, the wall should be flat and devoid of any texture. The reason is the texture on the wall will not allow the stencil to sit flat on it. The paint will tend to seep in where the stencil is above the wall surface. Another handy tip is to paint the wall with a matte or eggshell finish, preferably in a neutral color, as it will help the color you are applying on the stencil to stand out the best. Wall paints of higher sheen do not allow the stencil paint to adhere quickly to the base coat, and you are liable to have the paint seeping through under the star stencil.

Attach the Stencil on the Wall Securely

If you do not attach the stencil securely to the surface, it will allow the paint to seep through the surface. One of the easiest methods of fixing the stencil to the surface is to use a low-tack spray adhesive. It allows the stencil to sit flush with the surface, which prevents the paint from seeping or bleeding through. Additionally, because the stencil is secure, there is no chance of it moving under the pressure of your brush and spoiling your design. If you do not have spray adhesive readily available with you, you can easily substitute it with painter’s tape. The advantage of painter’s tape over other adhesive tapes is that while it holds the stencil securely, it also lifts off cleanly without removing any wall paint. Moreover, you can reuse it a couple of times.

Use Minimal Quantity of Paint

One of the most effective methods of preventing paint from seeping under the stencil is to apply very little paint with the brush or roller in the first place. The trick to removing excess paint from the brush is to run it along the inside edge of the paint container and then dab it on an absorbent material before applying it to the stencil. You should not press the brush hard on the stencil. If you remove too much paint, you can always apply a second coat for a better effect. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, using good quality thick paints prevents seepage.


Using the techniques mentioned and working carefully, you can limit the paint from bleeding through to the surface. A little bit of practice will help you achieve results you will be proud of.

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