Carefully stick the stencil down to the surface being stencilled using a repositionable spray adhesive or/ and low tack masking tape ensuring all areas are stuck down - this will prevent paint bleeding under the stencil. I would recommend '3M Spray Mount' which can be purchased from most art stores.
Dip the stencil sponge or brush into the stencil paint, then blot onto some kitchen towel or newspaper to remove ALL excess paint. The secret to successful stencilling is to work with an all most dry sponge/ brush, building up colour gradually. Using too much paint can cause bleeding under the stencil. Paint rollers tend to hold too much paint, and lift the stencil, so are best avoided.
Step 3 - Sponge Method
Work the stencil sponge over the stencil using a gentle dabbing motion, re-loading the sponge with paint as necessary, until all the cut out areas are covered by paint. Then go back over the stencil again to build up opacity.
Step 3 - Brush Method
Keeping the brush at right angle to the surface, apply the paint onto the surface using a light circular motion, re-loading the brush with paint as necessary, until all the cut out areas are covered by paint. Then go back over the stencil again to build up opacity.
To apply additional colour paint to your stencil, repeat step 3, using a new sponge / brush, allowing each colour to dry before applying the next.
Once you have completed the stencilling, remove the stencil immediately by carefully peeling the stencil away from the surface.
To create a distressed finish, allow the stencilled image to fully dry, leave over night if possible. Use the sandpaper in one direction, applying light pressure, until the desired level of distressing is achieved. Do not rub back and forth as you would normally sand. Remove any dust using a clean cloth, and seal your finished piece with a wax or varnish, of your choice.
Follow our 'Caring For Your Stencils Guide' on how best to clean and store your stencil after use.