Stencil Ideas -

Pro Tips for a Successful Stencil Project!

Stencil tips and techniques from Royal Design Studio

We're always sharing fab stencil ideas and inspiration on Pinterest and Facebook, but one of our most popular shares is the Stencil Tips series! Every time we create new stencil finishes and DIY stencil projects for you in our studio, we post them in the How To Stencil section of our website and we like to share individual nuggets of information to help make stenciling that much easier.  Plus, many of our Stencil Tips address some of the most popular questions we receive. Ready to stencil like a pro? Let's do it!


Two of the queries we are commonly asked are "How do you prevent paint from seeping under the stencil?" and "How do you clean a stencil?". Both are GREAT questions and we cover each of them in our How to Use Basic Brush Stenciling Techniques.  We feature the brush techniques using our Royal Stencil Cremes since they are paints made specifically for stenciling and their consistency and opacity will help you create a better project. The right products make it! Even when using acrylic paints, the key is to keep as "dry" a brush as possible -- this will help make clean-up a breeze, too, so be sure to click on the brush stenciling link for more.


If you've been using stencils with one color, it's time to step up your game! To add depth to your stenciling, lay the stencil back over your first color and stencil in another. For our stenciled floorcloth tutorial, we shaded the outer edge of the flower petals in a light blue over a deep charcoal for added dimension and interest. This stencil tip will also help you in adding highlights and shadows for a more three-dimensional effect, too. Have fun experimenting! 



Sometimes, a color can be too bright and you just need to knock it back a bit - it happens! Our next Stencil Tip is to use an antiquing glaze to help tone down the brightness while adding a rich layer of depth and color to your stencil project. You can see the full project results and step-by-step how-to on our Creative Coloring & Antiquing with Stencils how-to!



Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan is a revolutionary furniture paint and we use it frequently in the studio! One of the most popular stenciling tips we ever shared was that you could place paint colors side by side and then stencil them with a roller for an organic and forgiving multi-color look. So pretty! The Stencil How-to was for our Faded Silk Suzani Stencil Fabric Finish -- a perennial favorite. Be sure to offload well!  



Who says you have to stencil with just color?  Not us! In fact, we recommended a cool twist on stenciling in our Stamping the Splendor Damask Stencil How-to.  Using rubber craft stamps & ink to help stencil in your pattern - now there's a way put an even MORE personal stamp on your projects!  Be sure to click on that link to see the lovely final results!

We're always striving to inspire you with stencil ideas and we hope these tips help enhance your next stencil project! Do you have any tips you'd like to share or have any questions for us?  Let us know in the comments - we'd LOVE to hear from you!

Take a look at these extra stencil project tutorials just for YOU...


Stencil Decor to Adore! French-Inspired Stenciling Ideas

French-Inspired Stencil Inspiration from Royal Design Studio 


With it's easy refinement, French-inspired designs continue to be a go-to style for designers, DIYers and homeowners alike and adding a little stenciled French flair to your home has never been easier! The sophisticated style lends itself to more eclectic and artistic interiors with surfaces ranging from walls to fabrics to furniture and decor accents. Let's take a look at how some of our very creative Royal Design Studio customers created ultra chic surfaces with French flair!


French-Inspired Stencil Ideas for Your Home | Royal Design Studio 

Tradition meets the 21st century is this stenciled contemporary master bedroom by Jamie of So Much Better with Age.  She was going for an allover wallpaper look without the headache, and the French Bee Trellis Stencil pattern charmed both her and her husband. The bee motif is considered as the oldest emblem of the sovereigns of France and this regal design has easily found its way into modern interiors. It's the perfect pattern choice for this stately, elegant bedroom!


Springtime in Paris Lettering Stencil Transforms a Mirror | French-Inspired Ideas

Our friend Michelle from Hello Lovely is always dreaming up ethereally chic projects.  She most recently created a dreamy stenciled dressing room with our Fortuny Stencil, but she also used the French poetry of our Springtime in Paris Letter Stencil to add pattern to a surprising surface: a mirror!  What could have been a traditional, soon-forgotten home accent now is a beautiful focal point that also visually expands the space. 


French-Inspired Furniture and Decor | Royal Design Studio


What a fun, flirty piece!  We  are in amour the fresh color palette of this stenciled credenza, too. Customer Joan Chamberlain chose the French Floral Damask Stencil from the Allover Damask Stencils Collection to add energy and verve to a basic stained furniture set.  Damask patterns were a favorite of French nobility who used them to adorn their walls, windows and furnishings.  We say ooh la la!

Do you now have fabulously French stencil-bilities on the mind? Everything about France oozes ultracool flair, especially their architecture and decor. Royal Design Studio makes it easy to incorporate this stylish look with your favorite patterns and color schemes.  And oh - we'd love to see your results!



Tres Chic! We share MORE fashionable stencil inspirations!

Made to Fade! Creative Ombre and Stenciled Surfaces

DIY Trendy Ombre Stenciling | Royal Design Studio Stencils 


The gradated color of ombre paint techniques seem to always be on trend!  Ombre style can be found on any manner of surfaces in fashion and home decor with the shades and tones fading from dark to light or light to dark. Stencil patterns from Royal Design Studio can easily be paired with this colorful surface treatment and the results are no less than spectacular!  Some of our blog friends and favorite stores have jumped in on the popular look -- read on for fab project inspiration!


Homneycomb Ombre Stenciling in Nursery | Royal Design Studio 
Gradient colors can be fun and energetic but also soft and soothing.  Amy from How to Nest for Less used our Honeycomb Allover Wall Stencil and Copper Kettle Stencil Creme to create a dreamy cascade of pattern and coppery gold colors for her little girl's nursery.  Using a stencil brush, she worked with the colors until she had the faded effect she was going for. The results? She loved the sense of movement created with her fab stenciled nursery wall.
Modern Chevron Wall Stencil in Blue Ombre | Royal Design Studio 
This Chevron Ombre Stripe Pattern Tutorial is one of our most popular stencil project pins evah.  Who wouldn't love the gorgeous turquoise colors and the fresh twist on a popular pattern? Plus, the Modern Chevron Wall Stencil how-to post has great tips on make your roller stenciling clean and crispy (as opposed to messy and drippy). Click in to get your ombre on!
DIY Ombre Stenciling Project | Royal Design Studio 
Ombre and Royal Design Studio Stencils are a Lowe's Creative Idea! The popular home improvement store used the Peacock Fancy Stencil pattern in shades of sherbet to create an ombre painted and stenciled room screen. Of course, you can use your fave colors and stencil patterns to create yours.  We think this weekend DIY project is a haute stencil idea!
Have you incorporated an ombre treatment or two into your personal spaces?  As you can see, the colorful ombre finish is super versatile and can be used for a variety of surfaces, including walls, furniture, floors and more. We hope we have your creative juices flowing -- and remember, all it takes is your fave stencil pattern and a few hues to add a whole lot of visual appeal!
More Stenciled Decorative Paint Treatments to Inspire You!

DIY Stencil Project on Paint + Pattern: Our Design Magazine

Paint+Pattern Design Magazine Home Page

Have you seen our shiny new online magazine, Paint and Pattern yet? At Paint + Pattern we are as passionate about combining paint and pattern for DIY and home decorating as you are. Our goal is to inspire, educate, and empower you to use simple techniques with paint and stencils to transform your home into a special space-one that reflects your unique personality, tastes, and talents! Not only that, but we also share the latest trends in style, design and decorative paintings while trying to explore how paint and pattern interact with the broader world of art and design.

For all of 2014, Paint and Pattern intends to focus on a different country each month. We were inspired by the beautiful country of Africa for all of February. Here’s a peek into some of the most amazing stencil project tutorials shared by two of our extremely talented contributors, Debbie Hayes and Deb Trombley. These were shared on Paint and Pattern using Royal Design Studio’s African Inspired Stencil Collection as well as a few other popular stencils.


DIY’s by Deb Trombley of India Pied-e-terre

Deb is a decorator, global style DIYer, painter and photographer. She has a beautiful blog by the name of India pied-e-terre, where she shares her inspiration and the process for designing and decorating. Deb is now a regular contributor for Paint + Pattern, where she shares the most amazing DIY projects ever! Let’s take a peek into a couple of her How-To projects from last month. 

Deb shared the steps for this beautiful afro-chic lampshade using Raven+Lily Tribal Stencil and Square Diamonds Moroccan Stencil. She scouted a plain off-white drum lamp shade and a wooden flower vase from her local stores to create this unique and gorgeous piece of functional stenciled art. To learn more about how you can create your own, see the full DIY post -Stenciling a Tribal Lamp: Can You Beat This Drum Shade?

In another project, she illustrates how to convert a cocktail table from drab to fab using reverse stencil technique in this amazing DIY - Learning to Stencil Backwards: How to Reverse Stencil Glass. She used the Marrakech Medallion Stencil and Royal Stencil Crème Paint by Royal Design Studio to create this beautiful conversational piece of art. 


DIY’s by Debbie Hayes of My Patch of Blue Sky

Debbie is a marketer, photographer and a professional faux finisher with a degree in fine art. She shares her love for design and creativity through her blog ‘My Patch of Blue Sky’.  Debbie is another creative and extremely talented contributor for our online magazine. Below is a glimpse into two simple yet beautiful DIY projects that Debbie created exclusively for Paint and Pattern readers.  

One of the projects she created was this Chalk Paint upholstery up-cycled miracle using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and the French Floral Damask Stencil. It took her only a day to turn this otherwise old looking silk love seat into a unique, chic and sophisticated work of art. Are you ready to take the plunge into painted upholstery? See How to Upcycle Upholstery with Chalk Paint

Debbie is all about upcycling things that can be easily found around the house.  She created this project simply by using supplies that were easily found in her garage. She used Royal Design Studio’s Barka Flower African Stencil, Eight Pointed Starts Moroccan Stencil, Sun Flower Moroccan Stencil and the Elsabet Trellis Furniture Stencil to create a beautiful combination of three different wooden frames. Each frame has a unique look and character of its own. To learn more, check out Africa Chic! How to Craft Rustic Stenciled Frames.  

If the above tutorials have left you craving for more DIY stencil project ideas, check out the links below to get inspired and to start your own little stencil project:

  • Find fun DIY ideas for various surfaces including furniture, fabric and mirrors right here on our How-To Stencil pages.
  • How-To + DIY on Paint+Pattern shares cool projects from Royal Design Studio and our contributor team.
  • If you love pinning and finding inspiring projects as much as we do, visit our DIY Craft + Stencil Projects board on Pinterest. 

Putting on the Glitz with Metallic Stenciling Ideas

Stencil ideas for decorating with metallic paints with stencils from Royal Design Studio


Stencils add SO much design and visual appeal to a space. By pairing them with luscious metallics, you have radiant surfaces that ooze chic stencil style! You can easily mix and match your Royal Design Studio Stencils with metallic Royal Stencil Cremes, metal leaf for gilding, metallic foils and metallic paint to add dazzling metallic effects to your project. Since a stencil allows you customize your preferred pattern with your fave colors, you also have our choice of any eye-catching colors like gold, silver, copper, bronze, pearls and a myriad of other yummy shades in between. We've rounded up some of our favorite ideas from our friends to show you ideas that add a glam touch of luxury to your decor.


Pair Up Metallics and Stencils for Fabulous Projects


Decorative finishing firm Broad Spectrum used the Fabric Damask Stencil from the Allover Damask Stencils Collection for their stenciled wall treatment on a client's master bathroom.  The neutral plaster walls make a fantastic background for the gold speckled stenciling. They used the stencil with a random placement here, using the pattern singularly and overlapping others. You can also use this versatile stencil to create an allover wallpaper pattern!


Stencils and Metallics Create a Glamorous African-Inspired Space


Artist Leslie Nesbitt from Rhythmic Walls certainly added some fab metallic rhythm to these living room walls with both metallic paint and metallic color foils. The Yoruba African Stencil she used is from our haute, haute haute African Stencils Collection. We recently expanded this collection as modern tribal patterns are sweeping the design world with their organic, contemporary graphics and designs.


Stenciling a Range Hood with Metallics | Royal Design Studio


The walls, cabinets, ceiling and flooring of a kitchen are all fantastic surfaces to add a splash of stencil style -- but have you ever considered the range hood? Artist Jay Lewis created a standout focal point for his clients by using the Florentine Damask Stencil with gorgeous golden shimmer.  We think he has the Midas touch!


DIY Reverse Stencil Glass Technique | Metallics and Stencils


Deb Trombley, the blogger and design spotter extraordinaire behind the India Pied-à-Terre blog, used Royal Stencil Cremes and the Marrakech Medallion Stencil on the top glass piece of a cocktail table.  Be sure to catch this DIY Reverse Stenciled Glass project tutorial created especially for our daily design blogzine Paint + Pattern.


Create Custom Metal Leaf and Gilded Wall Art with Stencils


Metallic finish and stencils can also pair up to create custom stenciled wall art! It's a perf way to add small doses of metallic touches around a room without making it overwhelming. Debbie Hayes from My Patch of Blue Sky used the Feathered Damask Stencil with gold leaf to create this amazing gilded stenciled glass art. The best "glue" to use to adhere the metal leaf to the glass is the Royal Stencil Size.  It comes in both Red and Black but you'll want to use the Clear to recreate this particular look.


Create a Sophisticated Allover Wallpaper Look with Stencils and Metallics


Major Glam! This sophisticated stencil wall finish was applied by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes using both the Chez Sheik Moroccan Stencil and the Pearl Oyster Creme Paint. The allover pattern creates a flawless wallpaper look for this alluring space.


Feature Wall Ideas with Metallics and Stencils | Royal Design Studio


One of our most popular stencil patterns, the Moorish Trellis Stencil, was used by Creative Wall Designs with silver metallic paint to stencil all the walls in a guest bedroom. They also cleverly used it to create a shimmery feature accent wall as well. They certainly lived up to their name!


Great Ideas for Using Metallics and Stencils for your Home | Royal Design Studio


Have you ever wanted an enchanting and super cozy bedroom to retreat to?  So did Marcia of Precious Style -- she calls this beauty her "shimmering golden wall" and loves every bit of it. Marcia used gold metallic paint with the Silk Road Suzani Stencil, a pattern with seriously chic global style. Click in to see more of her glam stenciled wall!

Any neutral room needs metallics for warmth and interest and they will always be a perennial hot design trend. The pairing of any lustrous materials with a stencil pattern is a fast way to make your home to look effortlessly modern and chic. Don't forget that you can always take a cue from fashion and skillfully mix metallic colors in the same room! We hope we've inspired you today with a little metallic stencil magic.  We'd love to know what you would do with metallics and stencils in your home!


More Metal Mixology with Stencils!


Stencil Yourself a Tres Chic Coffee Table

Coffee tables are a dime a dozen, right? Not so fast! A gorgeous stenciled coffee table is an easy way to add unexpected panache with color and pattern. It's also one of the best ways to pair fashion with function in your living room. With an almost seemingly endless array of coffee table options, you can create your own one-of-a-kind piece with stencils from Royal Design Studio!  Sarah from Offbeat + Inspired had this same inspiration when she decided upon transforming a garage sale find for her living room - and she shows you exactly how to get creative coffee table style with stencils!

Sarah found this nondescript table at a local garage sale. After trudging it home, she found that it was hard to decide in which room it would fit in perfectly. To make matters worse, she wasn't fully pleased with any of the paint finishes she kept trying on it. Once she spied the Small French Floral Damask Stencil from the Allover Damask Stencils Collection though, it was all over. She says of the table, "Frankly, it’s uninteresting and doesn’t have a whole lot of character...I knew this design would make my coffee table anything except boring".

Sarah first started by painting the piece with Paris Gray Chalk Paint® on the legs and Old White Chalk Paint® on the table top. Then, using a stencil brush with the Smoked Oyster Stencil Creme, she stenciled in the damask pattern. With this method, she was able to avoid paint bleeds.  "I’ve not had much stenciling experience, but I have made a mess before when the paint bled or the stencils didn’t seem to line up correctly. Thankfully, I didn’t have any of those issues this time around. My strongest recommendation, however, has to be the stencil brush. If you are going to do any kind of stenciling, buy one of these  so you can avoid the headaches I’ve experienced from using other brushes." Thanks, Sarah! Please be sure to visit her incredible stenciled coffee table tutorial.

After distressing the painting and stenciling, she finished off her coffee table with Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax followed with a light coat of Soft Dark Wax. The coffee table now oozes sophistication and is a unique piece that personalizes and adds character to the living room. Sarah loves her table -- not bad for the table's Plain Jane beginnings! Tell us, are you now inspired to makeover that drab furniture piece you haven't known what to do with?

Photographs by Laura Lee Photography

Take a Look at Other Terrific Table Transformations!

A Mid-Century Furniture Twist with Mod Floral Stencils


One of the "haute-est" looks going is fab mid-century modern furniture transformations. Nothing beats the clean architectural details and aesthetic -- and the look can be be enhanced by using stencils from Royal Design Studio.  The recent floral stencil patterns added to our Allover Modern Stencils Collection have a global modern feel and when our friend Danielle from the lovely Finding Silver Pennies blog expressed interest in them, we knew they would be perfect for her  mid-century dresser.



This was the sad state of her dresser prior to painting and stenciling. She started by using Pure White Chalk Paint® for the body and Provence Chalk Paint® for the dresser drawers.Nice, right? Love that combination! After much thought, Danielle decided upon the Adana Abstract Floral Furniture Stencil, which is a smaller size than the larger wall stencil and yet perfectly sized for furniture projects. Using a stencil brush, she stenciled in the pattern with our Pearl Oyster Stencil Creme Paint to give it a little oomph and a lot of shimmer.  Perfection!



To get the look, Danielle suggests starting your design at the center of your surface and working out from there. Since the stencil creme paints dry quickly, she was able to keep stenciling easily with hardly any wait time. To finalize the new look of her dresser, she switched out the brass pulls for glass bubble knobs with a chrome base. Danielle shares the full details on her stenciled dresser how-to.



We were tickled pink that Danielle named her piece Adana, after our stencil. How sweet is that? Now tell us, don't you think is is an amazing before and after? It's a perfect mix of color, furniture lines and stencil pattern - thank you, Danielle! If you'd like a similar look, you can chose your favorite Chalk Paint® color, take a look at our Furniture Stencils Collection and find the perfect mix for that piece you've had your eye on redoing. Stenciling your furniture has never been easier -- and be sure to send us your gorgeous stencil project when you do!


Fantastic furniture makeovers - we have more to show you! Click in to be inspired!

Light Up a Lampshade with Stenciling: Flea Market Style


Are you looking for a quick and colorful pick-me-up for a certain spot in your home? Something that won't cost a fortune yet will reward you for a very small investment of your time? Stenciling a drum lampshade is a super easy DIY project you can do to transform a lamp you may already have. Or, if you're the type who's on the hunt for adventure and bargains, consider a trip to your local thrift shop to find the perfect trash to treasure candidate.

That's what Flea Market Style Magazine did. And  with the help of Royal Design Studio, some white spray paint, and our Small Fleur de Lace stencil on a drum shade, they turned a cast-off lamp base into a pretty showpiece.


We stenciled this paper drum shade in our studio in two easy steps!

  1. Use a foam roller to base coat the outside of a paper lampshade with Chalk Pain®t decorative paint in Pure White. This will give you a great surface to work on, especially if the paper shade is dirty or made from a shiny material like this one was.
  2. Starting at the back, run a piece of tape along the seam and begin the stencil pattern there using Peacock Fancy Stencil Creme. Continue to repeat the pattern around the shade using the built in registration marks. When you get back to the seam, remove the tape and place it on the OTHER side to protect the area where you originally began your stenciling.

Set up a nice little vignette with your "new" lamp on a tabletop to "turn on" the style!!