How to Stencil with Allover Pattern Stencils

Stenciling with allover patterns, such as damask stencil patterns, lattice-work and scrollwork are a great addition to any room. The repeated pattern will actually make a small room seem larger. Unlike wallpaper, stenciled allover patterns are inexpensive, can be done in custom colors and can also be done using techniques that yield a wonderful "painterly" effect.  
allover pattern stencil corsini damask

Working with allover pattern stencils in a room

If you are wrapping the stencil design around a room, meaning that the pattern will be placed on all four walls, find the vertical center point of the most dominant wall and begin with the pattern centered on that, working out to and through each corner.  Your pattern will then end equally at both dominant corners.  Each pattern will work a little differently, but I prefer to begin the pattern at the top of the wall and let it end however it ends up at the bottom, since most of it will be covered by furniture.
If you are wrapping the design completely around the walls, how do you get it to end perfectly?  You probably can'­t and will pull your hair out trying.  It is an allover pattern just like wallpaper.  There has to be a seam somewhere, so put it in the least obvious spot that has limited wall space.  For most rooms, this is where you enter the room.  Continue the design uninterrupted around the room, going both directions from the center starting point and wrapping each corner.  When you end both directions at the least dominant corner, there will be a limited amount of wall space above the door so if the design doesn'­t match up in THAT corner (which is the least dominant corner of the room), it will be hardly noticeable. Each room will present a different scenario, so think about it and plan ahead before you start.
Keeping it straight and in place
 
Damask stencil elegancia
You will want to work with a large, plastic bubble level and check the levelness of the pattern each time you move it (or every other one at least), by holding the level along one of the vertical or horizontal edges.  Use a light misting of re-positionable stencil spray adhesive  in addition to tape to keep the stencil flush with the wall and secure.  Because these are bigger, weaker stencils (meaning that they have more areas cut from them and have many bridges and delicate bendable, edges), the spray adhesive is quite helpful.
Working through corners, ceiling, etc.
Re-positionable stencil spray adhesive  really helps here, because it allows you to push the stencil into the corner or ceiling line and make it secure to the wall.  For corners, remember that you can only do one wall surface at a time.  As you come to the corner, push the stencil first on to the wall you are working on, into the corner, allowing it to hang free from the opposite wall.  Complete your stenciling and wrap the stencil into the corner, pressing in to the other wall surface as you release the stencil from the wall you have just done.  You canít have the stencil secured to both walls at the same time it just won't work! The same goes for ceiling and molding edges.  The spray adhesive will hold the stencil securely to the wall surface, right into the corner edge.  
Matching up repeats
Pattern stencils chain link
 
Our allover pattern stencils have the repeat registration cut into the mylar. Various key elements of the design are cut through on the repeat so that you simply line them up over your previous stenciling, allowing for easy and perfect registration. Simply continue stenciling in the unpainted areas.

Caring for stencils

Some of the larger stencils with intricate designs that have many pointy edges and delicate bridges (areas of mylar between the design elements), will be damaged more by trying to scrub them than not.  If you use glazes for the stenciling you will have much less buildup on the stencils than if you stencil with heavy, undiluted paint and the residue will be very easy to remove. The easiest way to clean a large, production-sized stencil is to lay it flat on a table on heavy plastic and use a damp scrubby sponge or terry towel to clean gently. I haven't found it necessary to clean the adhesive off the back of the stencil.  Some residue will remain, but most will wear off through use. Simply place on a large sheet of heavy plastic, roll, and store. Never allow your stencil to be folded or bent!

25 Comments

Royal Design Studio
Royal Design Studio

June 30, 2016

Hello Rosa – great question! You will begin using a wall stencil on the center top portion. Then you will repeat and stencil downwards and outwards until the entire wall is stenciled. This way, the design in centered and symmetrical on your wall.

Rosa
Rosa

June 28, 2016

How do I begin the fortuny stencil? It’s for only one wall…I have started in the middle, and now I think i should have started in the corners working from left to right…help!

Royal Design Studio
Royal Design Studio

October 12, 2015

Hi Susan! You should still start in the middle of the space, which will be the middle of your ceiling and chair rail and work outwards. Hope that helps!

Susan
Susan

October 10, 2015

I am using the large peacock fancy stencil to stencil all 4 walls of my dining room . The design will only go above my chairrail. I read that it is recommended to start at the center of your main wall. However, should I push the stencil up to the Celing when I do my first stencil or should I start the first stencil in the center of the ceiling and chairrail?

Melanie Royals
Melanie Royals

December 31, 2014

HI Jill, as time goes on I find my self using Spray Adhesive less and less with stencil-and only when absolutely necessary. I find it messy and hard to clean. On the other hand, I have been stenciling for over 30 years! It really depends on your level of experience and personal preference. I always recommend that people use stencils in whatever way works best for them! :)

Jill
Jill

December 31, 2014

Hi, I just finished reading this post & all the comments & noticed in your last comment to Brett you said you prefer not to use adhesive spray except at corners & ceiling line…however, in the article it says to use spray adhesive throughout, particularly when using the bigger, weaker stencils (to prevent seeping, I assume)….can you explain?
thanks!

Royal Design Studio
Royal Design Studio

November 24, 2014

Hello Sam! You can use spray adhesive. It wont damage the paint but you must dry the paint before moving the stencil to it’s next repeat position. Our #1 solution to paint seepage is to “offload” which means wiping/dabbing off the majority of paint you onload onto your brush. Painting with too much paint is the number one cause of seepage. We also recommend our stencil brushes because they are designed specifically for stenciling and helps with seepage. Hope this helps!

http://www.royaldesignstudio.com/collections/stencil-brushes

Sam
Sam

November 01, 2014

Hello! I am looking at using your “Moroccan Wall Stencil Small Moorish Trellis Allover Stencil for Wallpaper Look” for an accent wall in my nursery. My concern is that I have never stenciled before and afraid it may leak. Any tips you may have to prevent it from leaking under the template? Does the spray adhesive help prevent this or does it take paint off the wall with removing? Do you recommend a brush or roller? Any other tips you may have would be appreciated!

Melanie Royals
Melanie Royals

January 16, 2014

Hi Jan, those are all really pretty colors so it really just depends on her taste and what else is in the room. You should be fine for that with an 8oz. jar and large stencil brush. For the soffit, the simplest thing would be to tape off with 1" tape at top and bottom and center a portion of the allover pattern to repeat there like a border design. Hope that helps!

Jan Saunders
Jan Saunders

January 14, 2014

First time to do an all over stencil and am using the Chez Sheik Large. Doing 2 dining room walls (for a friend) above chair rail only. She wants silver but I can’t decide between your antique silver, aged nickel or smoked oyster stencil creme. Suggestions?
2 other questions:
1) Approx. how much stencil creme will I need for approx. 70 sq. ft.?
2) This space has an octagon tray ceiling, with a 9" vertical lip painted same as the walls. Any thoughts what to add to that area? Portion of the same stencil? Another border stencil? Hand painted detail?
Appreciate your time and expertise to offer any feedback!

Melanie Royals
Melanie Royals

May 27, 2013

We created this particular stencil inspiration image in Photoshop, but you could easily color match the blue at the paint store!

Betsy Brown
Betsy Brown

May 25, 2013

Hi…what are the colors that you used here for the corsini damask stencil….really like them…a great contrast for gold/black

Melanie Royals
Melanie Royals

May 14, 2013

Yes! You can absolutely stencil with regular wall paint. We recommend getting paint sample pots from Home Depot in the Behr Ultra Premium paint line for best results. See this Stencil How-to http://www.royaldesignstudio.com/blogs/how-to-stencil/7178768-stencil-how-to-ombre-chevron-stripe-pattern

Betsy Brown
Betsy Brown

May 08, 2013

Hi…can you use regular wall paint to stencil with?

Tricia
Tricia

December 26, 2012

What about wrapping around corners? Tips for that?

kristin
kristin

September 05, 2012

LOVE … Corsini Damask Stencil!

Bazil Rivera
Bazil Rivera

July 11, 2012

Hello, would you mind telling me the colors you used on the picture for your Fortuny Stencil?

Melanie Royals
Melanie Royals

June 27, 2012

Hi Lynda, Actually our Moorish Trellis stencil is one of our easiest patterns for allover wall stenciling. The open pattern areas are not large, so I recommend that you use either a 1" or 1.5" stencil brush and craft acrylic or latex paint in the color of your choice. I would begin with the pattern centered on the most dominant (feature) wall and stencil out either way from there. The stencil comes with additional instructions for laying out the pattern, etc. Thanks for you interest in our stencils!

Lynda
Lynda

June 27, 2012

I am thinking about using your Marrakesh Large Moorish Pattern to stencil my dining room walls. My dining room has a sliding glass door to the patio, and 2 full walls (open floor plan in my house). I have never stenciled at all before. What do I need to do this (tools, paint recommended)? Is this too ambitious of a project to start out with?

Melanie Royals
Melanie Royals

June 25, 2012

Hi Nicole! Yes, when stenciling an allover stencil pattern you have to just think of it repeating like wallpaper. You will just continue the stencil repeat around the window and push the stencil into the corner where the wall meets the window molding. It’s actually a bit easier than stenciling in corners, as you can get it tighter and closer into the corner easily. I recommend putting painter’s tape on your molding so you don’t get any of the stencil paint there. You can use a smaller length of tape and just move it around the molding as you stencil around the window. Hope that helps!

Nicole
Nicole

June 21, 2012

This is great. Any tips for carrying a pattern around a window? Would you just treat it like you would a corner?

Melanie Royals
Melanie Royals

June 04, 2012

Hi Allison, Yes you are right. It generally DOES take two coats of white to cover over a dark color when stenciling. If you are using a dry brush or roller you should be able to apply both thin coats before moving the stencil as the paint will be dry almost on contact. Unfortunately, if you try to just to one heavy coat, it will probably NOT cover anyway and you will end up with paint seeping under your stencil. One thing you CAN do is to use Titanium White artist acrylic for your stenciling. This contains a lot of pigment and will cover much quicker than say craft or latex paint. Hope that helps!

Allison
Allison

June 01, 2012

If you are stenciling white over a bold or dark color, do you need two coats? If so, there anything to do to avoid this?

Melanie Royals
Melanie Royals

May 21, 2012

Hi Brett, you can use a foam roller or large stencil brush, both of which you can find in our Stencil Supplies area. The trick with either is to use it “dry”. This means that each time you load your tool with paint,you will remove the excess by rolling or swirling onto paper towels. Then, when you roll or swirl the paint through the stencil opening to transfer it, you won’t have excess paint seeping under your stencil and will get nice, crisp lines. Since the paint is being applied in a very thin layer, it should be dry enough to move right along. I prefer not to use spray adhesive, except at corners and ceiling line, and yes, you will want to clean your stencil periodically throughout your project.

Brett
Brett

May 16, 2012

When doing an allover pattern like this on a large wall, can a foam roller be used or do I still need to dab at each area with a foam sponge “brush”?

Also, when you repeat the pattern and line up over what you’ve just stenciled, do you need to wait for the already-stenciled area to dry first? If so, does it need to be completely dry or just not tacky? Will the reposition-able adhesive pull up any of the new paint? And do you need to clean the stencil throughout the process or every time you reposition so any paint doesn’t transfer where you don’t want it to?

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.