7 Wall Stencils for Painting to Choose From

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Painting is a means of expressing your emotions and ideas. A new coat of paint (whether well done or not) is difficult to miss. And the best part is that painting is a cost-effective method of remodeling a home. And while painting is a work of art and is easy on the eyes, its benefits go beyond aesthetics. It also helps to protect the walls from pollution, weather, normal wear and tear, and dirt.

Interior house painting will give your room a unique and beautiful look if you are creative enough. Part of being creative is applying textured painting and stencil painting on your walls. Textured painting adds a bit of texture and depth to your walls and gives it a realistic look and feel. On the other hand, stenciling is the use of cutouts or patterns to add cool designs to your walls. If you want, you can use your stencil pattern repeatedly to create a fresh design all through or just use a large stencil pattern instead.

In comparison to textured painting, it is faster and cost-effective. The stencil design reflects your thoughts and personality and is a great alternative to wallpaper.

Wallpapers are loved for their vast patterns and speed of application. However, several factors make wall stencils an ideal alternative, especially for homeowners with a creative mind.

Wallpaper Vs stencils

Wallpaper is great not only for its aesthetics but also for its protection and the durability it affords the walls. The layer it adds to a wall is easy to clean. Also, depending on the pattern you choose, a wallpaper will add a depth and a visual interest that regular painting can’t provide. But on the flip side, it is expensive to install in comparison to stencils. And the expenses continue to increase when you get sick of the current design and want it replaced with a new found love.

Now, though wall stenciling is easy, it has its fair share of drawbacks. At the top of the list is the fact that it’s not easy to pull off a clean and professional design. It requires a great deal of time and patience. Without these, the paint will bleed and create a mess on your wall. Luckily, there are ways to prevent this from happening. We shall look at the best stenciling techniques a little later.

Wall Stenciling

Now, before we talk about wall stencils for painting, it’s important that we start from the basics – tools needed for a successful wall stencilling project.

Right stencil tools for a perfect job

There are indeed lots of tools you can use on the project. However, we shall focus on the must-have essentials to pull off a clean job.

Stencil brushes

These brushes are specifically designed to use with wall paint stencils. Stencil brushes resemble regular round brushes. They have flat tops which make them perfect for swirling paint over the wall paint stencils without letting the paint seep under the wall paint stencil. Stenciling with regular artist brushes of a chip brush will create a huge mess, and you’ll not love the results because the shape of the brush is wrong. The flat tops of the brushes are the key to success. So do make sure you get a stencil brush.

Which brings us to the question, how does one choose the best stencil brush? With so many options on the market, making a choice is confusing. However, there are various qualities can direct you to a great stencil brush.

A good stencil brush is:

  • Soft
  • Flexible but dense with natural bristles
  • Has minimal shedding

A stiff brush will make the stencilling process even harder. You will end up with rough marks on your wall. On the other hand, flexible stencil brushes will allow for soft shading and color blending.

With that said, the Artist’s Club Papillon Stencil Paint Brush Set will do a great job. The bristles are soft, flexible and dense. And even better, they will retain their rounded shape for longer. When you get your stencil, it’s important that you rub it vigorously with your thumb to loosen the bristles.

For large wall paint stencils, you should use large stencils. Only use the smaller brushes with smaller stencil designs and for shading purposes. Also, you should be careful not to choose brushes with wooden handles as they prove difficult to clean over time.

How to load the stencil brush with paint

The general rule of thumb is not to use a lot of paint. A little paint will go a long way. Start by pouring some paint onto a paint tray. Foam plates are best because they are readily available and are cheap. Also, they have the perfect size. If you please, you could use a paint tray instead.

Dip the stencil into the paint. Distribute the paint evenly through the stencil bristles. This is best done by painting several circles onto the paint plate. Before you start painting, be sure to remove the excess paint.

Stencil rollers

While the stencil brushes are great for detailing, stencil rollers are perfect for speed. They come in handy when working on larger designs that don’t require a lot of detailing and shading. The best roller for use with wall paint stencils is one with dense foam, and that has rounded edges. You will not get great results with regular fluffy paint rollers so don’t try it. Why? Well, they will hold a lot of paint and will end up making a huge mess.

Moreover, the soft foam rollers – the kind with yellow foam, will create a huge mess as well and are therefore not perfect for stencil projects. A dense and firm roller like the Shur-Line Mini Roller will soak up the right amount of paint and dispense only what is needed on the wall. Its rounded edges are perfect since they will not leave sharp roller marks on your design as regular rollers do. Additionally, the handle is ergonomic and will allow you to work for longer without tiring.

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The right way to load a stencil roller with paint

Pour your latex/acrylic paint on your paint tray. You don’t need a lot of paint. Three tablespoons of paint will be enough to get started. Load the paint onto your foam roller by rolling it over the paint a couple of times until it absorbs all of it. Press the roller down as you roll it over the paint. Remember, the goal is for the foam to absorb the paint not to have it coated with it.  When the roller has absorbed enough, get rid of the excess on the paint tray by rolling it on the rough section a couple of times. If you don’t have a paint tray, paper towels will work just fine.

A roller that’s properly loaded should have evenly distributed paint on its surface without dry patches or sections with visible chunks of paint. It should look almost dry.

Paint Tray

As we’ve mentioned above, paint trays are essential in loading paint on the rollers and getting rid of excess paint for a clean finish. Most painting trays have two sizes, the reservoir and the roll-off area for even loading.

The Wooster Brush Plastic Tray is perfect for wall stenciling. And given that it’s made of hard plastic, it is rust proof and solvent resistant. These two qualities add to its durability.

Stencil tape

The thing that makes wall stenciling a tedious process doing repetitive designs. For a clean look, you need to have steady hands and ling up previous designs to new ones. If you don’t, the wall will end up looking horrible. And since our hands can never be perfectly still to guarantee a clean result, we recommend using stencil tape to hold down the wall stencils for painting.

The iCraft removable tape is perfect for this job. It doesn’t leave any residue behind when it’s removed. And though it firmly secures the stencil, it’s easy to peel off.

Spray adhesive

Usually, spray adhesive is used on fabric. However, it works great on walls as well. They help to secure stencil designs on the wall without damaging the wall or peeling off the paint.

Stencil Repositionable Spray Adhesive is perfect for the job. It works on painted walls, fabrics, plastics, metals, glass and rubber. It offers a semi-permanent low tack bond that peels easily while retaining its strength. It is easy to clean off when the work is done.

Damp Cotton Cloth

Regardless of how careful you are during the painting process, you are bound to make some mistakes and spill paint. When this happens, you’ll need to have a cloth in hand to wipe off the drip or spill before causing major damages.

The Amazon Basics cleaning cloth is perfect for the job. This product is super soft and non-abrasive. It doesn’t scratch the paint, absorbs eight times its weight, and is reusable. It is made from 10% polyamide and 90% polyester.


When working on a wall, you’ll need a ladder to reach the hard to reach spots. Since stenciling requires you to work in comfortable positions, you’ll need a ladder that is stable and has a good grip on its steps.

The Delxo 2-in-1 Aluminum ladder is ideal for the task. This ladder is certified for safety, is stable and has three steps with anti-slip wave patterns. Moreover, it has rubber straps to keep it from shifting from under you. And since it’s made from aluminum, it’s lightweight and rust proof.

Wall stencil level

Before you paint over the wall stencil, you need to place the cut-out straight on the wall. If the first design comes out slanted, it will reflect on the overall results. To ensure that the stencil art is always straight and level, you need a spirit level.

The Dowel Magnetic Box Level is a great choice. It features three bubbles for leveling at 45 degrees, 90 degrees, and 180 degrees. It is small enough to be held together with the stencil art, and since it has an aluminium frame, it’s durable and accurate.


Now that you know the tools you need, let’s proceed to determine what type of paint you should use with wall stencils for painting. As expected, there are a couple of paint options to consider.

Latex and Acrylic Paints

The latex and acrylic paints have a consistency that helps in ensuring your paint doesn’t run under the stencil. The acrylic paint dries up fast in comparison to other paints. This means that the paint will not have time to run under your stencil. The beauty of acrylic paint is that it can be used on walls, wood, and furniture.

Fabric Paints

Fabric paints are also perfect for wall stencils. They are a great alternative to fabric paint.

Spray paint

But in the event you don’t have acrylic and fabric paint, you can use spray paint. But though it’s a good alternative, you need to be careful not to mess up your wall. Additionally, the fumes can be poisonous, and as such, you should arm yourself with protective gear. When you are using spray paint, you should also use spray adhesive to stick the stencil in place.

As you spray the paint, you should be careful not to overspray as this could lead to the paint getting to the stencil edges and ruining the pattern.

Glass Paints

If your wall has a mirror that you’d like to stencil, you should use glass paint. Stenciling glass surfaces require special paint that will not chip or peel over time. Craft enamel paint is perfect for creating art on glass. When working on glass surfaces, you should use spray adhesive.

Get stencils

Stencil cutouts are the final piece of the puzzle. With a stencil design of your choice, you can transform your home into a paradise. There are numerous stencil options that you can choose from, ranging from themed to abstract patterns. But whichever you choose, you’ll realize that a little goes a long way.

Below are some of the best stencil designs:

1. Ethnic

Most homeowners are love ethnic patterns. However, if you ask most of them, they aren’t aware of this term given to the patterns and designs they are so in love with. So what exactly is an ethnic design/pattern?

Well, as you’d guess, Ethnic patterns refer to designs, prints, and patterns that have their roots from a specific population subgroup, cultural or national tradition. Most of these ethnic patterns pay tribute to the creativity and authenticity of different cultures around the world. Because of this, there are a myriad of ethnic stencil patterns you can choose from, ranging from Mexican inspired patterns to Indian, Navajo, Tapa, African, and Ikat. Your choice depends on what you relate with and the theme you are going for.

Now, though these patterns showcase a culture that was king centuries ago, they add modern character and warmth to a room. When done right, they can transform your home into a cultural palace.

2. Geometric Patterns

When thinking about interior design, we recommend keeping an eye on the current trends. At the moment, geometric patterns are at their peak. They are being used everywhere in different forms and designs in TV shows and magazines the world over. And with all they have to offer, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t embrace them. But just to sell you on geometric stencil designs, below are a couple of reasons why they are gaining popularity.

We time-traveled back to the 70s

The thing about trends is that they are not cooped up in a vacuum. If you look around, at the fashion, art and beauty trends, for instance, you’ll notice that they share some common aspects. Moreover, popularity is a cycle. If you’ve been around for some time (or have done your research), you’ll notice some designs have come back to the cover of popular remodeling magazines but with a modern and fresh twist to them. And right now with the geometric stencil designs, we are taken back to the 70s.

They add visual interest

It has been said before, and we’ll echo it; if you are looking for popping wall design, one that will grab the attention of those who walk into it, go for geometric designs. Neutral walls are boring. And it’s because of this that geometric stencil designs with saturated colors are trending.

However, we should point out that the geometric pattern has to be carefully handpicked for your room. This means that the pattern has to be the right design, size and, the right color scheme for your color scheme. But most importantly, the design has to be something you love.

Less is more

With geometric patterns, less is always more. It’d be overwhelming to have a room covered in different patterns. The eyes would latterly have no place to rest. Focus on creating a focal point with the design rather than filling up space.

Geometric patterns give the illusion of movement

Have you ever come across geometric images that seem to shift before your eyes every time you blink? Imagine having the same effect in your room. Though circles are the most common shapes, you can get creative will other shapes as well.

And in case you are wondering, you don’t have to be into maths or geometry to love these patterns. Provided you are into cool designs and patterns; you can use geometric stencils to revamp your house.

3. Nature Inspired

No one can dispute the fact that nature is beautiful. It is a masterpiece that effortlessly is. While there are lots of ways you can incorporate it into your interior design, nature-themed stencil designs are by far the easiest method. And given how diverse nature is, you’ll not run out of creative designs to choose from.

If you have a large wall surface to work with, you can have an enchanted forest painted on your wall, the tree of life, butterflies, floral designs and a lot more. You can even have a combination of these and have a piece of art on your wall.

4. Mix and match

If you are one of those individuals who have a diverse creative taste, settling on one type of design may be limiting. So rather than limiting yourself, how about you mix and match the different designs you love and come up with unique wall stencils for painting? You can create it all from scratch or purchase readymade designs online.

5. Themed

If you already have a theme you love, you don’t have to do away with it. Simply look for wall stencil designs that match with your current design and use them instead. Granted, working backward can prove to be difficult, but hey, at least it’s not impossible right? And if you don’t have the time to put in the work, you can hire us (Painters in Bergen County, NJ) to do the heavy lifting and choose a themed stencil design that you’ll love and will blend with the current design.

There is a wide selection of themed stencils for travelers, music loves, sci-fi fanatics and those into emoticons.

6. Ceilings and borders

Ceilings and borders are often forgotten. However, those who choose to work with them see a great difference in the overall results. And the best bit is that minimal work is required. After there’s less surface to work with.

But on the flip side, the little surface makes working with these surfaces super delicate. You have to be patient and skillful to achieve flawless designs. On these spaces, you’ll need to use the painter’s tape and the wall levels often.

Even though they are often forgotten, there is a wide range of ceiling and border wall stencils for painting to choose from. The variants of styles available include folk floral, ribbon, rising waves, and ornamental waves.


If you love playing around with words or leaving yourself, some wise quotes to remind you of your goals, or manta, you should go with quotes wall stencils for painting. These especially come in handy in the kitchen and bathroom for labeling drawers and cabinets. They help the family to be a little more organized.

We’ve also seen some super moms use them around the house to help teach kids some words or house rules. But whatever your goal is, quotes and worded wall stencils for painting are a great addition to your theme.

Where to buy wall stencils for painting

Now that you are sold on getting wall paint stencils, the question is, where do you get the best stencils in the US? Now, since stencil art has grown a lot over the past couple of years, there are many online stores and physical retailers offering them. The only challenge is in getting the really creative pieces. Luckily, we’ve compiled a short list to guide you on your way.


If you are into creative stuff, you probably know Etsy. Etsy is one of the best sites you can use to support local creatives like yourself. Some creatives on the platform make excellent stencils – give them a chance. You’ll be shocked at how affordable the items are.

Home improvement stores and craft stores

You can get wall stencils for painting on virtually any craft store near you, including:

  • Home Depot
  • Walmart
  • Target

But if you are going to purchase large wall stencils for painting (larger than usual), these craft and home improvement stores may not offer you a lot of variety.

Moreover, you’ll be limited in terms of size. And no, you shouldn’t compromise and get a small stencil to use on a large wall. It will take you ages to complete.

For large wall stencils for painting, you are better off working with companies that have specialized in stencil making.

Cutting Edge Stencils

This is a stencil specific company. If you are looking for something creative and a little cuckoo for craft stores and home improvement stores, you are bound to get it here. They have a wide range of stencils to choose from.


Amazon did not grow up to be the beast it is by lacking products in its inventory. No! Over the years, it has grown to be a reputable and dependable company. You can choose from a variety of designs. But as we’ve pointed out, if you want large wall stencils for painting, you are better off going with stencil dedicated companies.

Wall Stenciling Tips

Get the right tools

We started by outlining all the items you’d need to make this project a success. Be keen to get the tools. Without the tools, wall stencilling will be a nightmare.

Think of where you’ll start and end

Before you stick the wall stencil for painting on your wall, start by envisioning the end product. Beginning with the end in mind will set you for success before you even make the first stroke. If your wall has lots of obstacles, start on an end that will help you make complete patterns first. This is to help reduce the number of times you’ll have to make partial patterns which can be a problem.

Also, if you’ll be working on multiple walls, it’s easy to get lose the alignment in between. We advise you to plan an end that is inconspicuous like behind a door or a remote corner of the room.

Be cautious with the alignment

The hardest bit about working with stencils is the setup process and more so, aligning the stencils (if you have multiple and every time you move them). No doubt you’ll be tempted to skip to the fun painting part. But do not make the mistake of skimping on perfect alignment. It will show in the end product, and you will hate yourself for it when the design comes out crooked.

Luckily, most wall stencils for painting come with stencil registration marks. And in addition to the stencil marks, you should use a wall level as well.

Use a hairdryer

We’ll let you in on a little secret we use on our projects. When working on multiple walls, it can be a pain to work on the corners. It’s even more difficult to get the stencil aligned and in the right position long enough for your paint to dry. Often, this leads to making unsightly smear lines.

To prevent this from happening, whip out your hairdryer. Blowing hot air onto the fresh paint will drastically reduce the drying time, which in turn translates into less paint bleeding and smearing under the stencil. Overall, it will help you complete the project faster.

Protect the adjacent walls and trims with painters tape

Painters tape will be your best friend throughout the painting project. It will come in handy in helping you do a clean job on the first go. As we pointed out at the beginning, the tape will help you to protect adjacent walls and trims before the stenciling project kicks off.

Less is always more

Lastly, when it comes to the actual painting, it will serve you well to remember that less is more. Once you dip your painting brush into the paint, wipe off the excess. If you see some bleeding paint under your stencil, then you are using too much paint.

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Let’s do a quick recap of all we’ve learned, shall we?

First, stenciling is a difficult process that requires skill, dedication, and patience. Second, the process requires you to have a couple of tools to get a flawless look. And while it can be a DIY project, you are better off hiring a professional painter to handle the project instead. In light of this, we, Painters in Bergen County NJ, would be more than happy to serve you. Stenciling is right in our wheelhouse, and our expert painters are experienced in delivering flawless results.

We serve Bergen County and have lots of testimonials to back up our claims. Reach out to us today for a quick estimate and save some cash and time.

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