Room stencils designs

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How to Make Wall Stencils

Wall stencils are a great way to add flair to any painting project. Stencils also look great and add personality to otherwise monotone walls.

You can use a wall stencil to decorate or personalize a room. For example, create a stylish accent wall by using a wall stencil instead of messy and complicated wallpaper. You can also create your own faux backsplash or faux brick wall. The possibilities are endless!

It can be hard to find a pre-made wall stencil you love, especially at an affordable price. A great solution is to make wall stencils yourself. It’s easy and fun and you can get the exact wall stencil you want.

Did you know that doing something creative like painting can even lead to greater happiness? Researchers have found that creative, hands-on projects can make you feel less anxious, boost your self-esteem, give a sense of accomplishment, and reduce stress.

On top of all that, you get a great, personalized result that is all your own. Ready to make your own wall stencils at home? Here’s how:



Buy Stencil Online

You would’ve noticed patterns on the walls or signboards that are so alike another. Ever wondered how did one get that precision? Some of these works are done using stencils. Now, what is stencil? It is a surface from which designs, letters or figures have been cut out. Stencilling is a form of art where ink or paint is applied through these cut outs to get the respective designs or patterns. Stencils are commonly used for painting walls or decorating furniture surfaces. You can even use stencil to personalise common items, such as notebooks and phone covers. Let’s explore more on stencils.

What Surface to Stencil on?

You can stencil on any surface of your choice. Although, a flat surface is preferred over any other surface. You can stencil on a table, a wall, or even your notebook. Common surfaces to stencil on are paper, wall, canvas and fabric. 

Graffiti Stencils

Graffiti is a form of art which involves creating designs, patterns, figures, and even letters on a wall. This form is used to voice one’s opinion, or showcase creativity. Graffiti art can be dated back to the 80s, and it is still very prevalent. This form of art can be used to personalise surroundings, such as the walls of your home. 

Literary Stencils

These stencils are majorly made of words than pictures. Like a prose or poetry that you want painted over your wall? All you have to do is stencil them out. Stencil templates from Isomars and SIZZIX has alphabets printed on it. With the help of this, you can stencil out alphabets on a surface using paint or ink.

Decorative Stencils

These stencils are generally for your home or office surroundings. You can either use a pre-existing pattern or design, or create your own stencil. For this kind, all you have to do is position the stencil appropriately on the surface, and spray or paint the stencil to get a beautiful design. Arhat Stencils has a great collection of symmetrical stencil designs for your walls. OasisArtStudio, C Kreul and Kayra Decor are other brands worth checking out, as well.

Tattoo Stencils

Artists create stencil designs of tattoos before tattooing it on the skin. He/she does this to get the outline of the design, which acts as a framework for him/her to use the needle on the skin. The tattoo artist uses a hectograph paper to create a stencil of the tattoo, either using a printer or by hand. Shop online for hectograph papers from brands, such as Mumbai Tattoo.

Making Your Own Stencils

You can always explore the creative side of you by making your own stencils. You can cut out designs and patterns of your choice on stencil sheets. To paint stencils that you’ve made, spread them on a surface, and use ink or paint on them. 

Shop online for paints and stencils. Whether you want to create your own stencil design or pick an existing one, log on to your preferred shopping site and explore your options.

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How to Use a Wall Stencil: 5 Tips for Rocking Your Next Stenciling Project


Last week I shared with you guys that I’m participating in the fall 2019 One Room Challenge (if you haven’t heard of the One Room Challenge, or “ORC” for short, here’s more about what it is) and that my 7-year old daughter is getting a new room out of the deal. Pretty fun for her, right?

In case you missed it, here’s the first post about this makeover. It’s gonna be a good one!

Part of the original design I created involved fun black and white printed wallpaper … but as I was calculating how much wallpaper I’d need to cover two of her bedroom walls, I realized just how expensive that was going to be.

We’re talking hundreds of dollars.

And considering we just renovated several rooms in our home, that felt like a not-so-smart financial move. So I decided it was time for a Plan B … and quickly came up with what I think is a pretty good alternative solution. Instead of using wallpaper in her colorful, fun bedroom, I decided to use a wall stencil instead. I chose this one from Royal Stencils Design Studio. The pattern is almost identical to the pattern on the wallpaper I’d been eyeing for this makeover.

Here’s a sneak peek at what my daughter’s room looks like, mid-stenciling project.

how to use a wall stencil

This post contains affiliate links — which means if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links, I’ll earn a teeny commission. Thanks for supporting Kate Decorates!

How do you use wall stencils?

To use a wall stencil, you simply use painter’s tape or spray adhesive to adhere the stencil to the wall, usually starting in the upper left-hand corner of the wall. Once you’ve painted the stencil design in the first spot on your wall, gently pull the stencil off the wall and move it either immediately below the first design, or to the right of it. Repeat this process until you’ve covered the desired amount of wall space.

Where do you buy wall stencils?

Wall stencils are available from lots of retailers. I like Royal Design Studio’s selection of stencils, but you can also find good quality wall stencils at places like Amazon and Etsy.

Why I like wall stencils

Wall stencils are a great, easy way to add a pattern-filled accent wall to a room in your home. I love that you can mimic the look of wallpaper for a fraction of the cost.

In fact, one of my first projects ever that I posted on the blog involved a wall stencil.

Take a look at this post — yeah, it’s totally okay to laugh at my photography skills (or lack thereof).

Oh, and the room styling wasn’t so hot, either. But we’ve all gotta start somewhere. #rookiemistakes

I also experimented with a wall stencil in our powder room last year, although that stencil project never saw the light of day on the blog. After stenciling just one small section of wall in our powder room, I decided to jump ship and paint over my stencil job. (More on the “why” behind that decision in a minute.)

I like wall stencils for a couple reasons:

  • Wall stencils are less expensive than using wallpaper.
  • Wall stencils are generally easy to paint over (although there IS a little bit of sanding involved), whereas stripping wallpaper that you no longer love is a total pain in the a$$.
  • When you use the right tools — meaning the right brush and the right type of paint — stenciling a wall can be easy and (fairly) quick.

But like any home project, the more tips and tricks you know before you start stenciling, the happier you’ll be with the finished product.

5 tips for how to use a wall stencil

If you’re considering using a wall stencil in your home — or if you’ve tried your hand at stenciling before but weren’t too thrilled with the results — then you need to read these tips that I’ve learned after tackling multiple wall stenciling projects:

#1 Buy the good paint.

                                                                                                  Photo credit: Royal Design Studios

The quality and type of paint you choose will make or break your stenciling project.

Remember I mentioned a stenciling project in our powder room that went sideways? Well, my poor choice of paint contributed to this poor project’s demise. I decided to use some leftover chalk paint for this particular project because I had read another blogger’s post about using this type of paint … and it completely backfired. The paint bled through the edges of the stencil and the small section of our wall that I had painted looked like a hot mess.

Be careful about the type of paint you use for stenciling. If it makes sense for your project, use Royal Design Studio’s cream-based stencil paints. I’ve used them on two different projects and the quality is phenomenal — I think their paint gives you amazing results.

If you need a color Royal Design Studio doesn’t offer, or simply want to use something other than Royal Design Studio paints, I’ve heard of others having success using various type of acrylic craft paints and even Behr Marquee paint — but I can’t personally vouch for those brands since I’ve never used them.

#2 Think twice about using geometric designs.

Unless you’re an incredibly skilled painter or you’ve used wall stencils in the past, I recommend shying away from a geometric design and choosing something more abstract. Why? If you make a mistake with an abstract design — maybe the stencil wasn’t completely straight in one patch you painted — no one will ever know. However, if you choose a stencil like this or this, then a mistake is more likely to stand out (Straight lines, I’m looking at you. Super tricky.).

If you’re a first-time stencil-er, my advice is to take a little pressure off yourself and choose an abstract design for your first go-round. Or if you’ve got your heart set on a geometric design, then practice on some scrap paper first before adhering your stencil to the wall.

#3 Less (paint) is more.

Any company that manufactures wall stencils will tell you this on the “how to” sheet that comes in the mail with your stencil, but … you don’t want a lot of paint on your brush.

Less is more, guys. This is so important to remember. If you have too much paint on your brush while stenciling, you run the risk of the paint bleeding underneath the stencil and essentially ruining your design and hard work.

When I stencil, I usually dip the brush gently into the paint, wipe the excess on the inside of the paint can lid, and then wipe my stencil brush again on a paper towel. After going through those steps you’ll probably be left wondering if you have any paint left on the brush at all, but that’s a good sign that you’ve got the right amount on your brush.

Here’s what my paper towel usually looks like after a few rounds of stenciling:



Even if you have to refill your brush mid-project, don’t panic. Several thin coats of paint are better than one thick coat.

#4 Paint in a circular motion when using your brush

This sounds like a strange recommendation, I know, but just trust me on this one.

If you paint in a circular motion, you’ll be sure to fill in all corners of your design completely.

As I’ve been stenciling the dots on my daughter’s wall, moving the brush in a circle as I paint means that each dot looks fully painted. No scraggly edges here, folks!

#5 Allow for drying time in between sections

I’m sure some pro stencil-ers might argue with me, but before you move your stencil to the next section of wall … wait 10 to 15 minutes.


Because if any paint got on the back side of your stencil — or if you accidentally bump the wet paint as you’re trying to re-position your stencil — then suddenly you have a streaky mess on your hands.

And why would you want to ruin all your hard work?!

As much as I hate waiting, being patient when stenciling pays off. I’ve been working on weekend mornings to stencil my daughter’s room and I usually throw on a good Spotify playlist or a podcast (this is one of my favorite podcasts, btw) so that I’m not quite literally watching paint dry.

How do you paint over wall stencils?

If you get sick of an accent wall you stenciled, the good news is that wall stencils are relatively easy to paint over. The first step in the process is to sand down the design so that the stencil paint becomes even with the base paint coat on your wall.

Once you’ve sanded down the design, prime a small area and let it dry. If you can still see the stencil design coming through the primer, then you’ve got more sanding to do. If you don’t see the stencil coming through, continue priming the entire wall, let it dry, and then paint over it with your choice of paint.

Room makeover next steps

I’ve still got more stenciling to do this weekend, but I also need to:

  • Hang a gallery wall above the desk
  • Get new bedding
  • Hang wall art on the back wall
  • Order her reading chair
  • Figure out a way to dress up her plain white IKEA dresser

The to-do list is still pretty long … so check back next week for an update on the project!

Check out another post for 3 ways to refresh a room when you can’t paint.

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How To Stencil Faux Hanging Vines With Vine Stencils [BEGINNER LEVEL]

Today’s post is dedicated to the power of the stencil. Not wanting to take the wallpaper plunge? Try a stenciled wall instead! You can always paint over it if you decide it’s time for a change. Not to mention, stencils are often more affordable than wallpaper, and when you tell friends and family that you painted the design yourself, you’re sure to get many compliments. Whether you’re looking for a consistent pattern or you’re piecing together a mural, check out the stenciled walls below… [image from Ebcon Corporation]

Hand painted stencil in an elegant bedroom

Choosing the Right Stencil

A stenciled wall may seem like a big commitment, but there are some questions you can ask yourself to help choose a selection that you’ll love for years.

Stenciled wall in a modern living room

1. Is the pattern too trendy? There are many patterns out there that reflect trends that are at their peak, as well as trends that are already on the way out. Whether it’s trendy or not doesn’t really matter. It’s how you really feel about the design. If you like it simply because it looks like it’s design-forward or on-trend, the trendiness will fade. What’s important is that you’re a true fan of the stencil! Which brings us to the next question… [from Cutting Edge Stencils]

Stencil patterns from Cutting Edge Stencils

2. Do you truly love the stencil? Is this a pattern you can live with? If it’s something trendy, are there elements involved that you would have loved even before the pattern was “in style”? For example, while Hollywood Regency patterns made their biggest revival impact years ago, perhaps you’ve always loved lattice designs, so you know you’re likely to be a longtime fan of this classic motif. [stencil below from Etsy shop Stencil Up]

Rounded square latticed wall stencil from Etsy shop Stencil Up

3. Is the stencil the best choice for the room at hand? For example, people are often more adventurous with whimsical patterns in spaces like the bathroom or the laundry room. If you’re going bold in a space such as the living room, make sure you can live with the stencil for long periods of time day in and day out! [from Fine Redesign] 

Powder room with painted walls

Stenciled Patterns

When you create a patterned wall using stencils, repetition is key. By taping the stencil to the wall and using a roller brush, the process goes a lot faster than you might think. [image from Cutting Edge Stencils via Houzz]

Painting a wall with the help of stencils

With stencils getting larger and easier to use, covering a wall is anything but intimidating these days. This seamless wall stencil from Etsy shop ArtLabNY boasts a timeless shell pattern, and an adhesive coating ensures a precise paint job:

Seamless wall stencil from ArtLabNY

The Ikat Samarkand Allover Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils is the perfect example of a stencil design that’s classic and chic. One benefit of a patterned stencil wall is the ability to custom design the colors (which is much more expensive to pull off with wallpaper). The blue and white wall below is crisp and refreshing:

Ikat stenciled wall from Cutting Edge Stencils

Geo motifs are still going strong, and the whimsical, loose-lined look of this pattern by Cute Stencils (available for purchase via Houzz) gives it a unique touch:

Geo wall stencil available for purchase via Houzz

Stenciled walls are a great option for children’s rooms. This stenciled cloud wall was created by Merrilee Liddiard of Mer Mag using stencils by Handmade Charlotte. Whimsical, modern and sweet!

Children's bedroom featuring Handmade Charlotte stencils

Let’s not forget about the DIY stencil option. We’re talking about stencils that you create yourself rather than purchase as a guide. You don’t have to rely on the stencils that are for sale at your local craft store! This blue and white geometric wall by Mandi Johnson of A Beautiful Mess was achieved with the help of a hand-cut stencil created from an antique Art Deco pattern:

DIY stenciled wall from A Beautiful Mess

For another inspiring project from A Beautiful Mess, check out this statement wall created with paint pens. And a stencil to guide the way, of course! Blogger Laura Gummerman made the stencil from cardboard, and the geo print that resulted is truly modern and fabulous:

DIY stenciled wall created with paint pens

If you love the patterned look but you’re not up for painting, there ARE wall “stencils” available that closely resemble decals. For example, the Floral Crown Pattern Wall Stencil from My Wonderful Walls (sold via Houzz) is a peel-and-stick option. Stencils are sold in sheets, and you purchase the number of sheets needed to cover the wall. More expensive than actual stencils, this solution is definitely hassle-free!

Floral crown wall stencils sold via Houzz

Stenciled Murals

If you’re a fan of variation and bold statements, a mural wall just might be the way to go! Instead of creating a pattern that predictably repeats, try piecing together a striking design using stencils. The geo wall below was created using mosaic wallpaper by ZNAK, but we can imagine a hand-painted version with the help of homemade triangular stencils:

Stenciled geo wall

This moon wall from Vtwonen is child-friendly, clever and modern. Would you create a custom stencil to achieve a mural effect in your child’s room?

Moon stencil for a child's bedroom

The geo stencil below from Storenvy can be used to create an entire wall of patterning (as shown below, left), but we’re loving the idea of turning the stencil (below, right) on its side to create a geo border on a painted accent wall.

Wall stencil from Storenvy

This modern bedroom from Architectural Elements & Design features a vivid pink wall with a dandelion mural. It’s unclear whether the design is painted or created with decals, bit it inspires us to create our own large stencils to make the painting process easier (if hand-painting seems too daunting). Try creating the flowers using a stencil, then free-handing the stems if you wish!

Modern floral statement wall

Did any of today’s stenciled walls catch your eye? Share your favorites in the comments section below…


Designs room stencils

How to Stencil a Focal Wall


Choose wall to stencil and select stencil design, wall color and accent color to paint stencil design. Paint wall if it is not already the chosen wall color.

Determine Starting Point

Determine design layout and position stencil on the wall at starting point. Attach the stencil using painter's tape.

Paint Stencil Design

Paint design on wall with a stencil brush using dry brush method. Begin by dipping tips of bristles in paint and remove excess by dapping brush on a paper towel.

Paint Using Stippling Method

Apply paint using stippling method, which is dapping brush against stencil openings. Tip: Do not brush paint over stencil openings as this will lead to paint seeping under stencil.

Hold Stencil in Place

Apply pressure to stencil around openings while stippling to ensure sharp paint lines.

Mark Registration Points

Trace all four registration points with a pencil prior to moving stencil.

Move Stencil

Move stencil by lining up stencil registration points to continue design. Tape stencil in place and repeat painting process. Tip: Use a level to check stencil tile placement to ensure design is painted evenly.

Repeat Steps

Continue painting stencil design, mark registration points and move stencil across and down wall until desired area is covered with design.

Extend Design To Wall Edges

Paint stencil design to edges of wall and trim to create a seamless look resembling wallpaper.

Bedroom Stencil Ideas

Recently I discovered a new stencil company that I wanted to share with you guys called Stencilit. As the name indicates, they offer a collection of beautiful wall stencils. I’ve been debating adding wallpaper to my daughter’s room but considering how often I change decor around here, I really don’t want the commitment. Wall stencils, on the other hand, provide the look without the commitment.

What I also like about wall stencils as opposed to wallpaper is you can choose your own colors and they are much more budget friendly! The good news for you is that Stencilit is offering a wall stencil for free to one of you! One winner will receive the stencil of his/her choice as well as a stencil flocked roller so you can start with the right tools.

They offer a large assortment of stencils, but this herringbone pattern is my favorite.

herringbone pattern wall stencil


You can make a bold and beautiful design statement using only paint, I love the darker wall color here with the Siberian Taiga pattern in white.

Siberian-Taiga Bold Patterned wall stencil ideas


The Diamonds large stencil pattern is another of my favorites. I really like the colors they used on this one also.

Diamonds wall stencil


When I saw this Panther Skin wall stencil I immediately sent the link to my niece. When we were working on her living room makeover, we discussed possibly wallpapering her hallway. This was the wallpaper design she had in mind. I had trouble finding this design in a removable paper and also one that wasn’t too busy so we ditched the idea. Using a stencil in her hallway is the perfect solution. Though I may try to talk her into the herringbone pattern instead.

Panther dots wall stencil


Stenciling one wall in an open floor plan adds interest, as shown here with the Trellis Light patterned stencil.

Trellis light wall stencil


These stencils aren’t just for walls. You can be as creative as you want, I like the idea of the Moroccan Double stencil on an area rug!

Moroocan-Double-wall-stencil-685x379 on rug



Even rooms with a patterned wall can be serene if you keep the color scheme monochromatic. This room features the beautiful Dandelion Puffs.

Dandelion wall stencils


The Flower of Life stencil is another of my favorites from the collection.

flower of life wall stencil


Black and white paint make this Birch Forest pattern very modern. This would definitely liven up a boring hallway space. The salon where I get my hair cut has this pattern (with the black and white reveresed) as a feature wall. The whole shop is black and white with emerald green accents, very chic!

birch trees wall stencils


Also available are several animal themed prints. You’ll find everything from dinosaurs to dragonflies, so cute for a nursery. If you don’t want to commit to an entire wall pattern, I imagine making large-scale DIY framed art for the walls using this Zootopia stencil. This is such an easy way to incorporate your own color scheme into your decor.

zoo patterned wall stencils


Another pretty pick is the Dew Drops stencil.

dew drops wall stencils


Keep in mind, these are large wall stencils which will help you get the job done faster and with less moving of the stencil. When I stenciled these floors at my niece’s house, using a paint sprayer also made the project much easier!

As you can see, you can get the look of wallpaper for much less! The bonus features are that you can easily customize these to your color scheme and you don’t have to worry about the hassle of removing wallpaper if your design taste changes down the road.

You can enter below to win a wall stencil of your choice as well as the flocked roller. Stencilit also has a shop on Amazon*, and they are offering free shipping all weekend (from Feb. 8-10th) so be sure to check that out if you’re interested in a wall stencil!

Wall Stencils Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



This post was in partnership with Stencilit and may contain affiliate links, all opinions are my own. You can read my full disclosure here.




Before you decide to wallpaper that wall, read the case for wall stencils instead!

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