You are scared to tackle an allover pattern? We’ve often heard decorative painters say, I think allover stencil patterns are beautiful but I don’t want to tackle that amount of work.
..........Let us talk you through it.
What supplies will I need?
How many stencils do I need?
How do I use spray adhesive?
Where do I start the finish?
How do I tackle corners?
What if I cannot match the registration marks perfectly?
What if my stencil rips?
Can I emboss using your stencils?
How do I clean stencils?
How do I sell an allover pattern?
Selling the design
To start any allover project you will need to have:
one field stencil of the patter you choose for every 8 x 10 foot wall.
one topper for the entire room.
your paint (any kind of latex paint or stain N’ seal , pigment mixed with medium, airbrush system
One Allover or Wallbuster brush for each person on the project
and one small ( 1/2”) stencil brush to complete corners and top of wall and around small areas
rags to paper towel
a magic eraser pad for cleaning excess paint off ceiling or, trim and floors
a level for checking for straight lines with geometric patterns
chalk in case you need to mark a center.
tarps for covering the floor and furniture
spray adhesive,) one full can, we recommend Elmers
brlllo pad, chip brushes and simple green
EZ clean for preparing stencils for easier cleaning
We recommend that once you choose your design you purchase one stencil for every 8 x 10 foot wall. Even if you are cleaning your stencils they will tire after use and the paint will fill the design causing your image to look different as you get further along on the project. Also,allovers are the perfect project to do with a partner so having extra stencils allows for this kind of help. Generally 3 stencils for a basic 4 wall room is good. However, no matter how big the room, you only need one topper to complete the entire ceiling line.
Turn your stencil over so the back is facing you. You will know its backwards because the “WALLOVERS” lettering will be backwards on the bottom of the stencil. Lay the stencil on a piece of cardboard box or tarp and wave the spray back and forth over the back of stencil 4 to 5 times. lightly covering the surface. Pick the stencil up and wave it back and forth in the air to dry the adhesive before applying it to he wall. Never overspray adhesive because you can end up releasing glue onto the wall. you should be able to touch the stencil and feel the tackiness without getting your fingers wet.
Note : Never lay the stencil on stone or sidewalk, flooring or other important surfaces as the design will transfer onto the surface and the glue-like substance will not clean easily causing permanent damage to the surface.
When you enter the room you are about to paint. Look for the least conspicuous wall connection. Perhaps it is a wall behind a doorway or one that only has a couple of feet before moulding starts. If the room has multiple entrances, ask your customer which is most used and which wall area is most visually important to them. Start the project in the corner of that wall. Some people like to start in the center of the most prominent wall and work out to the right and out to the left simultaneously. This will make that most important and visible wall completely symmetrical. Make sure to end the design in that same least conspicuous wall area. Similar to wallpaper, the design will have to connect somewhere if the walls all connect, so choose the place where it is least obvious or there is the smallest amount of wall that meets.
Unfortunately we can sell you side pieces the way we have created the topper to complete the corners. You will need to use the stencil you have. When you get to the corner make sure you have a fresh spray of adhesive on the stencil. press on side of the stencil into the corner and let the side that is curving on to the opposite wall just flop off. You might want to just hinge it somewhere on the wall with some tape. press the other side into the corner, using a 1/2 inch stencil brush stencil deep into the corner, then complete that adhered side with an allover brush. Once complete on one side, remove the stencil , adhering the other side and letting the completed side of the stencil flop off. If you try to stick both side down on the adjacent walls you will not be able to keep the stencil in line and deep into the corner, We find it’s best to do them separately. Chalking a level line on each wall to make sure you are staying straight can also help keep the registrations in line.
First follow these important rules when stenciling an allover. This will help avoid getting off track with registrations. The key is to have a level and check that the walls are straight at the ceiling line before you begin. Work from the ceiling and across about 4 repeats of the stencil before moving down. Never work in a diagonal line , never have 2 people eon 2 separate walls. Always work across the top and then follow down from there . You will find that stencils are easy to register and stay on track this way. double check after turning corners that your line is straight by dropping a level line a with chalk on the wall.
If you find your registration marks are starting to get a bit off, split the difference between the distance and move your stencil in the middle. The human eye will never be able to see this correction in the finished wall. You will find that this adjusts the registration marks for the next stencils. If you are off by more than an inch you might have to rag out some of the design so it does not overlap. Again, this will not be noticeable on most allover patterns. Geometric patterns like Roundabout, Decodence, Greek Key and Ethnic Grid may be less forgiving, although we have had to “fudge “ these as well by reducing spacing or the size of a circle here and there. No one can ever tell. Readjust by slitting the difference if you are off.
If a part of the stencil rips you can repair it easily/ lay the stencil on a flat surface cutting board. Using real masking tape ( not painters tape if possible) and place a peice of masking tape over the tare. The flip the stencil over and place a piece of tape over the opposite side of the tare. Using an exacto knife, recut the shape of the design through the masking tape.
You can definitely emboss using Wallovers stencils. Our stencils are 7 ML in thickness. We emboss using venetian plaster, Italian stucco, limestone and beading mediums all the time. We find that any thicker stencil becomes too heavy with embossed material and makes the stencil more difficult to adhere to the wall.
Special tip: If you have the luxury of hiring an extra person to wash your stencils you can make the embossing job super easy. Emboss the stencil a few times and then hand the dirty stencil off the the washer who can dip it in a large bucket or tray and dry it, respray the back with adhesive and hand it back to you. While doing that you can be using a clean stencil that can soon be passed off to the cleaning person. It might sound like a crazy way to work but it is luxurious to have a clean stencil often and at the end of the day all the stencils will be clean because the product has never had a chance to dry on the mylar.
We recommend applying EZ clean ( link to EZ clean)to your stencil prior to use for easy cleaning after. Just roll on EZ clean and let dry up to an hour before using your stencils. Then there is no need to wash them during use. Soak them upon completion of the job and the paint will left off with ease.
If you find it necessary to clean your stencil during the job, spray it with simple green and scrub gently with a soapy sos pad. Be careful not to pull at fragile bridges and curves in the design.
We highly recommend having more than one stencil on the job to complete a room. This is not because we want you to buy more. In fact we will tell you not to buy more than one when you have one wall to do, a piece of furniture or sample boards. But no matter how much you clean a stencil you will never have a great result if trying to use just one field stencil for an entire job. You will waste more time on loss of time for cleaning and repairing the stencil than you could easily have charged your customer for more stencils to have on site.
As a decorative artists, the biggest sellers and best money you can make could be missing from your portfolio.
To start to build your “allover” portfolio, purchase a few stencils designs that might be successful for your market to do samples. you don’t need a “topper” until you actually sell the job and are on production. Thats why we don’t sell one with every stencil. You can’t sell a design if the boards are not in your portfolio. Once you have them there, show them to customers even if you are not talking about patterns. This will stimulate conversation about future projects. Patterned finished work best in areas like flyers and bathrooms where there is little flexibility for other patterns in fabrics to fight with the walls. small entries in back halls, pantries, small hallways between rooms, accent walls, cabinets and floors are all great areas for allover designs.
Complete some samples in patterns and colors that work for your market or industry design trends. We offer some great finishes to get you started in our recipe card series. For inspiration you can also click on the gallery links for each design on our site. Here you will see what other artists have created using Wallovers stencils.