3-D Stenciling

Margaret Riley inspiration painting basics

3-D Stenciling

By Margaret Riley

Did you know that you can make your stenciled design have a 3-D look? I recently played around with stencils and a thick, thick medium (I used Coastal paint by Plaid). You can use drywall compound or anything with a mud consistency.

First, apply an adhesive to the back of your stencil. Plaid has one that is in a squeezable tube but you can use a spray adhesive. If you use the spray, de-tack the adhesive once it is dry by tapping it to your clothing. The amount of lint picked up from the fabric will give your stencil less adhesion to your surface but enough to work well.

Second, place your stencil onto your surface. (See photo left) Using a palette knife (I like a cheap plastic one so I can dispose of it after I’m finished with it), dip into your thick medium and spread across the stencil…similar to icing a cake! (See photos below) When finished, quickly lift up the stencil. Allow the textured medium to dry.


You can put your stencil back over the design to tap on paint with a stencil brush or paint on the color with a brush (See photo right). This technique is a great way to add dimension to your surface. And even better, when you go to apply color as there isn’t any “seepage” under the stencil! (See photos below)


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