What is Stencil work?

In the visual arts, stencilling is a process for duplicating designs, templating a pattern, imagery or text and is usually done so by applying ink or paint to the surface to be decorated through holes made out of a thin sheet such as plastic, card or metal.

Though the process remains similar, our stencil work makes use of a wide range of materials and aggregates such as coarse grain venetian plaster or microcement that enable us to develop depth to the designs for you and produce highly intricate works where required.

Opting to have reusable stencils or single time use is largely dictated by the application at hand, how the stencil will appear and what other processes need to happen in order to complete the installation

So if you love the idea of having a repetitive pattern embedded into your wall installation or have text, names and contact information that you’d like to include on a design then stencil work may well be the solution for your surfaces

Why should you use wall stencils instead of wallpaper or hand painted details?

  1. Cost – It is possible to save money by using wall stencils and painting the designs yourself, however due to the technical nature of using textured plasters or surface design finishes we would advise leaving this type of stencil work to a professional, such as ourselves. Stencils can be ordered in a reusable format so that the initial investment can be more cost effective. Wallpaper comes in a variety of options but may not give you the right image or quality that you’re seeking when it comes to creating these types of installation, off the shelf items are readily available but custom printed wallpapers can have longer lead times and much higher upfront costs
  2. Time – Painting a stencil takes less time than wallpapering, or stencilling, which can take a longer time to prepare, especially if previous wallpapers must be removed or the surfaces require a decent amount of preparation before they’re deemed ready to use. Getting an area ready for stencil can be a relatively simple ordeal, depending on whether it’s a standalone installation or has been incorporated into a larger, more complex design, if the latter then drying times and layering come into the equation, resulting in a longer prep phase before install which must be considered at the planning stage.
  3. Durability – Wallpaper and painted or plastered stencils can be used in any room of the house, however wallpaper can tear away from the wall in high-humidity areas like the bathroom or kitchen if not selecting the correct type to use, even then scratches and scrapes can result in the paper becoming damaged and allow moisture to ingress. painted or plastered stencils will naturally be more durable and robust, especially when sealed and protected at the end of the installation. Furthermore, if your paint is damaged, you will only need to make a simple touch-up, certain venetian plaster finishes may also be corrected in this manner, depending on the extent of the damage. With wallpaper you may need to replace whole sections or drops if the stencil was to become damaged as there’s no easy way to ouch it up and for it to look right, generally speaking.
  4. Flexibility – Wall stencils which are painted are easily adjustable if your style changes from year to year or if you don’t want to be trapped into a specific design. Simply paint over it when you change your mind. When it comes to wallpaper, it’s only worth it if you want to keep it up for at least 5 years; otherwise, removing it is a time-consuming operation that demands patience and the correct tools. Installations which have used textured venetian plasters or other hard-wearing products such as natural stone or micro cement may be particularly tough to remove or require plastering over if you change your mind on the design.
  5. Consistency and repeatability – within the design or at multiple site addresses, which is a key consideration when aiming to maintain the same look and feel to a brand or taking a design through into multiple areas.

Relying on hand painted stencil work leaves a lot of possibility for variability in the designs, using different batches of paint or multiple applicators where as a repeatable wallpaper is just printed and stuck to the wall.

Plaster which is textured and then painted is also open to interpretation to a degree but when used by the same artist, with the same range of processes and materials the likelihood of the stencil work being consistent is greatly improved.

If you’d like to find out more about how these ideas can be transferred into you own range home or business, simply get in touch using our form, or drop us an email on hello@signature-walls.co.uk

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5-7 Kingston Hill
Surrey KT2 7PW