When stenciling with oil-base paints, you'll work out of the crème pots they come in. But when working with acrylics, you'll need to place the colors on a palette. Palette paper is sold in craft and art stores for this purpose, but paper or foam plates work just as well. You can also try a piece of mat-board or cardboard or even an ice cube tray. Just make sure that whatever you use is big enough to keep the colors separated.
Depending on the project, there are a few other items that prove indispensable when stenciling. It would be wise to keep all of them on hand.
- Art gum eraser. This is useful when working with stencil paint crèmes. Because these paints dry slowly, minor smudges and mistakes are easily wiped away with a white art gum eraser.
- Artist's brushes. Use these small, thin brushes to add details like shadows or leaf veins.
- Index cards. These make handy masking tools for small spaces.
- Level. This common tool helps keep a border straight.
- Paper towels. Use them to wipe excess paint off brushes, to protect surfaces, and for general cleanup. It's a good idea to always keep a roll nearby while you're working.
- Pencil. Use a pencil for marking level lines and registration marks.
- Tape measure. Keep one on hand, or a ruler if you prefer, to determine the amount of space available for the stencil when planning projects.
Before you start your stencil project, you'll need to complete a very important step -- picking out the design you'll paint. Keep reading to learn about choosing a stencil design.