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  • What type of paint should I use?
    Most latex and acrylic paints work great. Granny B old fashioned chalkpaint is nice and opaque and covers great , we do recommend you cleaning your stencil with a nail brush and good old fashioned dishwash soap. You can also use metallic paints, glazes, varnish, and textured paints, embossing paste and plaster for your stencil projects. We do not recommend using spray paint because it's hard to control and get a good results, but some people use it with great success. Some spray paints might cause crazing of the stencil a well as bleeding and smudging., so make sure to test your paint first. Oil paint is not suitable for stencilling due to very slow drying time. You can use oil-based paint cremes sold in craft stores. Using glitter is not recommended with stencils. it's hard to control and you might get lots of bleeding and smudging.
  • Can I stencil on a textured wall?
    In general, it's possible to stencil over textured surfaces, however it depends on the roughness of your texture and your desired outcome. Some textures out there are really rough, with huge "peaks and valleys" and if this is your case I would say that stencilling may not be an option. However, there are light to medium textures out there that are very suitable for stencilling. Many faux fresco techniques actually require applying a textured plaster background first and then stencilling on top of it. Of course, organic stencil designs such as leaves and branches are more forgiving than a designs that have straight lines and perfect edges. With textures it is especially important that you put very little paint on your brush and always off-load it onto a paper towel or old rag. Use a rubbing/dabbing motion while stencilling and try not to force the paint under the edges of the stencil. You can also use a dense foam roller but make sure that you off load it onto some paper towels so that it is relatively dry. Use very little paint and don't press hard on the roller to avoid seepage. Using spray adhesive can also help a to prevent seepage of paint under the stencils. Always make a sample first or try stencilling a small area in a corner somewhere and immediately wipe it off with a moist baby wipe. Also, it's good to remember that using high contrast colours (like black over white) is much less forgiving than using colours that are similar to each other.
  • How do I avoid paint bleed when I stencil?
    Due to the nature of stencilling, paint bleeding can occur. Bleeding happens when the paint seeps under the edge of your stencil and creates an edge that's less than perfect. The idea is more about reducing bleed rather than eliminating it completely. Here are some tips on reducing bleeding while stencilling. See more tips in our Stencil videos. *Don't use too much paint! Too much paint on your roller or brush is the biggest reason for bleed. Off load your brush or roller onto paper towels or old rags to remove excess paint and build your paint coverage with 2 coats if necessary. Even if you think that you don't have too much paint on a roller it still may be too much, so please blot off the roller onto the paper towel or old rag before stencilling. *Don't use a roller with a nap! They hold too much paint. Using a dense foam roller has given us the best results. *Don't push the paint under the edge of the stencil and don't apply too much pressure when rolling or stippling with the brush. *Stencilling on a flat sheen base coat will work better then stencilling on glossier surfaces because your stencil paint absorbs into the basecoat and dries quicker and has less time to seep under the edge. *Stencilling with flat latex, chalk paint or craft acrylic paint works best because it dries quickly and has less time to seep. *Stencilling with gloss paints or glazes will increase the potential for bleed because they dry slowly and have more time to seep under the edge. *Using a good spray adhesive like can greatly reduce bleed. Lightly mist the back of the stencil in a well-ventilated area and let dry for a few minutes. Don't drench the stencil with adhesive because it could transfer to the wall. Re-apply the adhesive every few prints or as it loses its tack. *Stencilling on smoother surfaces always works better then on textured surfaces. If you want to stencil a textured surface, it's best to select a pattern that is more organic and has less straight lines. This way any paint bleed will be less noticeable. Using a stencil or stipple brush, not a roller seems to work best for textured surfaces. *The brand and type of paint you use always plays a part in the amount of bleed you could get. Some paints are too watery or too gummy and this may contribute to more bleed. We love using Granny B Old Fashioned Chalk paint *Some patterns show bleed more than others. Patterns with straight, crisp geometric lines are less forgiving than organic, ornate, damask patterns. And finally, this is stencilling! It's not supposed to look like perfectly printed wallpaper or stark wall decals! This is a hand-applied artistic wall finish. In almost every case the bleed that you notice while applying the stencil will never be noticed when the project is finished, or even if you just 2 steps away from the wall. If paint bleed occurs, you can quickly wipe it off with a moist rag or baby wipe, or touch it up later with an artist liner brush and some base coat paint. It's a good idea to clean the paint that bled on the back side of the stencil, since it could contribute to more seepage.
  • Can I use spray paint with my stencil?
    Sure, why not? Just a few things to consider before you start. First of all, in most cases spray paint is rather toxic. So if you do use spray paint with your stencils try to do the project outside or at least in a well ventilated area. Shake the can well before spraying. Another thing to remember: spray paint is liquid and tends to drip under the stencil when you sprayed a bit too much. It might be a good idea to use spray adhesive on the back of your stencil so it sticks to the surface. This should help to keep the paint from blowing under the edges of the stencil. Also, it's very easy to spray too much paint on. Always start spraying before the stencil openings and move across the stencil evenly. Stop spraying after you've passed over the openings. This prevents paint dripping. Spray multiple lighter coats and gradually build up your coverage. You may want to mask the surrounding surfaces to prevent overspray. And one last thing. Spray paints usually take longer to dry then regular house paints. In general, we do not recommend using spray paint for interior stencilling, but it is definitely do-able!
  • What is a good metallic paint brand?
    We really like Granny B Liquid Metal paint. This work great and come in a variety of really nice very opaque colours; Gold, Silver, Bronze, Antique Silver. They are available on our online shop too.
  • How do you stencil on furniture?
    When stencilling on furniture, you want to insure good adhesion. If the piece has a varnish or a glossy finish you'll need to break the sheen. You can do this with a scotch brite pad, steel wool or fine grit sandpaper. Lightly sand the surface and then wipe down the piece with a little denatured alcohol on a rag to remove any grease, wax or furniture polish. When finished, soak any alcohol rags in water, place them outside and dispose of them on trash day. Alcohol rags can spontaneously combust so don't forget to soak them in water! Next, paint the piece if you want to change the overall colour. Granny B really work well, but to insure good adhesion you may want to use an adhesive primer such as Zinnser 1*2*3. This primer can even be tinted to the colour you want. After your primer/basecoat is dry you can stencil with whatever paint you like. If you want to protect your artwork, you could then topcoat the table with a clear topcoat: Granny B’s Classic Seal, Clear Wax or Armour works really well.
  • How do I stencil on fabric?
    First, if your fabric is wrinkled, make sure to iron it first. Tape your fabric to a flat surface (table or floor) so it doesn't have any wrinkles or move around while you stencil. When stencilling on fabric, spray adhesive is very helpful. Lightly mist your stencil with a spray adhesive, let it dry for a few seconds and place your stencil on your fabric surface, pressing it to achieve a tighter seal. Use stencil brushes (if it is a smaller project) or a dense foam roller for a larger one. Add some textile medium/Embossing paste to your stencil acrylics and stir it in well. You can also get special fabric paint but frankly, good craft acrylics with a dollop of textile medium/Embossing paste work just as well and cost less! Use very little paint on your brush and always off load any extra paint onto a folded paper towel/old rag. When using a stencil brush, apply the paint with a dabbing/swirling motion. After all of your stencilling is complete, let the stencilled fabric dry completely (at least 24 hours). Now it's time to heat set the stencilling. Slowly iron the stencilled fabric by pressing the iron for about 20 seconds on a low setting through the piece of soft thin cotton cloth. Heat setting will cure the paint and will help to prevent it from being washed off in the laundry. It's always a good idea to first do a test with a sample of your fabric to ensure good results. Do your stencilling, heat set it and wash the swatch to make sure the whole technique works on your fabric. If the paint washes away you may need more heat-setting time, but it usually holds up just fine. Some fine fabrics will not tolerate heat setting and it's always more difficult to stencil on sheer fabrics. If too much paint is used during stencilling, it may leak through on the other side of the fabric, which may add stiffness to the fabric. If your fabric is thin, place some paper (or newspapers) under it to protect your working surface (table or floor) from possible paint seepage. You can stencil on silk, cotton, linen and even sheer fabrics with great results but is always better if your fabric doesn't have too much texture.
  • How do I stencil my floor?
    A couple of tips we can offer on stencilling floors. First, you'll need to de-gloss and clean any wax, grease or oil off the floor to insure good adhesion of your paint. You should lightly sand the entire floor with 220 sandpaper if you have a glossy surface. This will break the gloss and allow your paint to stick. Next, clean the floor. Sweep or vacuum up all the dust and then clean the floor with denatured alcohol or sugar soap. Wipe the floor with the alcohol rag and then follow it with a clean moist rag. As the rags get gunky replace them with fresh ones. Don't just throw the alcohol-soaked rags in the trash! They could spontaneously combust. Soak them in water and put them outside to dry out. We have used Granny B old Fashioned paint with enormous success but you can use a normal PVA too. Always apply 2 coats of background colour before you start stencilling. If you plan on clear coating the floor for extra durability, you could use almost any good quality house paint as your basecoat because your durability will come from the clearcoat. What you really want is good adhesion and quick drying. Oil basecoat paint would be a nightmare. Smell, clean-up :( Forget it! For stencilling: basically, you can use any water-based paint, latex or acrylics. We have used Granny B Old Fashioned Paint. Do your stencilling as usual, using dense foam roller or stencil brush. You can help drying with a hairdryer or fans if necessary. Or simply let it dry well before top-coating. If you are clear coating the floor later, you can use a flat sheen stencil paint which will dry quickly. The topcoat will add the final sheen and add durability. When using a Chalk paint always allow to cure for 8 hours before adding your clear topcoat. Select a good topcoat in the sheen you want. Remember that the glossier the topcoat, the more it reflects imperfections. We recommend a satin finish. Granny B’s Armour is ideal for sealing floors. You can get it in either Matt or Gloss. They make great water-based topcoats these days so there is no need to use oil. The smell is very strong and lasting (harmful too) and the oil also yellows over time which can affect your floor colours.
  • How do I clean my stencil?
    Usually you can clean your stencil with just water, dishwash liquid and a nailbrush. Lay the stencil on a flat surface like cutting board or baking tray and scrub it under running water. It's always easier to clean the stencil soon after you finish your project, as opposed to letting it sit for days or weeks. Depending on the paint used, it can come off very easily or may need a slight pre-soaking to loosen it. Usually, acrylic paints come off very easy, and some latex paints may stick a bit more. We have a nice video showing how to clean a stencil, please check out our Video tab! For removal of adhesive and stubborn paint, try some kitchen cleaner in a spray bottle. Spray on your stencil and clean as usual. You can also sit brushes that have dried-out paint on them overnight in some kitchen cleaner, and oftentimes you will have saved that brush. It's important to remember that it's very difficult to completely remove spray adhesive from a stencil, but we find that it is not necessary to get it off completely, the stencil still will be very usable for your next project even if it's a little bit sticky. Some rubbing Alcohol will remove the stickiness. Just make sure to store it on a piece of a wax paper or freezer paper, as a backing.
  • I Am A Beginner, How Easy Is It To Use Granny B's ?"
    Granny B's Old Fashioned Paint is not like any other paint that you have used before. It has excellent adhesion properties so there is no need to sand or prime the piece you wish to paint before hand in most cases. Where you are painting a very old piece which has been oiled over the years, you may need to prep for bleeding. Bleeding is when the tannin and natural resins in dark wood, or the dyes within the stains used on the surface are activate by a fresh-coat of paint and manifest themselves as brown or yellow streaks on the surface of your freshly painted item, quite often presenting themselves after sealing. When painting a very dark item which may have been oiled; clean well with mentholated spirits and a rag, and then lay down tow thick coats of our Armour (an hour between coats). Allow to dry for 12 hours and then paint as needed, leaving your final coat of paint o dry for 12 hours before sealing. In extreme cases we recommend a high quality primer like Zinsser 123 Bulls-Eye
  • Is Granny B's a Chalk Paint?
    Yes, Granny B's Old Fashioned Paint will dry to a matt, chalky finish. It is also low in VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds), is completely LEAD FREE and thus is kid safe. It dries to the touch within 15mins and subsequent coats can then be applied. Distressing features are extremely easy to apply using a light sanding (using either a high grit paper or steel wool). For some added nostalgia and whimsy try using a stencil with a contrasting colour.
  • What Surfaces Can I Paint On?
    Because of Granny B's exceptional adhesion properties it can be applied to almost any surface such as ceramics, enamel, melamine, furniture, décor items, glass, Perspex, plastic, metal, even fabric (yes even fabric !).
  • I've Noticed That The Finish Is Porous, Do I Need To Seal My Work?"
    Due to the nature of our product, it does dry to a shabby country/vintage look and it may seem to be quite a porous finish. It is not necessary to seal the paintwork if this is the finish you are after. However, because it is porous, in a high traffic area (Such as a dining room table) it is likely to pick up stains and marks. We offer a Finishing Lacquer in the range which is available in two finishes, Matt Satin and Matt Flat which will seal and protect your paintwork. Our Finishing Lacquer dries to the touch within 30mins but we recommend allowing 4 hours between coats. This product will fully cure within 72 hours.
  • Can I Mix Colours ?
    Absolutely Yes, it is really easy to mix colours. In fact we encourage it, the idea is to have fun !
  • Which Brushes Are Recommended?
    We recommend a high quality brush with synthetic fibres. A good brush is worth the investment, It's also guaranteed not to lose fibres, does not retain water and has excellent paint release.
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