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How to Paint a Stencil Without Bleeding

Paint, stencil, no bleeding

If you've ever made a paint stencil with you Silhouette you've probably run into this common problem: Paint Bleed!  It's so frustrating that no matter how hard you press the edges of the stencil down, paint seems to somehow seep underneath leaving you with lines that just aren't that crisp.  Today's lesson is a little trick for how to paint a stencil without bleeding.

Paint, stencil, no bleeding

The first thing you want to do is cut your stencil on your Silhouette...duh.  There are different materials you can use to make a stencil: stencil vinyl, adhesive vinyl (631), freezer paper (for painting on fabrics) or you can do what I do and cut stencils on contact paper from the dollar store.  

After the stencil is cut, weed it and transfer it to the surface that will be painted be it wood or tile or some other hard surface.   (If you are painting onto fabric click here.) I was painting a large wood sign for this project.

Paint, stencil, no bleeding

With you hand go around the edge of the stencil and really press down to make sure you get a tight seal.   The next step is the key step (sorry for the blurry shot).  Using a foam brush, paint a layer of Matte Mod Podge around the entire edge of the stencil.  This will do two things: 1) It will seal the edge of the stencil down 2) If anything leaks under the stencil, it will be mod podge which is clear when it dries.

Paint, stencil, no bleeding, mod podge

Let the mod podge dry completely before painting the entire stencil with paint. 

Paint, stencil, no bleeding

When you're finished painting, let the paint dry before removing the stencil.  Now stand back - or better yet, get up real close - and admire just how crisp and sharp those paint lines are!  Even on this rather bumpy pallet wood, my lines are near perfect!

Paint, stencil, no bleeding, crisp, lines

Mod Podge wins that stuff about as much as I love my Silhouette and that's a lot!

PS. Head over to our sister site Two It Yourself for the full step by step tutorial on making this Pottery Barn Knockoff Wood USA Sign.  (And don't forget to enter the giveaway to win!)

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I received a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!

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