You don’t have to spend money replacing your tiles to get the look of a new tile installation. In fact you don’t even have to have any tiles at all. With some time and a few supplies tile stencils can give your floors, walls, or more a much-needed makeover for less.
Tile stencils are basically squares that have a design or pattern cut out of them, just like what you’d see on a real tile. When placed on a surface and painted over, the image of the cut-out is transferred onto the surface below. They come in materials such as vinyl, Mylar, and plastic.
Typically however, plastic stencils are the most sturdy and durable. Tile stencils are inexpensive and made so that they can be re-used after being washed. This along with the fabulous results they can create has made using them one of the hottest DIY projects in recent years.
Create The Appearance Of A Real Tiled Surface
You don’t need an actual tiled surface to use stencils. In fact one of the best and most popular ways to use them is to create the look of tiles on a surface where you don’t have them. This of course can save you a lot of cash since you won’t need to remove any existing surfaces, purchase any tile, or hire a professional.
Tile stencils can be used to create a tile-like look on surfaces such as concrete, linoleum, glass, wood, acrylic, metal, and painted drywall. This means you can use them on your existing walls and floors or even ceiling panels. Many people use them on other furnishings as well such as rugs and for single tile prints on pillows.
And of course tile stencils are a favorite for anyone who has a hobby of crafting. While paint is usually the most common medium, depending on what material you are using your stencil on stains, acid stains, dyes, waxes, and glazes can also be used.
Use on Existing Tiles
You can use stencils to give an existing tile installation a new life. This might be a project worth considering if you have outdated tiles and want to update the look of your space without spending much cash or simply want to change things up a bit. Typically when planning to use your stencils on tiles, you will need to sand the tiles first.
And because paint actually won’t stick directly to tile, you’ll then need to apply a primer which gives the paint something to adhere to. You can really use any paint type except for options that are oil-based. To apply the paint a roller will work or you may want to purchase some stencil brushes especially for multi-color designs.
When painting you will need to wash off and dry your stencil after every few tiles so that the paint doesn’t smudge. After painting you’ll also need to apply a sealer. The specific sealer you choose will depend on where you will be using it since some areas will be wetter and hotter than others for example when used on a kitchen backsplash.
There are many different designs and patterns to choose from. Some of the most popular are vintage style ones that look just what you’d commonly see on concrete tiles. When creating the look of vintage tiles many people like to first paint there tiles white and then use a black paint for their design to create a classic look with stunning contrast.
Exotic options are very popular as well. For example Moroccan and Spanish tile stencils are not just favorites but widely available and so are stencil featuring Damask patterns. Another option are Mexican or also known as Talavera tile stencils. Talavera is a style that originated in Mexico that is well-known for hand-painted tile motifs that use deep, rich colors.
Blues, greens, and yellows are widely used so when you would like to create a Talavera or Mexican tile space you’ll want to think about using them. But of course there are more plain options as well you don’t have to go with something vintage or exotic.
Areas To Use Your Stencils
You can use stencils anywhere that you already have tiles installed, or where you want the look of tiles and have a surface that can be painted. Generally large tile stencils are used on the floor and smaller ones are used on the wall but what size you use will depend on your space and personal preferences.
The walls and floors in kitchen and bathrooms are probably the most common areas to use stencils. Of course backsplashes in both of these rooms are very popular spots as well especially since a stylish or colorful backsplash can add so much to a room’s appearance.
If you prefer the look of very small tiles on your backsplash or bathroom floor you’ll want to check out mosaic tile stencils. Entry and hallways are also areas where you can use your stencils to make a big difference visually. Stair risers are another very effective spot especially for adding color to a room.
You’ll definitely want to think about using your stencils in areas of the home that you would not otherwise want to spend money upgrading. Concrete flooring in your basement or utility room for example would be a prime spot. And so would a patio slab for making it look like you’ve got some new outdoor tiles.
Don’t Overlook These Ideas
There are a few ideas you can use to add extra emphasis to the project you’re planning or to tiles you already have installed. A very simple and effective method is to simply choose a decorative stencil design or a few of them and use them as you would accent tiles. By adding them every couple of tiles or randomly you will only have to use them a few times in total for big results.
Tile border stencils can be used on the edges of your tiles as well or you may want to add them when planning a new wall or floor project as an extra eye-catching detail. And if you’d like to add a focal point there are even stencils made to create tile medallions that would otherwise be quite costly. These work especially on the floor and in entryways for maximum impact.
Tile stencils are a fabulous tool you can use to dramatically improve the look of just about any space. And by following the advice and info here you’ll be able to complete your upgrade for pennies on the dollar.
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