Store Hours: Monday to Friday 10 A.M. - 7:30 P.M. & Saturday 10 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

The Mystery Behind Stenciling

Uggghhhh THAT IS IT!!! I have had it! You are going on a time out! 

This f@#$ing stupid piece of bleep......

Who else has been at this point in a project? You know the point you use words that you didn't know even existed and that no one has ever heard you use before. ME! I have! Many many times! Primarily when I am using a product I HATE! But every time I think, I will give it one more chance. Then I remember why I chucked it in the first place. We seem to be great at repeating behaviors we know for a certainty don't work, yet we think that it must have been user error and not the actual product because people are actually recommending it to others. It must be good then. Right? Nope. Not necessarily. Sometimes it isn't user error. Sometimes people are just so used to using something that doesn't work that they just become resigned to it. I have learned a lot over my many years of crafting and one of those things is this - if you don't like it after 3 tries then don't use it. It isn't you, it is the product.

I went on a search for a product that I would love working with. I mean who actually wants to look at a project and think - 'uggghhhh .... why the #@$% do they want it painted and not vinyled? I hate using stencils!' I would rather look at a project and think of all the amazing things I can do with it and how awesome it is going to look when it is done. So here is what I learned about the products that people suggest and the product that I absolutely LOVE and will only use and only sell in my store! 

First product - Oracal 813 Stencil Vinyl

While a very very select few don't mind working with this, I am not one of them. Every time I have used it I get so angry and use so many swears people in the house know to stay away. I mean like the opposite end of the house away. Here is why I don't like it. 

It bubbles. It bubbles when laying it on your mat to cut and the bubbles don't smooth out. Well they do for a second and then BAM they are back! Like black magic. They don't disappear! They just return. Over and over and over again. Sometimes they don't even reappear until you are cutting it. I mean you could tape every single piece of your project vinyl to your mat and it will still somehow come back in the same place it was when you squeegeed it out and it will also return with babies. Little baby bubbles will be there as well to taunt you! Then because you don't notice it, it will cut all wrong. The bubbles also come back when you lay the project on your piece of wood. And you can burnish them out but guess what .... THEY COME BACK!!!!! So basically because of the bubbles I really don't like this material. I wanted to show you on video but I loathe this material so much that I didn't even have a piece to do a video with. 

Second Product - Oracal 631

While I absolutely LOVE 631, there is a time and place for everything. Stenciling is not the time or place for 631. Why you ask? Well while it does not bubble and you know how much I love the bubbling effect, it does stick. And right there is the problem. When you are using wood the last thing you want is for the material you are using to stencil with to stick to the wood. Imagine you have this amazing piece of wood that you have sanded so well and has a gorgeous wood grain showing. Your stenciling job was spot on and looks absolutely flawless BUT when you pulled up the stencil it also pulled up wood splinters that have pulled up through your amazing stencil job. What a heart break that is. Not to mention the fact that now your family is again running and hiding because what comes next is never pretty. It generally starts with - what the actual #$@%! The @#%$ing $#%% has this happened your stupid piece of ..... You get the picture. 

Third and Fourth Products - Mactac Stencil Film & RTape Stencil Film

When I found these products I honestly could have kissed the inventor! They are amazing! The don't bubble! I mean nope no bubbling! I never have bleeding of paint! Never rips the wood when pulling it up! 

I am including a video of me using the RTape Stencil Film, however the Mactac is the same and honestly the first product I used and completely loved! Then I found RTape and was just as happy! Here is the trick to it NOT bleeding too.. For your first coat of paint - go lightly. Very lightly. Like almost a dry brush of it. Then layer it on as it dries. YUP that is it! You don't have to paint the same color as your wood piece or use Mod Podge - just do a very light first coat of the paint you will use. Trust me it works! 

 Check out the video here!