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How to paint your deck with a stencil

Habitat bright ideas with Fleur Thorpe – DIY projects

This new outdoor seating area and deck needed a little subtle pattern to add interest.

Stencill a deck wall

You will need


Step 1:  Either purchase a stencil online or you can make your own. You can make your own by choosing a stencil pattern you like on the Internet, enlarging it to fit the dimensions of the area you want to stencil, and printing it out on to card. Tape multiple printouts together to get the stencil to the correct size, then cut it out using a craft knife. The advantage of making your own stencil is that you can size it to the dimensions of your area and therefore the number of repeats will fit your space.

Step 2:  Using a laser level or measuring tape, make vertical lines to mark where the stencil repeats will go. This will help keep your stencil straight and aligned.

Outside seating before stencil Before

Step 2 - Laser level Step two

Step 2 - Mark repeat pattern step Step two contd.

Step 3:  Position your stencil at one end of the area you are going to stencil and hold it in place with painters’ tape. It’s best to start a full stencil repeat in an area that you are going to see the most.

Step 4:  Using a small piece of sponge, dip it into your chosen Resene paint colour and then dab it on to a plate or piece or scrap cardboard to ensure that you get a thin and even coverage of paint on the sponge. Too much paint on the sponge will cause bleed-through on the underside of the stencil.

Step 3 - Align stencil Step three

Step 4 - Stencil with sponge Step four

Step 5 - Sponge paint Step five

Step 5:  Dab the sponge on to the opening holes of the stencil and move it using a circular motion so that paint gets into all the tight corners. Don’t do this too vigorously as bleed-through can occur. Do this all over the stencil until it is all painted in.

Step 6 - Remove stencil Step six

Stenciled wall detail Detail close up

Wooden pattern sections Detail wall sections

Resene Zeus

Step 6:  Carefully remove the stencil by peeling it off – do not slide it as this will smudge the paint. The paint dries quickly and if you are careful not to move it too much, you should be able to re-position it straight away for the next repeat.

Repeat until the whole area is complete. Once the paint is dry, you can add vertical slats to givae it a panelled look.

Top tip: Choose a small selection of Resene testpot colours for a tone on tone stencilled effect.

Styling and images by Fleur Thorpe, 2020.

Habitat bright ideas
Need to add colour, pattern or a little creativity to your place? Check out these easy step by step DIY project ideas created in collaboration with Fleur Thorpe. We hope you enjoy making and painting these bright ideas and bringing colour to your home inside or out.

Fleur's projects | Habitat bright ideas


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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