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Stenciling Can Add Color and Style to Kitchen Cabinets

Stenciling is a quick way to add color and style to your kitchen. A wide variety of decorative stencils are available for adding detail to painted cabinets. The safest approach is to use a small accent, rather than a dominating presence.

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Here is what you will need to get started on your stenciling project:

  • Stencils as desired
  • Stenciling brush or sponge brush
  • Straightedge
  • Yardstick or tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper towels
  • Tape (for attaching stencils)

Instructions for Stenciling Your Kitchen Cabinets

NOTE: Taking the doors off the cabinets may make measuring and painting easier.

  1. Lay out the pattern. You can do the stenciling with the doors on or off, whichever is most convenient. Using a straightedge and ruler, mark the boundaries with a light pencil line. Position the accent figures so they are spaced evenly along the length of the cabinets, centering as needed (depending on the pattern).
  2. If you have never stenciled before, spend some time practicing on paper. After you have repeated the process several times, you'll develop the technique that produces the most pleasing results for your taste -- experiment with a lighter touch and uneven as well as consistent applications.
  3. Apply the paint to the cabinets. Attach the stencil in place firmly. Dip the stenciling brush or sponge in paint, then blot it on a paper towel until it is nearly dry. Apply the paint to the stencil with a firm, tapping motion.(Note: A sponge brush makes the work go quicker, but does not allow you to create subtle shadings.)
  4. Remove the stencil. Allow the paint to dry a bit, then carefully peel back the stencil. Don't slide the stencil as you remove it, or you will smear the paint. Borders and additional small designs may be applied by using stamps or by hand-painting.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4. If stencil areas overlap, wait until paint is completely dry on one area before placing the next stencil.
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