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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully PPD will chime in, but if anyone else knows, I'm all ears.

I understand the concept of an imbedded stencil using Italian plaster, but I need a little help with the details. For the stencil, do you use plaster, fresco paint....what?

Should the stencil color always be lighter, darker......????

To be effective, should there be no more than one layer of plaster on top and then the wax?
 

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I know this thread is a bit old, just seeing it for the first time, noticing it received no responses, and figured I’d share my technique although there might be better approaches.

I’ve done a few embedded stencils in both Kolcaustico and lime putty applications, the procedure for each being pretty much identical when embedding. I use the same plaster for the stencil, tinting it darker, applying the stencil after the 2nd coat in a 4 coat application. I create a master stencil utilizing mylar, then take a piece of glass and layer the glass with wide overlapping blue tape, utilizing the mylar as a template, cutting the pattern into the blue tape with exacto knives, peeling the blue tape off in one big sheet and applying it to the wall, the tape serving as the actual stencil. I use the tape because I don’t want the plaster to get underneath the stencil. I haven’t been able to come up with a method for a reusable self adhered stencil so if I have a repeating pattern I have to cut one stencil out of blue tape for each one...a very time consuming PITA! There must be an easier way..if you have one I’m all ears.

I then apply the plaster over the stencil with an inox finish trowel, let it set up, then peel off the tape. I end up with a flat layer of plaster, having transferred the artwork to the wall, the thickness of the material being the thickness of the blue tape. I take a flat hard sanding block with #320 and give the pattern an aggressive sanding to remove any height differences from where the tape might have been overlapped or any material ridges left by the trowel. I want that plaster stencil to be “flat” yet raised from the wall’s surface.

I then do another fill coat troweled onto the entire wall and over the stencil, applying more pressure over the stenciled area to create a burnished/photographing effect. I’ll then apply a thin burnish coat over the entire wall, always pressing heavier over the embedded stencil to further enhance the photographing of the high points through the finish, sort of like when you’re plastering and hit a speed bump like a nail pop or tape joint, those high spots telegraphing through the finish and reading darker....I hate it when that happens..

Anyway, that’s my self-taught technique for embedding stencils..I don’t know how others might do it or if this is of any help to the OP.
 

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Girl Boss
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Lynn! I never freakin published my reply, its just been a-wastin away in my drafts :(- thankfully @Alchemy came to the rescue since he’s got a lot more knowledge on plasters than I do.

I’m still playin around w/ this method. Not confident enough yet to offer it to clients since I just trained in plaster a year n half ago, so take my info with a tiny grain of salt since it may have more to do with experience than actual product & technique...

Buuutttt so far this is what I’ve come up with that works best for me:

•Base:
I prefer mineral base primer coating. It seems to provide the best seal & is a lot quicker than base plaster (again prolly experience).

Whenever I try n use a plaster over 200 micron it seems to cause issues. That eliminates most marmorino & using fine grasselo as a bed coat feels like a lot of unnecessary work to be covered up.


•Stencil Layer:
I’ve always used plaster so not sure if paints would work- assuming the stencil needs to be at least 1.5x thicker than your base to stand up to additional plaster layers without getting lost I feel its safest to use plaster.

I thin ‘Marmorino Fine’ for the stencil layer. You know the consistency of the top 6-10” when your mixing the water topper in to rehydrate an older mix?

Thats the consistency I like to start with so its slightly firmed up by the time I’ve got the chalk line & stencil lay out.

Unless your using a large space stencil that doesn’t require much repositioning I find its a lot easier to use double trowel & clean mix bucket.

If u hawk, I’d only slop enough for 1-2 stencils or it becomes a major pain to rehydrate after getting the stencil cleaned & lined back up & be sure to have that mister bottle handy.

Stencil color depends on project & design- it can be EITHER light or dark. I’ve seen both done beautifully! I had some pictures saved of both examples- will try n find um for ya.

Obviously its easier to to tint a light stencil to blend into a dark ground with your top layer or wax but a dark stencil on a lighter ground can be sealed with clear wax if its a clean cut design.

•Top Layers:

I’ve played around with more ways than I can remember but as u prolly know from experimenting the amount of top layers n wax can completely change the look from vivid to old world chipped away finish.

One of my favorite experiments I wrote the steps down for was;
- marmorino on top of the stencil coat
- dark waxed stencil area
- scuffed the next day after wax cure
- then tight coat of grassello shaded slightly past my base color.

The marm filled in the stencil height while the tight coat blended it all together n softened the look (wax kept it from complete coverage) to something that’s more my personal taste.

•Extra Supplies:
Modello Stencils are my favorite. Their extremely sturdy n have held up to prolly 60-100 plaster experiments so far. I won’t be able to use those again for paint but as long as I’m diligent about wiping as I go & cleaning them well afterwards they’re a beaut.

The adhesive ceiling & floor stencils are some of the best I’ve found so far. They do a great job of labelling each layer & provide a layout map that makes it hard to mess up even with a multi-layer stencil. They can custom make a production stencil for any type of project if you have a large space & don’t wanna have to re-aligan as often. Plus their support is top notch!

Favorite repositioning spray for walls is by Stencil Ease.

Krylon & Scotch leave a grease film on natural material (mineral or stone base) whenever I try n use um so avoid those like the plague.


•Here’s a few youtube videos I found helpful when I started playin around w/ the stencils:


He’s using faux effects plasters in this one (so can be different from the aged slack lime bases) but the technique was helpful for me to begin with:

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I’ll have to read that six more times to absorb that, but Thank You!! I didn’t know that about Scotch spray. I usually use Elmer’s but it’s harder to find nowadays.
 

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Girl Boss
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I’ll have to read that six more times to absorb that, but Thank You!! I didn’t know that about Scotch spray. I usually use Elmer’s but it’s harder to find nowadays.


Hah...information overload...who me? NEVER! ;)
 
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