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How to Apply a Tropical Stenciling Technique

A decorative painting expert creates a sun-dappled base with a stenciled palm leaf overlay.

More in Decorating

apply a tropical stenciling technique
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Prepare the Room and Mix the Paint

Cover floor with drop cloth. Mix first paint color (in this example, tan is used) with about 20 percent glaze in paint tray.

Step 2: Glaze the Wall

Apply glaze mixture over the wall in large criss-crossed strokes. Soften strokes by dabbing with a dry cloth. Continue technique around the room and allow to dry thoroughly.

apply glaze mixture over wall

Step 3: Add the Second Color

Mix next color (in this case, a soft green is used) with same proportion of glaze. Roll sea sponge roller into the mixture and roll excess onto dry newspaper. With the thin layer left on the sponge roller, apply color in light, downward strokes over the first layer. Apply sparingly -- just enough to create texture and depth. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Step 4: Stencil the Walls

Again, mix paint in desired color with glaze. Roll foam sponge in desired color(s) and roll off excess paint on to dry newspaper. Then place stencil flat against the wall and lightly fill pattern with roller. For more defined edges, don’t overload the roller or the stencil with paint. Continue with stencil as desired. Allow to dry thoroughly.