Stencils for street art!

I was wondering if anyone could answer this question!
I’m doing a lot of street art posters and I was wondering what kind of material I can use to make stencils? Now I’m using knifes and I was hoping I could do this more easily :slight_smile:
I’m soooooo excited to get my hands on my GF right now! Thousands and thousands of ideas in my head eager to get out😄


You came to the right place.

@jbv could be your man


@laserlady err @smcgathyfay could be your woman


I am hoping to create stencils too. Mostly for silk screens with a stencil look. Some mylar is laserable and can hold a lot of fine detail (and, being plastic, also reusable). For sprayed-on, back-alleyway, quick-to-use stencils (for the Banksy street look) a thin ply should work. I don’t have my GF yet, but as @jbmanning5 says, there are others with actual GF stencilling experience.


Even card stock and paper.

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For something a little more durable, you can get pretty thin sheets of delrin

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Depends how much detail you are going for, how long you want the stencil to last, what you are spraying onto, what you are spraying with. You mention street art, so I’ll assume you are using spray paint in a rattlecan, on hard-ish surfaces like concrete, bricks, or walls.

For one-time use stencils, adhesive stencil material is amazing… but it ain’t cheap.

I did this the other day by accident with some regular paper masking material.

Cardstock, 80-110lb conform a bit to surfaces, can handle some detail, and can last for a couple dozen sprays, or more if you are light on the trigger. It’s hard to clean without destroying, and so as the paint builds up, you lose details and the page curls. It will last longer if sprayed alternately from either side, if your design works backwards as well. It’s cheap, so it doesn’t hurt as much to throw them and run, lose them, tear them, or hand them out to a street team.

Manilla folders are good too, if you are raiding a supply cabinet, but more expensive to purchase in bulk. The finish on them makes it a little easier to wipe clean for a little longer.

Thin cardboard/pressboard/cereal boxes hold up a while, but they don’t take detail too well. Great for big blocky shapes, big stencil-fonts, and basic curve/corner templates.

Mylar is nice, doesn’t tear, and when you have built up a thick enough layer of paint, you can just bend and twist it to crack the paint away. More expensive than paper-based stencils, and will last much longer, but not indefinitely.

The Lucent by Rowmark product looks like it will be a step up from mylar, but I have not yet tried it out.

Thin Plywood and thicker cardboard work ok. If you are doing road-work sized stencil-font letters, they will work out fine. Neither will conform to surfaces, though, so you have lots of opportunity for underspray and fuzzy edges. Again, good for blocking out larger sections, and plywood will last ages.


Is it possible to use the sheets you use for overheads?:grimacing:
I mainly spray paint on canvases as such! And it doesn’t have to last long! :blush:

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Thank you so much!! You guys are truly helpful! :raising_hand_woman:t2:

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I don’t know what particular products you are using for overheads, so I really can’t say. If they are vinyl-based, then no.

For canvases, I would start with cardstock. amazon has 50-sheet packs of 80-lb and 100-lb cardstock for around 12 bucks.

Speaking of Street Art, we’ve just been for our annual holidays, in France as always and stumbled across a place called Street Art City in, literally, the middle of nowhere. It was amazing.
An old telecoms training establishment for La Poste, it was abandoned in the 80’s and brought by an retired french couple, who have opened it as a kind of commune for street artists from across Europe. The whole site is slowly being covered with paint and we all loved it!
Here are some pics him indoors took.


Damn! now you know his name.

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Been there, done that! Lovely pics though! :smile:

Whaaaaaat! You’ve been there?:smiley:

No, I meant with the too much information displayed. (Several of the earlier tutorials required reworking. Fortunately, one of the guys tagged me and pointed out that I was kind of bare out there.) :flushed: :smile:

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What a cool spot! My introduction to street art was in france, around age 4. It… affected me.

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AHHH. forgive me, our youngest has had a chest infection and as she loves him indoors so much when she’s ill (he hugs her, i just don’t want whatever she has) she has spent the last week in our bed, whilst I’ve been sleeping in the spare. I’ve never slept well in there.
Better off than him though, sleeping with her is like sharing a bed with a bag of eels.
He looks like something off the walking dead.:grin:


Chuckle! (Love that description!) Hope she gets past it quickly. Those are no fun.

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Affected us too, so much so we spent (serious money) buying art, Partly to support this place, but mostly because neither of us could stop looking at it.
You know what they say, if art doesn’t challenge you, don’t buy it.