A form of art that has been with humans from prehistoric times, stenciling has definitely come to stay. In the simplest of terms, stenciling can be described as a type of art where paint, inks or coloring materials are applied onto a surface on which a material has been placed over. What actually provides the stencil are the cuts or holes or spaces that have been made on these materials. From this, it can be seen that paints and surfaces are of extreme importance to stenciling and that is why this piece will focus on the types of paints and surfaces used in stenciling. The sections below will do proper justice to this.

Talking of paints, there are so many types that can be employed while stenciling is done but this piece will talk about the ones that are most commonly used. These include fabric paint, acrylic paint, aerosolized paint, latex paint, water-based paint and even oil-based paints in some cases. Before going further, it is important to note why the type of paint used is important. Stenciling is all about the paint or ink used and it is the type, quality and consistency of the painting and the technique used while painting that will determine how durable the stencil will be.

Before using some paints, it may be needed to apply an adhesive first so the paint can stick to the surface properly. Specially manufactured stencil paints are most universal in use and they can be applied onto many surfaces. As for latex paints, they can be applied primarily on wooden surfaces and same goes for acrylic paints. However, many artists that oil-based paints are not the most suitable when stenciling except on some conditions. Only the best of masters are able to make use of oil-based paints to reasonable extent but for the inexperienced, oil-based paints will present a lot of challenges. Oil-based paints do not dry on time, they are relatively very viscous and they are more difficult to manipulate during the stenciling process.

On the other side are the fabric paints which are aptly named as they are best for use on fabrics like wool, linen, silk and others. Owing to the nature of the fabric material to be painted on, fabric paints are specially manufactured and are often made on demand. They are best suited for designs on fabric stencils. In situations where they are not easily available, the artist can intelligently improvise.

Now talking of the surfaces on which stenciling processes are done, there are several of them. There is wood, plastic, metal, glass, ceramic, paper and even concrete in some cases. Irrespective of the type of surface that is used, there are some points that apply to all. For example, the surface should be totally clean and free of particles so that the paints do not stick onto them and mar the entire work. The surface should also be even in smoothness for the same reason of making sure the eventual stencil is not destroyed in the process. Thus, in order to get the best stencil, the right paint and surface must be used.