1. Where to buy?

Most DIY stores and art shops have a great range of pre-cut stencils. There are even companies that will create custom stencils to a design brief, so it’s worth having a search online. Or, for more personal painting ideas, you could try cutting your own design out of lining paper.

2. Choose the right brush

For a stress-free application, we recommend that you invest in the right brush. Specialist stencil brushes are round with short, stiff bristles and are designed to help you ‘stipple’ paint onto the wall without getting paint outside the edges of the stencil. You can find these at most hardware and decorator stores.

3. Use an adhesive

If you’re stencilling a vertical surface like a wall, you might find it helpful to use a spray-on stencil adhesive. Available from most art shops and DIY stores, the adhesive gives a low-tack backing to your stencil to help keep it in place while you paint.

4. Work in stages

We recommend starting from the outside in, dabbing paint along the edges of the stencil to create an outline before moving into the centre. This will help you stop paint slipping beneath the edges. Load your brush carefully – a little bit of paint goes a long way.

5. Take your time

Stencilling is one of the more fiddly paint techniques, so make sure you set aside plenty of time so you don't have to rush. Working slowly in small sections is the secret to stress-free stencilling. Build up your design in thin layers and have a sheet of kitchen towel handy to wipe off excess paint.