Craft Product Review: Martha Stewart Paints by Plaid- Stencils & Brushes


It has been a “Martha-full” week here at CTD WHQ (that’s CraftTestDummies World Headquarters) and I’ve reviewed her Paints, Tools and Accessories, Tintable Fabric Medium, and even Upcycled a Cabinet. But today, I’m turning my attention to her Stencils and tools for stencilling- her foam pouncers, stencil brushes, and

First off, you should know that the Martha Stewart Stencils come in the “normal” version- lightweight plastic stencils- “adhesive” versions, and cardboard stencils.

Let’s look at the regular version. They are much- no, exactly like the stencils that have been around for years. The what makes the Martha Stewart stencils different is the Martha Stewart designs.


I got a set of larger ones and medium sized ones. I chose all botanical designs because I thought I’d get the most use from them, but after seeing the etched bathroom mirror by Michelle at A Little Tipsy and quatrefoil stool make-over from Becky at Infarrantly Creative, I’m lusting for those stencils, too.

I used these stencils to make my upcycled Ikea cabinet.

Since these stencils are not adhesive- and frankly, the plastic is a little slippery- you may want to use painters’ tape to hold the stencils securely. Otherwise, you may get some “seepage,” like I did:

Note the bleeding around the antennae.

You can also use a repositionable spray adhesive- like quilt basting spray- to keep the stencils secured to fabric.

If you are using these stencils on slicker surfaces, I recommend using the foam pouncers or rollers- but for rougher surfaces, the stencil brushes work great. (They really work the paint into the nooks and crannys of textured surfaces, including fabric.)

Clean these with warm soapy water and your hands in the sink, or place on old newspapers and wipe with cleaning wipes, followed by paper towels. They are fairly durable and you should get lots of use out of them.

Holiday Icons

The Adhesive Stencils are much smaller- most are no longer than 2 inches, and the smallest is about 1/2 inch. They come on a backing sheet and resemble vinyl stickers. Heck, in effect they ARE vinyl stickers- and work very well on slick surfaces. I tried them out on glass.

They stick well, even on curved surfaces.

To apply paint through the stencils, a foam pouncer works the best- a stencil brush just kind of pushes the paint around on the smooth surface, leaving unsightly lines. I also used a palette knife to smooth the paint on, and that worked remarkably well. Here’s how my samples came out:

To clean these, place the stencil back on the backing sheet and wipe with a cleaning wipe. Don’t use water, as it will damage the “sticky” factor and shorten the life of the stencil. They clean up beautifully, though, and are really durable.

PS- I’ve also used these on fabric….although it will compromise the sticky factor over time.

Lastly, there are cardboard stencils, like these monograms.

These are glossy coated on the top side only, so they are not very durable- better for quick, one-time projects. You will also need to prepare your stencil by poking out the shapes before you begin.

Keep a bamboo skewer handy for poking out the shapes.

Because they are cardboard, they are almost twice as thick as the plastic ones. I recommend using a stencil brush or a foam pouncer to get into the little spaces. You will also want to use as little paint as possible, so that the moisture doesn’t seep under/into the stencils and damage them.

I used them to monogram some linen napkins I found at a yard sale.

I should have used the stencil brush!

Since these stencils are made of cardboard, just wipe them clean with a cleaning towelette or a baby wipe. If you take care, you can get a few good uses from them.

I hope that you’ve gotten a good overview of the stencils and applicator tools today- make sure you visit your local Michael’s store to see them in person. I also took a look around online and found that HSN has an Adhesive Stencil and Paint Set ($34.99 USD) as well as a Beginner’s Stencil and Paint Set ($69.95)  that you might want to check out.

Feel free to leave a comment- I’ll answer questions if I can!

Disclosure: samples provided for review.

About Jenny

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.


  1. says

    I bought about 18 or more of Martha’s stencil. They are beautiful and feel good in my hand, however I find they don’t tap the paint onto the surface I’m working on. I have to rely on my old brushes, some 20 yrs old, to get my canvas project done. Someone please test them out and let me know if you find the paint just doesn’t get applied. I’ve stenciled for 25 years and made about 11 floor cloths and Martha’s brushes are useless. I don’t have receipt to return them either..bummed out!


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