Introduction: Laser Cut Spray Paint Stencils

A laser cutter can conveniently be used to directly cut stencils in masking tape or pretty much any tape. This tape can then be stuck to your surface, spray painted, and removed. I used this stencil to personalise the bicycle i was building for my ladyfriend.

Step 1: Lay Out the Tape on Your Laser Cutter Bed and Set the Correct Focal Distance for Your Laser Cutter.


Step 2: Design Your Stencil, I Used Corel Draw and Used a Basic Font Suitable for Stenciling.

the thing about choosing a font is choosing something where the holes in the a's and b's and d's and o's and p's don't fall out. I used the BAUHAUS font for this bike.

also make sure to convert your font to an outline so you only cut the outline.

I've attached the illustrator and post script files.

Step 3: Cut Your Stencil. Typically Low Power Setting As Tape Is Thin. I Used Bear Tape for This Stencil.


Step 4: Carefully Orient Your Stencil to the Object You Are Painting.


Step 5: Press Your Stencil Close to the Object You Are Painting.


Step 6: I Use an Extra Sheet of Card to Prevent Overspray, and to Receive the Splotchy First Second or So of Spray From Cheap Spray Cans.


Step 7: Starting With Spray on Your Overspray Card, Move to Your Stencil Area Giving a Few Light Coats.


Step 8: Ta-da. Allow to Dry. I Used Rust-oleum. Works Great on a Lot of Surfaces and Is Cheap and Easy to Get.


Step 9: You Can See From This Detail That It Requires a Second Coat.


Step 10: After It Is Dry Carefully Peel Back the Stencil.


Step 11: Finish Peeling.


Step 12: Looks Cool Eh?


Comments

author
MumblingTuna (author)2007-10-21

Aah I want a laser cutter (benn wantin to mod me laptop) i get so sick of laser cutter how-to's i mean, how many people have those? and they make all the postings.

author
Lance Mt. (author)MumblingTuna2009-03-04

Yeah, who here if you have a laser cuter? More importantly tell us WHY you have one

author
amboarder (author)Lance Mt.2011-02-06

i don't know anybody that owns one, but there is one at the university for students to use.

author
Lance Mt. (author)amboarder2011-02-26

There.... IS?!

author
smashbob (author)MumblingTuna2010-02-10

 I know exactly what you mean!!! I always am so intrigued by this type of thing, but i don't have a laser cutter. :(

author
suggsugg (author)2009-10-28

Hey what kind of wheels are those on the bike? I can't tell if they're road tirex or mountain tires, but i am trying to find some new road tires and the green wheels look fantastic.

author
zomgzninjaz (author)2006-09-23

that's a pretty great idea. Especially since you can export illustrator documents as CAD files which gives you a huge selection of fonts and what not to choose from

author
Ryan Damm (author)zomgzninjaz2009-03-28

Epilogs mount as printers -- you don't need to export anything. If it's set up correctly: print. That's the best thing about laser cutters (from Epilog -- YMMV for other brands). And don't worry -- they'll be cheap enough for everyone to have their own within a few years. Then we'll drool over SLS machines.

author
wiretapstudios (author)2008-09-04

From doing many stencils, yes, it is because there was too much paint. You needed two very light coats, like the guy above said. Co-signed.

author
frankly1970 (author)2007-05-18

for a super clean look and a no worries edge to your text do as follows: between steps 5 and 6 spray a flat clear coat. any leakage will be unnoticeable. jump right into your stage 6. you will need to keep the tape as close as possible to avoid distorted looking edges. some may advise trying to match your original color of the bike to spray on first and then the desired text color.

author
binnie (author)2007-05-09

im no expert or anything and i dont know if anyone already said it but arnt you sposed to take the tape off after you finish spraying - instead of after it drys, wont it peel and crakc?

author
quicumque (author)2007-05-06

This process is a thing of beauty. If I had a laser cutter I would make stencils for absolutely everything.

author
slickrickdesigns (author)2007-04-26

rough edges is most likely because you sprayed to much paint arround the edges in each coat or you were to close to the actual project being painted and that is why is better to do a lot of thin coats than a few thick ones. thank u for teaching me how to do this project

author
padfoot447 (author)2006-09-10

cool! I wish I had a laser cutter. Did you coat the spraypaint with varnish or sealant or something? It seems like the paint could just rub off the bike. Maybe I should put hot-rod flames on my bike... you know... to make it go faster....

author
DCwom (author)2006-07-07

"A laser cutter can conveniently be used to directly cut stencils" Yeah, if you've got a convenient laser cutter sitting around???

author
fungus amungus (author)2005-11-19

It's sweet, but the need for a laser cutter is out of most folks' range. A more low-tech way to go would be to print out the finished design onto regular bond paper and cut it out with an Exacto. Spray a light amount of spray adhesive on the back of it and stick it to the target surface. After that, it's all the same and don't worry about your hands because they will get paint on 'em unless you're wearing gloves.

One of these days I'll make my own tutorial about this. For now, check out here (http://www.stencilrevolution.com/tutorials/) for some tips on the stencil part of things.

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