Instructables

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.
 
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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 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 10: After it is dry carefully peel back the stencil.


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.
Yeah, who here if you have a laser cuter? More importantly tell us WHY you have one
i don't know anybody that owns one, but there is one at the university for students to use.
There.... IS?!
 I know exactly what you mean!!! I always am so intrigued by this type of thing, but i don't have a laser cutter. :(
suggsugg4 years ago
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.
zomgzninjaz7 years ago
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
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.
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.
frankly19707 years ago
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.
binnie7 years ago
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?
quicumque7 years ago
This process is a thing of beauty. If I had a laser cutter I would make stencils for absolutely everything.
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
padfoot4477 years ago
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....
DCwom8 years ago
"A laser cutter can conveniently be used to directly cut stencils" Yeah, if you've got a convenient laser cutter sitting around???
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.