How To Paint An American Flag Stencil On Wood [Acrylic & Spray Paint Methods]

How To Paint An American Flag Stencil On Wood [Acrylic & Spray Paint Methods]

“This land will remain free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” With the Fourth of July right around the corner, what better way to display your patriotism and love for our country than with an American Flag? We are proud to share one of our favorite stencils with you and walk you through how to paint an American flag stencil on wood. 

This DIY patriotic stencil project is perfect for every level of crafter and gives you endless opportunities of what you can create. Whether you are looking to create a vintage piece to hang in your home without breaking the bank or creating a piece to show your love and gratitude to someone serving in the armed forces- this piece is for you. Creating this piece yourself allows you to decide the look, the purpose and match it to whoever it is for in your own special way.

What You Will Need

Before we dive into the “how-to,” let’s first go over the materials you need: 

  • Flat piece(s) of rectangular wood (reclaimed or new- you decide what look you want!) 
  • Water-based polyurethane wood finish
  • American flag stars and stripes stencil
  • Red, white, and blue acrylic or spray paint (Exact shades and colors will depend on the color of your wood base)
  • Paintbrushes (a variety of sizes is ideal) 
  • Mod Podge
  • Painter’s tape (if you are using a reusable stencil)
  • Face mask (if you are using spray paint) 

American flag stencil

Choosing Your Wood

Before we can get to the stenciling, you need to find the perfect piece of wood for your project. Think of what you want your flg to look like- and choose accordingly. Here are some ideas of what wood to use to help you get your wood search started:  

  • Tabletop from old furniture. Do you have a wooden table you no longer need? Is there a great find at a local thrift store or online platform? Consider snagging a table, old or new, removing the legs, and voilà! You’ve got a solid piece of wood that can be the perfect subject for your DIY flag project. 
  • Reclaimed fence. If you have an old fence collecting dust in the shed, saw out a wooden base. These are also gems that you can find at local stores getting rid of old wood that can be repurposed into a beautiful craft! 
  • Old pallets. Pallets are cheap, readily available and can be screwed together to create your own wooden base. If you don’t have pallets on hand, you can go to your local hardware store and purchase them there- or look at Facebook Marketplace which typically offers great deals on pallets! 

If you would like to see more ideas and what creative surfaces you can use, make sure to Join our Wallcutz community to see how other DIYers source materials for their projects! 

Stenciled quote on unfinished wood

Stenciling on Unfinished Wood

Stenciling on raw or uneven wood (due to cracks, marks, etc.) can be pretty challenging, as the paint can easily bleed across the grain, not to mention the many splinters that may arise! Luckily, there are tips and tricks to avoid these disasters and ensure that you achieve the best results on any kind of wood! 

First, you want to prepare the wood surface before you even begin stenciling. Grab a can of water-based polyurethane and apply a clear coat to your wood with a wide brush. This helps to fill in the uneven surfaces on your wood and provides a cleaner application of paint. Before moving on to the next step, make sure to let the first coat dry for 30 minutes. If the wood is still too uneven and you feel it needs more smoothing out, you can brush on a second coat of your polyurethane. Once you have finished and feel it has enough coats, set the piece out to dry for approximately two hours and make sure it is completely dry before you start stenciling. 

How to Use Acrylic Paint On Wood

Once your wood is completely dry, you are ready to start painting with acrylic paint. We love acrylic paint because it is budget-friendly and durable enough to last on wood. 

Here’s how to stencil on wood using acrylic paint: 

  1. Grab your American flag stencil and line it up to the top of your wooden base. If you’re using Wallcutz’s American flag stencil, start with the main flag stencil.

  2. Stick or tape the stencil to your wood. The method you use will depend on whether you’re using a single-use stencil (which often comes with an adhesive backing) or a reusable stencil (which usually comes with no adhesive backing and will require taping). Because we prefer reusable stencils, we recommend using tape or spray adhesive to secure your stencil- although we have found tape will hold more firmly on wood. 

  3. Next, apply Mod Podge on top of your stencil. This will seal the stencil edges to the wood so no paint will seep under the stencil or peel off when removing your stencil. Let it dry for at least one hour before you start painting. Although it is a bit of a waiting game, we promise this stencil will be worth it! 

  4. Once your Mod podge has dried, begin painting through your stencil with a brush. Start by applying a small amount of paint onto the brush bristles and then dabbing it onto the wood. As always- remember to offload, offload, offload! After one coat, let it dry for a few minutes, take a peek, and reapply until you achieve the look you want. The more paint you apply, the more prominent your colors will be.

  5. Once your stripes/main flag area has dried, repeat step four with your stars overlay stencil to achieve a finished flag. 

How To Use Spray Paint On Wood

If you are going for a lighter, more worn-out look, instead of acrylic paint, try using spray paint. The same rules apply as above, except after you apply your Mod Podge, you will spray paint through the stencil. 

Place the spray paint a few inches above your wooden base and make long sweeping motions with your hand and arm as you apply the paint. Apply light coats to start and keep coating until you achieve your desired results. 

For your safety, be sure to wear a mask while spray painting. 

Finished stenciled wood

Discover Your Next DIY Project with Us 

At Wallcutz, we are proud to make your DIY dreams a reality by offering patriotic stencil designs and much more. We hope you enjoy this patriotic stencil just in time for Independence Day, and every day after that.  Be sure to explore our stencil options to discover your next DIY project today- and to join our Facebook Community group and share your projects with us! 


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