Stenciling with Latex

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    Question: Best solution for high count stenciling with latex?

    Now that we’ve been able to switch over to latex for all of our jobs the one draw back is stenciling. We do quite a few jobs that require high number of individual stencils (ADA logo, arrows, RESERVED, VISITOR, 4″ line in hard to reach areas, etc.) As has always been the problem with latex is that it doesn’t take too many times of spraying a particular stencil to get to the point where it is a potential/probable dripping situation. It was never a real issue in the past as the acetone acrylic really needs to be done 20+ times to get to the point where you have to scrape it onsite to continue spraying a crisp stencil that’s not leaving drips on the asphalt…or your head for that matter. The latex paint however…although the RAE latex flashes faster than the SW it’s still not a full cure, so spraying multiple times, even waiting 5-10min. between every couple sprays I’m only getting 10 or so stencils sprayed before issues arise. I’ve had to resort to either dragging it through the grass (which I abhore) or sitting it down on a tarp and scraping it…then wiping down the backsided with paper towel. It’s the only issue I’ve ever had with latex and now with a complete switch it’s an issue with a larger scale. I’ve tried and have used just about every material in some fashion or another. The higher end polymer plastics that we have for most of our factory cut stencils are great…but they obviously have very little porousness to grab any paint (kind of the idea though, for easy cleaning…when dried), the temporary cutout cardboards absorb the moisture a bit, but then again, it doesn’t take long to saturate and build up…not to mention cardboard is obviously not a solution for daily stenciling. I’ve also done some custom cut stencils in house out of hardboard and that ends up falling right in the middle of the two as far as performance but as it absorbs it warps…and being fiberous isn’t a daily option either. The only solution that I’ve come up with is is that I’m going to either have multiple sets of each stencil or I’m going to have to have a machine (or even one of those Graco handheld units) available to spray acetone acrylic for the stencils.

    Any thoughts on this would be a great help. Thanks.


    Hello DB…how are you?
    First…thanks for the post.
    Next…you just covered it all. ( No pun intended. )
    Or…I can say…yes…you’re right…concerning all you said.
    Bottom Line…there’s more than one way to skin a cat. AND…different jobs can be stenciled differently.
    Therefore…no one way.
    I’ve sold (10) HC stencils to two different users. One had 168 HC on the same job. The other had hundreds to spray.
    Next…I have customers who order sets and sets of 12″ Numbers. I have others who order the Doubles…and also Triples. All of it stems from dripping…wiping down…etc. ( And it’s a time saver. )
    Next…we’ve all wiped off in the grass. I’ve even started…”down on that end”…so when the stencil got drippy…I would end up by the lawn…behind a tree.
    I’ve also had a job that had 20 HC. IT was only a 60 car lot…! It was for a gym for heart patients. BUT…that Sunday was so hot…I sprayed a few…sprayed the gores…sprayed some lines…”repeat process”…and got done.
    Again…no two jobs are exactly alike.
    DB…you aren’t doing anything wrong. Just pick your weapon.
    Oh…I have a job that has 90 VISITOR stencils…( that picture is on my FaceBook …) SO…I cut (2) additional VISITOR stencils BUT…from the 60 Mil = thin plastic to use along with my 125 Mil VISITOR stencil.
    ( You can buy additional stencils…but choose if you want thick or thin material…as “extras”. )
    Last…I have a product I call “The Stencil Scraper”… that I use. It’s in prototype.
    Hang in there. Pick your weapons. It’s just the job.
    And…congrats on the work.
    Did I help? I hope so. Let me know.


    Thanks Dan for the reply. I pretty much figured I had covered all bases, but you never know what you don’t know. I’ve been in this business for the better part of 18 years and I’m constantly learning new things…so I thought I’d throw the issue out to the masses.

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