Techniques

How To: use Mexican Birds Stencil

Follow our step-by-step guide to using one of Annie's most popular stencils.

Annie’s Mexican Bird Stencil is inspired by traditional Mexican artesanía.

Artesanía” is a Mexican word used to describe handcrafted objects which serve a functional purpose and purely decorative folk art. 

The two disciplines are closely intertwined and highly respected in Mexican culture. Both have a similar history, are made by highly trained craftspeople, and form a valued part of the country’s national identity. Every region – and every town within that region – specialises in certain disciplines or materials: Taxco for silver, Santa Clara del Cobre for copper, whilst worldfamous Talavera Pottery is produced in PueblaEven Christmas has its own Mexican heartland in Tlalpujahua. Informally known as the “town of eternal Christmas”, Tlalpujahua produces over 40 million blown glass Christmas ornaments every year. 

The Mexican Bird Stencil design is inspired specifically by the textiles of the Otomi region and people. Otomi textiles are embroidered works. The artist draws out shapes, usually of local flora and fauna, with different tribes represented through different animals, shapes or symbols and cut them from brightly coloured fabrics. These shapes are then stitched onto a plain muslin fabric in a rainbow assortment of colours using coloured satin threadsSo, for an authentically look, we recommend choosing a bright and playful palette of your favourite Chalk Paint® colours to create a joyful fiesta of colour when you use the Mexican Bird Stencil. 

In the video above, the Chalk Paint® elves have demonstrated how to pick out different elements of the design using different colours to create a lively effect. Chalk Paint® in Old White is the perfect balanced white to use as a base, as it suggests the neitherwarm norcool off-white of muslin. We used a delicious selection of warm and cool toned Chalk Paint® colours to bounce off one another. In order of appearance : English Yellow, Lem Lem, Emperor’s Silk, Svenska Blue, Rodmell and Amsterdam Green.   

What paintbrush should you use?

Rather than a roller, we’ve used a stencil brush as this makes it easier to pick out different aspects of the design in different colours. If you prefer to use a roller when stencilling, click hereAs always with stencilling, whatever your tool, the golden rule is not to overload the brush or roller! This will prevent paint from “splodging” out of the edges and compromising your design. It’ll also keep the rest of the stencil cleaner for longer which will help prevent smudging. When you’re repeating a stencil over furniture or walls, do occasionally wipe off excess amounts of paints to avoid smudging as you move the stencil around

Don’t forget to seal your Chalk Paint®

Finally, apply Clear Chalk Paint® Wax or Chalk Paint® Lacquer to finish and protect.  

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Mexican Birds Stencil by Annie Sloan design in Provence and Old White
Mexican Birds Stencil by Annie Sloan packaging front

Mexican Birds

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Annie Sloan Stencil Brush

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Paint swatch of Old White Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a cool soft off-white

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Paint swatch of English Yellow Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a bright traditional yellow

English Yellow

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Paint swatch of Lem Lem Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a soft, warm bright green colour created in collaboration with Oxfam

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Paint swatch of Emperor's Silk Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a bright, pure red

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Paint swatch of Svenska Blue Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a crisp and cool toned blue-grey

Svenska Blue

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Paint swatch of Rodmell Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a dusty, damson purple made in collaboration with Charleston Farmhouse.

Rodmell

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Paint swatch of Amsterdam Green Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a strong, deep forest green

Amsterdam Green

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Clear Chalk Paint® Wax

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