How To Stencil Your Decking and Transform It!

Adding decking in the garden is such a great way of creating a social space for your family, providing an extra living area for the warmer months. The problem in the UK is our weather!

We created our decking space back in April 2017 and within two years it had become dirty, damp and unsightly and I had a bright idea to stencil it to brighten up the space and add character and pattern.

Our newly laid decking, ignore the MASSIVE pile of crap in the background. We were having our kitchen renovated at the same time.
Looking fresh and hopeful for future use! Kids toys not so… 😀
Our Borneo rattan furniture from Asda which we have now replaced
Only 2 years later and the decking had definitely seen better days
The decking under the apple tree was particularly bad!

You can make out where the garden furniture was, protecting the decking from the elements!

I’ve worked really hard on our house and the garden had become totally neglected, so I was looking for a way to bring colour and pattern to the garden so it became an extension of our home. I had looked at perhaps painting the decking grey or just stripping it down and varnishing it and adding rugs but I wanted something a little more permanent.

I did a little bit of research and came across a few posts and images where the decking or patio area had been painted with a stencil, so I thought I would give it a go!

The first thing I had to do was strip down the decking and clean it. We were gifted a 1600W Pressure washer by VonHaus which was extremely easy to use and stripped off all the mould, dirt and debris from our decking, making it good as new again.

All we had to do was connect the pressure washer to our outdoor tap and plug it in and it was good to go. It took me about 5 hours to get all the dirt and grime off the decking and was very therapeutic!

Getting ready to use my VonHaus pressure washer. It’s a proper workout!
Very simple to put together and use
The water supply goes from the outdoor tap straight into the back of the pressure washer
The difference is automatically visible
A bit of elbow grease and it took me just under 5 hours to clean the decking with this VonHaus Pressure Washer

Once I had cleaned and pressure washed the decking, I had to leave it for a few days to completely dry out and the next sunny day I set to work. I contacted Dizzy Duck Designs who I found through Etsy, asking if they had a stencil I could use in the garden and they sent me their Valencia Tile stencil in XL (45cm x 45cm) as I had a large area to cover and thought this would be quicker!

As the stencil turns up in a cardboard tube, take care to take it out and straighten it. It needs to be uncurled in the opposite direction and the best way to do this is to lie it on top of the paper that it comes with, lie the stencil in the opposite way of the curl and then attach it to the cardboard tube and roll it around the tube, fixing it with sticky tape. I left it like this over night and it was more or less straight when I unfastened it. Valencia Tile Stencil

Next job was to choose the paint colour. As the decking covered such a huge area, I knew I wanted the background to be white with either a dark grey or blue pattern and I chose the woodcare partner of DuluxCuprinol and their shades White Daisy & Silver Birch (if you want to see more on Cuprinol, click here).

I needed 2 x pots of 2.5L of White Daisy and one 2.5L pot of Silver Birch.

Cuprinol have some great shades for your garden including Natures Neutrals and Natures Brights

I bought a paint roller on a pole from B&Q to paint the decking white which needed two coats. It took me about 3 hours to complete and I had to wait another day for this to dry completely.

The first coat going on
The main part of the decking waiting to dry
It’s amazing how much painting the decking white brightened up the space and was already a vast improvement

Then it was a case of painting the stencil onto the decking which I knew would take up the bulk of my time. To paint the stencilling, you will need –

My stencil, a small foam roller, a paint brush and some frog tape

I positioned the stencil in the far corner of the decking and secured it with frog tape and emptied the Silver Birch Cuprinol paint into a roller tray. I then applied paint onto the small foam roller, being careful not to put too much paint on it.

Less is more and I rolled the excess paint from the roller onto an old newspaper until the roller was almost dry. I applied the paint in thin layers, making sure I mopped up any mistakes with a damp cloth and kept applying the colour until I was happy with the shade.

I started off in the corner of the main part of the decking
Applying the paint with a small roller

Dizzy Duck Designs send you two stencils to use so that you can paint quicker. I would start by using a stencil, giving it a quick clean and letting it dry in the sun whilst I used the other one.

Each stencil also comes with a guide on the edge of the stencil so you can match it up to the previous painted pattern and keep it consistent.

First couple of patterns
Slowly building it up with a coffee break in between!
The last main stencil going down
Cleaning and drying the stencils whilst pressure washing the next part of the decking The finished result in the sunshine

You also get 2 x half stencils so you can still get into those trickier areas without having to bend the stencil. I needed to use these where the decking met the wall as there wasn’t enough room to use a whole stencil.

Using the half stencil to fill in the last gaps

Once I finished the border on the main part of the decking, I started on the decking that runs along the bifold doors which took me around 3 hours to complete.

The last stretch in the sunshine

And that’s it! From start to finish it probably took me about 12 hours to complete and it’s completely transformed the decking and makes the area much brighter and lighter which is ideal when it is east facing.

The Dizzy Duck Design stencil and Cuprinol paint were extremely easy to use and apply and from a distance can look like real tiling. I would definitely do it again and use these products.

Moving the furniture back onto the decking
Close up of the print
Our new Copper Fire Pit from VonHaus
The side decking completed
A pretty picture for Instagram of course 🙂 @melaniejadedesign

Mel x


  1. Mette Iversen
    10/05/2020 / 11:15 am

    This is so beautiful! I hope to do the same this summer, but how is the stencil holding up after those long winter months?

    • Melanie Boyden
      13/05/2020 / 12:14 pm

      Hi Mette

      Thank you! I think it all depends on where your decking is. We stencilled this part and then around the side of the house. This part held up really well, but the decking that goes under our apple tree round the side of the house didn’t. I think if your decking is near plants, it seems to take quite a battering! 🙂

  2. Trevor
    21/06/2020 / 7:06 pm

    Does the paint make the decking slippy at all?

    • Melanie Boyden
      25/06/2020 / 7:26 am

      Not at all. It’s quite a matt finish but also easy to brush off the water after it’s rained heavily. Mel 🙂

  3. Lorraine O'Reilly
    31/03/2021 / 11:37 am

    This is fab! Just found your blog and loving it! I’m going to try this on a balcony off my bedroom on my house when sumner comes in. I know this is an old post so wondering if you’d still recommend the paint tiles after many years…. I appreciate you’ve moved now . Thanks!

    • Melanie Boyden
      06/04/2021 / 10:49 am

      Hi Lorraine

      I think it all depends on where your decking is? Our decking round the side was away from all vegetation and trees so it fared really well. The decking around the side that was under our apple tree did not though as it was constantly damp. I think if I were to do it again, I’d paint the decking grey and buy one of the vinyl rugs you can get for outdoors instead. This is so much easier and you won’t be redoing it every year. Mel 🙂

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