Who doesn't have issues with stenciling? I do!

Moonie

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So, I have researched and read everything I possibly can about tattooing before I became an enthusiast. And I will honestly say the only thing making me want to stop is stencils.
I need to rant for a second and say this is retarded. I have tried every technique, I have purchased multiple types of stencil creams, use deodorants, green soap, water. I clean the area with alchohol, I have tried rubbing, 99%, 91% 70%. I wait until everything is sticky, I've tried the multiple application of stencil creams, and single applications. literally anything you ask me if I tried it I have and still I find this hopeless. my biggest issue is if I wait to the perfect point of stickiness the stencil won't stick due to dryness, but at the exact same time it runs because its too wet. this baffles me and I become incredibly frustrated. I cannot apply the stencil properly as im putting it on because it lifts up as its too dry but runs at the same time and worse of all I can wait 1 hour for it to dry and I can wipe it off with my dry hand. I have already put a few pieces on myself but they were small and as the stencil faded I freehanded them and honestly they look alright but not as good as if the stencil stayed. without telling me to do the same techniques I've used over and over with no success, what could possibly be a solution. to further my finding I've tried waiting for a dryer stickiness, or even going a bit wetter, no matter my approach I still experience the same issues. I have also used multiple different tools to my approach, using 4 layer stenciling, as well as hecto pencils. This is the most discouraging thing I have faced in this art as something so simple has become near impossible to achieve. I have more than enough confidence to know I can go over the piece with a tattoo gun, but if it doesn't stay its gonna look like another freehand piece like the rest. please help me.
 



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TexasPT

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My stencil process...and I DO NOT lose stencils. For the sake of discussion if I"m putting on a palm sized stencil.

Clean area with alcohol.
Take a drop of stencil stuff...maybe the size of a pea or a bit larger. If it's too much you just push the excess out of the way.
Rub it into the skin a second...act like you are in love with that spot and can't want to rub on it.
Stencil goes on...you always tend to get the best coverage in the middle so place your stencil securely there and work your way outward. if you find a spot without enough stencil stuff, simply lift the stencil a little...put a micro dot on your finger, rub it in, and continue applying.
I let stencils sit between 5 and 15 minutes depending on how set up I am.

factors you didn't' mention...what kind of stencil paper do you use before you go over the piece with your tattoo gun? Is it crappy knock off wanna be came with the pirateface tattoo kit stencil paper? Or is it spirit known to be great only use good stuff on your body paper? It makes a difference. :)
 

Dazza

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I prefer Electrum over stencil stuff , so same as Mark ,but once the stencil is on I blot the excess off with a clean paper towel as it allows the stencil to dry quicker , but the longer you let it dry the better ,good luck
 

MalligaMallan

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I used to have MASSIVE problems with stencils. HATED them. I used to get double lines from the stencil, and the stencil disappeared real quickly when I had started tattooing.

I was always told - and read - that you should apply a tiny, tiny, tiiiny amount of stencil solution. Obviously I was listening a bit too much, because when I finally started using a little more - after a couple of years! - my problems disappeared.

I still lose the stencil a bit faster than I wish when I tattoo, but now it's only due to me not having the patience to wait for it to dry before starting tattooing. I usually don't wait more than 5 minutes, I should wait at least 15. (I never dared try to "help" it dry a little faster by pressing some paper on it though, like Daryl mentions. Will try that next time!)

But now the fading of stencil has nothing to do with my applying, which is such a relieeeef.

I let stencils sit between 5 and 15 minutes depending on how set up I am.
Just have to make sure, Mark - you mean you wait for the stencil to dry 5-15min I assume? You don't mean that you leave the stencil sheet on the body so to say, for 5-15 minutes?
 

Torb

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One mistake I used to do was putting vaseline on a large portion of my stencil while tattooing. Now I just dab a tiny bit on just the line I'm working on. The vaseline makes the stencil rub off. Applying a stencil can be tricky, especially large ones. I also found its worth paying extra for decent stencil transfer paper. I have always used stencil stuff. Works well.
 

MalligaMallan

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I think thickness of lines on motif/stencil may be a factor too. Traditional motifs with very distinct fat lines are easier to keep throughout a tattoo session than ie micro tattoos/extremely thin lines.
 

balooka

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The only problem I have is getting it off when I am done.

Alcohol to clean, green soap for shaving, dry the area. Electrum or hulk, pee size drops, rub it in for a minute, add 1 drop and rub it in again, feels almost dry, hardly any shine, stencil on for 5 or 10 seconds, peel it, wait for 15 minutes and that is it. Never lost a stencil.

Only use vas or butter where I work, dab to remove. And I only recently found out that you can use Electrum, hulk etc also for removing left over stencil from the skin. When I'm done I use a little and rub it in again... Most of the stencil comes off with a paper towel and some water then.
 

DKJ

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The only problem I have is getting it off when I am done.

Alcohol to clean, green soap for shaving, dry the area. Electrum or hulk, pee size drops, rub it in for a minute, add 1 drop and rub it in again, feels almost dry, hardly any shine, stencil on for 5 or 10 seconds, peel it, wait for 15 minutes and that is it. Never lost a stencil.

Only use vas or butter where I work, dab to remove. And I only recently found out that you can use Electrum, hulk etc also for removing left over stencil from the skin. When I'm done I use a little and rub it in again... Most of the stencil comes off with a paper towel and some water then.
That's interesting but do you have any info weither it's ok or not to put it on freshly tattoed skin?

I often misplace my stencils when i do cover ups, so i have to erase them, it could be a quicker way to do it!

Thanks a lot for this tip!

Peace,

DKJ
 

balooka

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That's interesting but do you have any info weither it's ok or not to put it on freshly tattoed skin?

I often misplace my stencils when i do cover ups, so i have to erase them, it could be a quicker way to do it!

Thanks a lot for this tip!

Peace,

DKJ

Not sure what you mean but I apply stencil solution now after I am done, rub it in en clean it with soap. Let it sit for a moment and let it do its thing. Most comes off, not 100%.

If you misplace a stencil you can just clean it off with stencil remover or green soap mixed with a bit of alcohol. Didn't try if stencil solution removes a complete fresh stencil... Never tried it.

What stencil paper are you using? Original stuff or the ebay stuff? Thermal or hecto?
 

balooka

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That's interesting but do you have any info weither it's ok or not to put it on freshly tattoed skin?

I often misplace my stencils when i do cover ups, so i have to erase them, it could be a quicker way to do it!

Thanks a lot for this tip!

Peace,

DKJ
About placing the stencil exactly where you want it...

What I do when it is critical the new tat covers a part of the old... Is I print the stencil on the thermal printer, and then take a sheet of tracing paper, the same size as the stencil paper, I trace the most important area of the stencil onto the tracing paper and position it over the old tattoo. No need to trace it all, just the important part. When I find the right position, I put marks on the paper and skin. Now copy those markings to your real stencil, prep the skin and align the stencil and you're good to go. I haven't really missed a position that way... Could also be luck šŸ¤”šŸ˜

You can also cut the stencil and tracing paper to size of course..
 

TexasPT

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make fatter lines...does it matter what color they are?
 

hdlc

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I get a paper towel and apply a thin layer of Vaseline half way up. I use the side with Vaseline to push the extra ink off the stencil then the dried side to suclean up the ink. This helps me be gently clean the ink without washing off the stencil with the greensoap (I know u had issues with applying stencil but this might help).
 

balooka

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My stincle lines cone out to thin. The paper that i have cones out black not blue.
You get black lines from your stencil? You're not using the Sprit paper then I reckon.
If you're using eBay or Chinese 'spirit carbon paper' then your in for a fun ride, that stuff is just crap.

I do my very best to get the thinnest possible lines (thin, not weak or low density) on the skin, but that's not everyones preference.