Metallic Foil Wall Finish with Modello® Vinyl Stencils

 Learn how to create a multi-colored metallic foil finish using a large custom Modello® stencil. This is a great decorative painting technique for a feature wall to quickly create the look of custom wallpaper.

Metallic foil is thin sheets of colored mica fused to clear cellophane. It comes in a multitude of gorgeous colors and is transferred to a surface by burnishing or scrubbing it over tacky gilding size. This tutorial features three jewel-tone colors, but you can substitute any combination of colors to create your own custom metallic magic!

You will need:

Follow the Basic Modello® vinyl stencil installation instructions to apply the pattern to your surface.

Applying Royal Stencil Size

Always burnish your Modello® stencil on your surface just before beginning to apply a decorative finish. Tape off any baseboards, adjacent walls, and ceiling line to protect them from the finish application.

Load a foam roller with Black Royal Stencil Size and offload any excess on the tray. The black pigmented size will give you both color and size in one coat. A black color looks amazing under the dark or jewel-toned metallic foil colors that we will be using. When working with metallic foils over a large area, you will need to apply at least two coats of size to give yourself a good amount of working time.

Apply the size to the wall through the stencil design in a thin, even layer and allow to dry for about 15 minutes.

Apply a second coat of Clear Royal Stencil Size and allow to dry for another 15 minutes. The clear size will give you more working time as it doesn’t contain pigment.

Applying Metallic Foil to a Wall

We are using metallic foils in the colors Peacock Blue, Peridot, and Sapphire Blue. Cut multiple pieces of each color foil of about 18” long.

Crumple the Peridot metallic foil so that the non-metallic side is facing the wall. Begin dabbing it very lightly on the wall as it may release color very quickly. Keep shifting the foil and the direction of your hand while dabbing to create an uneven, random metallic color application.

Open up the foil and crumple it again to keep exposing different parts of the foil. Once you have removed most of the metallic color from the foil, open it up flat and use a rag or scrub brush to apply pressure to the flat foil on the wall. Keep applying the foil randomly through the stencil design. Make sure not to transfer the foil all the way to the edge to avoid harsh lines on the wall finish.

Repeat the foiling process with Sapphire Blue and then Peacock Blue in the remaining open areas of the stencil design.

When the entire stencil design is metallic with all three colors, it’s time to remove the Modello® stencil to reveal your wall finish. Use a pick tool to remove the small elements of the vinyl stencil. Make sure not to dig the sharp pick tool into your surface.

Protect and Seal Your Stencil Design

A translucent toning layer will make your metallic colors richer and bring the whole wall finish together. We like to use Stain & Seal from Faux Effects®, a water-based gel stain with rich, sharp colors that penetrate the surface like dye. It will both tone AND seal your surface at the same time.

Mix a 1:1 ratio of Stain & Seal in American Walnut with SoSlow Super Extender. The extender will make the stain more translucent and allow you more working time.

Apply this aging glaze mix to the wall with a chip brush in small random areas. Smooth, blend, and rouge it into the surface immediately with a cheesecloth. Continue this step until your whole metallic finish wall is covered.


And here’s our final finish!

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