National Stencil - The Stenciling Experts
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How Do I use the Stencils
Stencil Buyers Guide and FAQ
Sign Letter Height Visibility Chart

Stencil Buyers Guide and FAQ

Q: How long will the stencil last? 

A: These high quality stencils are very durable. The life of the stencil is based on several factors including cleaning, storage and frequency of use.

Q: How do you recommend cleaning the stencils?

A: No paint thinner is required to maintain your stencil. Do not allow your stencils to soak in paint thinner. Our stencils are made of Low Density Polyethene plastic. This is a very flexible, non-hazardous, tough and non-porous plastic. Built up paint will peel off quite easily.

Q: How should I store the stencil?

A: Stencils should be stored flat and face down at room temperature. Be very careful handling the plastic should you need to use your stencil in weather colder than 50 degrees. The stencils become more stiff and brittle in cold temperatures.

Q: Do you make custom stencils?

A: Yes. Send your graphic with size requirements for a quote. Custom stencils have an approximate 1 week lead time.

Q: How do you use the handicap parking stencil?

A: Place stencil in desired location- measure and mark to ensure that the stencil is straight, centered, etc. prior to painting. Aerosol paint is recommended for quick and easy marking.

Q: Can I purchase material to make my own stencil?

A: Yes. You can purchase plastic sheet stencil material to make your own stencil.

Q: How quickly will my stencil ship?

A: Stencils typically ship in 1-2 business days. Custom stencils or standard items that have to be cut require a 1 week lead time.

When buying parking lot stencils, there are (3) things to look for:

1) The material that the stencil is made from.

2) The thickness of the stencil itself.

3) The edge distance that the stencil offers. This feature is also known as "overall height". 

Parking Lot Stencil Material.

The best material is our Low Density 60 mil ABS Plastic. It's the favorite material among parking lot striping companies. It’s also very easy to clean. When you Spray the stencil, you will have a bit of over spray on the stencil itself. Let it dry. THEN...bend the flexible, ABS plastic stencil and the dried over spray just pops off. can just peel it off. Now your stencil is "like new again".

Mylar versus ABS Plastic Stencils.

Mylar; 7.5 Mil, 10 Mil and 14 Mil. 

1) If it's too thin, like the Mylar 7.5 it may not stay where you need it to. The wind can blow it around, and you will need to find a way to ancor it down.

2) When the actual paint hits the stencil, be prepared for the stencil to "flutter" and / or simply move. It's not heavy enough to do the work. Also, these aren't heavy enough to lay completely flat. If they're "wavy" at all...again...they do not offer the weight needed to simply lay flat. Paint will spray under the areas that are above the pavement and affect the quality of your work.

The best (2) thicknesses are 60 Mil and 125 Mil.

ABS Plastic; 60 Mil and 125 Mil.

60 Mil plastic stencils; They are the most commonly ordered out of all the other plastic material offered.

125 Mil plastic is for larger stencils, and the preferred choice for professional parking lot striping companies.

Parking Lot Stencil "Edge Distance".

This feature is also known as "overall height". 

Let's say the stencil is a "NO PARKING" stencil with 12" tall letters. 

Let's say the "overall height" is advertised as 16". 

That means there is only a 2" of overspray border above and around the top, below and from the outside of the stencil phrase chosen.

Again...2" edge distance on top + 12" lettering + another 2" edge distance on the bottom = a 16" overall height.

Any questions call 1-800-969-6699, or email us at
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National Stencil - 3231 W. MacArthur Blvd. - Santa Ana, California 92704 (USA)
Int. Tel. (011) 714-979-1405 - Toll free - 800-969-6699 Int. Fax (011) 714-979-1407 - Toll free Fax 888-979-4488
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