How to remove a vinyl stencil and do minimal touch up on rough pallet wood.

Do you love the look of pallet wood decor? Do you covet those beautiful clean, crisp lines and wonder how they did it? Have you ever tried to use a vinyl stencil on pallet wood? If you have, you know that it doesn’t stick very well. And it doesn’t stay exactly where you want it to. If you try to apply it like normal, it just doesn’t seem to work. Once in place, have you noticed that the paint bleeds under the stencil, giving you a finish that looks like your toddler helped you paint it? Do you want to learn how to apply a vinyl stencil on rough pallet wood? Do you want to know how to paint the beautiful clean, crisp lines when using a vinyl stencil on rough pallet wood?

If you’ve already done these two steps and are ready to learn how to remove a vinyl stencil and do minimal touch up on rough pallet wood, then here it is, my friend. I will tell you how to remove a vinyl stencil from rough pallet wood and doing minimal touch ups to make it look perfect-O!

This post is meant to follow, how to paint clean, crisp lines when using a vinyl stencil on rough pallet wood. So you should have already painted your project and are ready to remove the vinyl stencil. This is probably my most favorite part of the process. It’s always nice to see what your hard work has actually done!

Step one:

When you have painted your whole project and are finished, I like to remove the vinyl stencil pretty soon after. I don’t like to let it dry completely because sometimes it can pull the paint off your project. Plus, sometimes, the vinyl stencil can leave a sticky film on your wood. (I wouldn’t think this would be the case since it was so hard to get it to stick in the first place :))

Begin removing the vinyl stencil by pulling up on one of the corners. I always like to work from the corner so that it is pulling up at an angle to the cuts of the vinyl. This process will go much more quickly than the process of applying the stencil and removing the transfer tape. I usually pull kind of slowly watching to make sure it is not pulling up any of the paint. Also watch to make sure all of the vinyl pulls off giving you the clean crisp lines. If the stencil tears and leaves pieces that’s ok. You are going to go back later and remove these pieces.

Step two:

Once you get the largest part of the stencil removed, you are going to pull up all of the little pieces that were left behind. You are going to use an X-Acto knife or tweezers for this step.

Carefully, get the tip of your tool under the edge of the vinyl (or near the edge on the vinyl not the wood). Now pry, or pull the vinyl up until you can grab it with your fingers. Usually it will stick to the tool you are using and then you can just pull it off with your fingers. Continue doing this for all the left over pieces of the vinyl stencil. Be sure to get all the insides of the letters too.

Step three:

After you have removed all of the vinyl stencil and left over pieces, look at all the cracks and crevices of the wood and see if there is any left over Mod Podge or paint that needs to be trimmed off. You can do this by using your X-Acto knife, razor blade, or scissors. I find it’s easier with an X-Acto knife. I feel I have more control and the scissors can be too big sometimes.

While checking for these places that might need trimming, also make note of any places that might need touch up. Sometimes there are parts of the wood that are just too deep to get painted when originally painting the sign. Or due to the different levels of the wood, they just weren’t able to be painted.

Step four:

Now that you made note of the places that need touching up, let’s fix them. Using a fine paint brush, paint those places by hand. There shouldn’t be very many places if you pressed the stencil down firmly, and applied the Mod Podge good. Touch up these few places and then let it dry.

Do you see in the above picture how the vinyl isn’t actually stick down on the wood because of the height difference? I just painted what I could, then touched it up by hand in the next picture.

Congratulations! You did it! Hopefully, by following the steps in these posts, you were able to create a beautifully painted pallet wood sign. One that you can show off to all your family and friends and enjoy for years to come!


  • X-Acto knife or tweezers
  • fine paint brush
  • Acrylic paint (same color used on your project)

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