Intricate and elegant, lace adorns window treatments, table cloths, bedding and more, lending an air of fragility and romance throughout a home. Each style features its own detailed, delicate pattern, each of which are nearly impossible to recreate by hand on hard surfaces. Add lace details to walls or furniture by using the fabric as a stencil.
Spray both sides of a piece of lace with spray starch and allow the lace to dry completely. This makes the lace rigid, turning it into a stencil.
Position the prepared piece of lace on the surface you want to stencil. Secure it in place with painter's tape, pressing the tape smooth against the surface.
Mix acrylic paint thoroughly and pour a small amount into a bowl. Dip a stencil brush or sponge into the paint and dab the excess off on a rag. An overly-wet brush allows paint to seep under the stencil, ruining the pattern.
Lightly dab the sponge or brush over the lace stencil using an up-and-down motion. Don't rub or brush back and forth. When the brush or sponge runs dry, re-wet it, dab off the excess, and repeat the process until there's a thin, even layer of paint.
Allow the paint to dry completely. Carefully lift away the painter's tape and pull the stencil up and away from the surface.
Repeat this process to create a continuous pattern, repositioning the stencil for each section. After two to three uses, replace the stencil with a new piece of lace cut from the same fabric.
Wait for the paint to dry completely. Apply a thin topcoat of clear polyurethane with a small foam roller to protect the new design. If desired, add three to four coats for a hard finish.
Move the item you're painting to a well-ventilated area. Spray the lace with starch on both sides and let it dry.
Secure the stencil to the furniture or object with painter's tape. Cover the area around the stencil with plastic sheeting or additional painter's tape if desired. For larger stencils, this isn't necessary if you have a steady hand. But small detail work requires that you protect the surrounding area from over-spray.
Apply a light coat of spray paint directly over the stencil, using a steady back and forth motion. Allow the first coat to dry and then apply a second coat if desired. Do not apply either coat too thickly. The paint will dribble behind the stencil and mar the design.
Wait for the last coat to dry and then carefully remove the stencil and the surrounding sheeting if applicable. Finish with a coat of clear polyurethane applied with a foam roller.