We get a lot of questions about the best way to dry Ikonart stencils. We have tested multiple different ways and which way you end up choosing will depend on how many stencils you're making, how much space you have to work with, and how quickly you want them dry.
Regardless of your situation, we've got several stencil-drying suggestions to help you find the right process for your needs. But before getting started, here are some additional tips to keep in mind when drying Ikonart stencils:
- Make sure to always dry your stencil with the clear backer ON to protect the adhesive
- After washout blot your stencil film with a paper towel to make drying them faster
- If you stencil film looks spotty or discolored that just means it is not dry yet
- When air drying stencils the dry time will depend on the humidity, air flow and temperature of your room
8 Ways To Dry Ikonart Stencils
There are multiple ways you can dry your Ikonart stencils after you wash them out. The first four ways we mention below are air drying methods and the last four ways include using a little help to speed up the process. Keep scrolling to find out which method is best for you.
1. Lay Ikonart Stencils Flat to Air Dry
If you have enough clean space on your floor, countertop, or table simply lay your Ikonart stencils flat to air dry for a few hours. Do not overlap your stencils when drying and remember to blot the excess water with a paper towel to speed up your drying time. The stencils will change colors as they dry, but when they are completely dry they will look all one color.
2. Use Stacked Drying Racks to Dry Ikonart Stencils
This is similar to the first option but you can save some space by using stackable or multi-tiered cooling racks to dry your stencils flat. You can either layer multiple stackable racks together like pictured above or check out the Wilton 3-Tiered Collapsible Cooling Rack linked under our Amazon Recommendations.
3. Hang Your Ikonart Stencils To Dry
If you have some spare hanging space you can hang your stencils vertically from a closet rod (pictured above), clothesline, metal hanging clips, clothes drying rack, hangers, or even California shutters! Hanging vertically allows the stencils to drip-dry and also provides more surface area for potentially faster drying.
IMPORTANT! The coating on Ikonart stencil films is soft when wet. Be careful not to damage the film when applying or removing clips or clothespins for hanging.
4. Put Your Ikonart Stencils In The Window to Dry
If you have a large window, mirror, glass shower door or tile shower this could be a good stencil drying method for you. When wet, Ikonart stencils will cling to windows and glass for easy removal once dry. The photo on the left shows the stencils immediately after applying, and you can see the natural discoloration that occurs as the material dries. As you can tell from the right side photo, once the stencils are completely dry the discoloration disappears and the material darkens slightly. The warmth from direct sun in windows can also speed up your drying process.
IMPORTANT! Be extra sure you are applying the stencil so that the clear backing is touching the window and the stencil material is facing towards you. Applying the adhesive side of the wet stencil to your window without the backing on or putting the front side of the stencil material against the glass will cause the stencil to stick like glue when you try to remove it. If you do happen to make this error, apply a wet paper towel over the stencil to moisten it and gently peel it away to avoid damaging the stencil and dry it again. Any water marks left on the window after your stencils have dried can be easily removed with warm water and/or window cleaning spray.
5. Use A Commercial Film Dryer for Ikonart Stencils
For those who make Ikonart stencils in bulk, a commercial film dryer may be the solution for you. The PB500 film dryer shown above dries Ikonart stencil film in less than 10 minutes. Heated air comes in through large perforated holes in the underside of the machine and is distributed efficiently to each shelf. This dryer also contains an air filter that removes dust to ensure consistency while drying results. This film dryer can fit our 10x12 Ikonart stencil films or our 12x18 Ikonart stencil films.
6. Dry Your Ikonart Stencils With A Food Dehydrator
Another great option for drying multiple stencils at once is to use a food dehydrator. Food dehydrators have become a popular choice for those who make stencils in bulk but want an economical way to dry them faster. Check our our Amazon Recommendations for a couple different dehydrators that have been mentioned in our Ikonart Crafters Group on Facebook.
7. Use A Hair Dryer for Ikonart Stencils
In a pinch, a regular household hair dryer will also dry your stencils in a matter of minutes. Be sure you are using a low heat or cool air setting so you don't melt or warp the stencil material. This method works great when doing multiples if you find you need to wash your stencil before applying it to more blanks, but have limited time to wait for it to air-dry naturally. Be sure the vent on the back of your hair dryer is clean and free of any lint, dust, hair or debris to ensure you mesh stays clear and unobstructed as you dry the stencil.
8. Get Creative!
Members of the Ikonart Crafters Facebook Group are always coming up with creative and unique ways to dry their stencil film, like drying the film on the warm door of a clothes dryer while doing a load of laundry - talk about multi-tasking! You could also use a box fan, radiator, or the sun to speed up your drying time. Use your imagination and creativity to find a solution that works for you.
Inspiration and suggestions like these are frequently shared in the Ikonart Crafters Facebook Group so join us there as well for more ideas, troubleshooting help, and encouragement from the Ikonart Crafters community. After you join check out the topic #dryingstencils to find more stencil drying tips and tricks. If you have any questions about our Ikonart Stencil Films or the Ikonart Custom Stencil Kit, please contact us.