DIY Marsh Grass Camo Stencil

By Jeff Matura    

After finishing building a homemade sneak boat I was anxious to paint a marsh grass pattern over the recently dried olive drab. But with the cost of camo stencils fifteen to thirty dollars along with the nearest sporting goods retailer over fifty miles one way from my home making my own seemed the most cost effective and fasted option.

Factory made stencils are made from thin flexible plastic and a "For Sale" sign sold at most hardware or home improvement stores is a very good substitute. A cardboard cereal box will also work and is something readily available in most of our cupboards for free.

Instructions And Tips

First download our camo stencil and print. Next place printed paper on top of your selection of cardboard or plastic and cut out areas between the lines. An X-Acto or utility knife is the best choice for this step. Make sure to use a cutting board if at the kitchen table or island, a ruined counter top or table will not be popular with the women of the house.

Next thoroughly wash all surfaces to be painted on your duck boat using a scrub brush and soap or a quick trip to a local car wash avoiding gravel roads of course. Cleaning will ensure the best possible paint adhesion. Don't forget to rinse with straight water and then allow to completely dry.

Either spray paint or a brush can be used. Spray paint will give a smoother edge and initially look more pleasing to the eye, but since we're camouflaging a duck boat rougher edges actually look more realistic in my opinion. Flat Krylon paints in black, brown, and kaki work very well for boats to be used in a marsh or reservoir when hunting in various grasses. For concealment in the timber I would suggest flat black and brown.

Whether spraying or brushing allow the first coat to dry to the touch and then apply a second, and then third color if applicable. When brushing color layers may need more time to dry so as the brush doesn't rub through the previous color. I always start with the darkest color first and then shift the stencil to the right just 3/8 of inch between colors to create a shadow effect. For best concealment in marshes the order of color application would be black, brown, and then kaki. And for timber first black and then brown. As the stencil loads up with paint during use simply allow it to dry or use a paper towel to wipe off the excess.