I’ve used many products for raised stenciling but my new infatuation is with glass bead gel. Glass bead gel is a paste that is formed with microscopic glass beads to give you a unique texture for any type of medium. The one I use specifically is from Modern Masters Inc. The technique for applying it is much like one for any type of paste. The texture you get once the gel has dried is smooth and durable. I love running my fingers over the surfaces where I have applied glass bead gel and it feels like braille.
The gel is translucent so if applied on by itself it will give you a sparkly, textured surface. The effect is rather stunning. I usually mix my bead gel with a bit of metallic paint so that it has color but still has the pearlescent sheen. The ratio is roughly 1 tsp to 1/2 cup. You don’t need a lot because the paste is translucent, so it picks up the color easily without diluting it as if you were using white-colored paste. It will also darken as it dries so the color you see initially isn’t an accurate gauge on how it will look upon finish.
When using glass bead gel it’s important you use a spray adhesive to mount your stencil. Apply the bead gel with a trowel or putty knife. Only scrape in one direction and apply a little at a time. It will dry within a few hours. After that you can seal it with polyurethane.