For the first post of 2023 I thought I’d share a couple of unique and fun projects of Trompe l’oeil painted doors. If your unfamiliar with the term, trompe l’oiel is a French term used to describe a highly detailed painting meant to fool the eye. Variations on this concept have been used for interior and exterior murals with varying degrees of detail. Sometimes you don’t always have to go to the extreme in detail to dress up and provide a piece of art onto an otherwise plain flat utilitarian object.
Such was the case when contacted by a client to paint the illusion of a Dutch door onto a plain metal interior door that was the entrance to the living area of their “barndominium.” After taking a tour of their home and seeing the interior colors and gathering more info from them, an initial sketch was done and once approved work began. The following will show some progress shots.
The photograph of the door was printed out and I used it to draw my preliminary sketch and a color mock up to show the client. Once approved the work began.
After the drawing was done, areas were masked off and then painted with latex interior house paint. The color was a close match to other existing colors in my clients home. Once dry, blue painters tape was applied to mask off the already painted area, which made it easier to paint the background.
Second Phase of the tromp l’oiel door
Once the background was painted in, the painters tape was removed. The tape had also been put over the bluejay bird on the ledge of the door. An exacto knife was used to cut around the shape. Invariably a little paint seeped under areas of the tape requiring some touch up. Now with the tape removed the bluejay was painted.
The rest of the door was painted sitting on the floor.
Here’s the completed door which included my clients Shar-Pei dog Hazel sitting at the base.
And here’s the door installed!
This was a new experience in painting and it was sooo much fun to do!
The fun continued with another painted door project for another client with a slightly even more challenging subject.
Another painted door!
The work process was similar to the above, however, oil paint was used in areas that needed more open time making it easier to blend colors. However, the door had texture and panels so a sheet of smooth plywood was attached and then primed prior to painting. The subject was my client’s daughter who had done some modeling and his English bulldog PaPa when still a pup sitting at the base.
So what do you think?