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Trompe Loeil Stencils

Revamp the old doors in your home with this Trompe Loeil Stencils Lion Head Door Knocker and Decorative Lock Plate Project.


These doors started out as the plain brown stained doors that you usually find in homes built in the 70’s and 80’s. So, they were in desperate need of a makeover. Plus they are a pair of Coat Closet Doors in a foyer just inside the front entrance. Needless to say they were not inviting.

Lion Head Door Knockers Stencil Project

I decided to use Lion Head Door Knocker Trompe Loeil Stencils to dress them up.

By the way, Trompe Loeil, (French for ‘trick the eye’), is an art technique involving realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the objects appear in three dimensions, instead of actually being a two-dimensional painting. Don't miss the video below!

Back to the Doors:

First, I glued thin strips of molding in rectangles to give the illusion that the doors have inset panels (similar to old fashioned doors) and then painted white.

It’s best to remove the doors, take off all the hardware and work on them lying across a flat surface. I had them stretched across a couple of saw horses. You’ll find when gluing the wood molding down you will have a few areas that want to rise away from the surface. Carefully weigh these areas down with heavy items like tools or old books (whatever you can find that won’t get ruined if it gets a little glue on it).

After the glue dried I painted the doors. I did it this way because the paint fills in the creases and seams between the wood and gives it more of a timeless look. You’ll find that this step alone can bring so much more class to a room, but wait that’s just the start…

I added Lock Plate Trompe Loeil Stencils behind each door knob and a couple of Lion Head Door Knockers for fun using some faux finish stencils (see below). I left the doors lying flat because it’s so much easier to work that way. You don’t have a door swaying back and forth while you’re trying to paint. That could create a mess.

Each of these stencils had three overlays. They came from a book of stencils so I copied them on a copy machine so that the book was kept intact. If you need your image to be a different size you can resize them on the copy machine. This is one of the many advantages to downloadable or paper stencils.

Before cutting out the stencil openings, cover each page with a clear protective coating like clear shelf liner.

Line up your stencils where you want them and start adding the paint. For more on the basic techniques of stenciling visit How To Stencil. There you’ll find out more about the stippling technique and ways to keep paint from smearing under the stencil. You’ll also find information on using multi layer stencils.

When you are finished, hang your doors back up, stand back and admire! Voila!

Lion Head Door Knocker Stencil

Trompe Loeil Stencils Lion Head Closeup

Here is a close up of the painted Lock Plate Trompe Loeil Stencils. Again, notice the door molding and the shadows they produce. It’s a great effect that’s inexpensive.

These are two very creative wall painting stencils that can help you bring a sense of Old World Charm to any room in your home.


If you're ready to try your hand at trickery with a Trompe Loeil Stencil, then here is a free printablestencil!

Free Trompe L'oeil Stencil

This is a two layer stencil so print out 2 copies, cut out the triangles on each copy and the oval on one copy and the key hole on the other. Using the oval, line it up where you want to paint, secure it with tape and use a pencil to mark the triangles. Paint the oval with a nice Antique Gold. When the paint is dry, line the triangles up on the key hole stencil and paint the key hole in black.

If would like to try the door project, you can find the Trompe Loeil Stencils in the Antique Door Hardware Book of Stencils as a download (so you can get your project started now) at our Stencil Designs Store or if you don’t mind waiting on the mail man to deliver a book in print go to our Stencil Pattern Books in Print Store Front.

For more great stenciling ideas and loads of free stencils go to


Antique Door Hardware Stencils Book

Antique Door Hardware Book Cover(scroll down in the right column)

You’ll have fun watching the reactions of visitors and showing off the Trompe Loeil Stencils Doors in your house. I hope you are inspired to create some great works of art with stencils!

Happy Stenciling,


P.S. For another unique stenciling art idea, discover toile stencils!

Well, here's the Trompe Loiel Stencils Video that I promised you:





We are thrilled to introduce these downloadable and Printable Stencils (click here for more). Instant gratification at its finest! You don't need a special printer - these designs are specially formatted to print straight from your home computer on standard letter sized paper. Once downloaded, you will have your complete stencil booklet with patterns and instructions. Just click, buy and print!

Each book will come to you as a down-loadable pdf file in your e-mail. Just check your e-mail after purchase for the link to connect to your file and print or save. It's that easy!

All designs can be adjusted to fit your project size. Instructions are included. Pages are 8.5” x 11”.

If you'd rather get your Stencil Books in Print, just click the blue button below each book.

Fleur de lis Stencils

Fleur de lis: Book of Stencils

This collection includes 22 designs. Ten are easy single overlay. Six have 2 overlays and six have 3 overlays.

This purchase is of a PDF file which has 63 pages.
Price: $9.95

Add to Cart


To get the Fleur de lis Stencils Book in Print for just $19.95 click here: Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.



Oriental Stencils

Oriental Designs: A Book of Stencils

This collection includes 16 designs- Chinese Dragon, Bamboo, Oriental Figure with Coolie Hat, Ying Yang Koi Stencils, Bonsai Tree Stencil and 3 Cranes plus 10 Chinese Symbols (Eternity, Friendship, Happiness, Harmony, Long Life, Peace, Prosperity, Tranquility, Truth and Dragon.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 40 pages.
Price: $9.95

Add to Cart


To get the Oriental Stencils book in print for just $19.95 click here: Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.



Antique Door Stencils

Antique Door Hardware: A Book of Stencils

This collection includes 5 designs- Lion Head Door Knocker, Key Bow, Lock Plate and Mail Box Plaque (with two word options). These images should add a little fun and even some humor to the doors in your home while they introduce a touch of the past.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 25 pages.
Price: $9.95

Add to Cart


To get the Antique Door Hardware Book in Print for just $19.95 click here: Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.



Princess Stencils

For a Princess

This collection includes 7 designs- Royal Carriage, Knight in Shining Armor, Castle, Dragon, Sceptre, Tiara and Pillow plus the word "Princess."

This purchase is of a PDF file with 40 pages.
Price: $9.95

Add to Cart


To get the Princess Book in Print for just $19.95 click here: Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.



Zoo Babies Stencisl

Zoo Babies: Stencils for a Nursery

This collection includes 7 animal stencils - an Elephant, a Giraffe, a Hippo, a Lion, a Monkey, a Tiger and a Zebra.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 40 pages.
Price: $9.95

Add to Cart


To get the Zoo Babies Book in Print for just $19.95 click here: Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.