trompe l'oeil stencils

Unreal Accents

Revamp the old doors in your home with this Trompe L’oeil 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.

I decided to use Lion Head Door Knocker Trompe L’oeil Stencils to dress them up.

By the way, Trompe L’oeil, (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 L’oeil 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 (available below) 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!

Trompe L'oeil Stencil Lion Head Door Knocker

Here is a close up of the painted Lock Plate Trompe L’oeil 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 L’oeil Stencil, then here is a free printable-stencil!

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.

Print the stencil and follow along with me in the video below!

If would like to try the door project, you can find the Trompe L’oeil 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, click on the "Lulu" Button (that's our publisher). Of course you can get them Amazon too!

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

Antique Door Hardware Book of Stencils

And don’t forget the stencil book collection of Trompe L’oeil Stencils…

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

Includes the Lion Head Door Knocker, Lock Plate, Key Plate and Letters or Mail Slot.

Antique Door Hardware Stencil E-Book Price: $9.95Add to Cart


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


Wait! Here is the Trompe L'oeil Video

Well, here's the Trompe L’oiel Stencils Video that I promised you:

(I'm sorry...I have a little cold!)