Walking out our front door every day was a complete drag. And not because we loved our apartment so much (we do) or because we hate our jobs (we don’t). Our entryway door was bland and almost institutional. We knew something would need to be done to punch things up to match the rest of our handmade home. One day, I found myself aimlessly browsing Pinterest (as one does). I came across an awesome bathroom reno where Lowe’s tapped the amazing Monica Mangin of East Coast Creative to transform a powder room door into a work of art. Using a layered paint and tape technique, she achieved a geometric masterpiece in just a few hours. I found it pretty interesting and different and I’m an interesting and different sort of guy so I decided to surprise my belle with this DIY Art Deco day project. Heather was at work so I only had a few hours of prep and work time to accomplish the task. So I set out to PinTRY the door with leftover paints we had from our living room renovation (we used Ralph Lauren’s Almafi Navy and Behr’s Frost both in eggshell). A few hours and cusses later, I achieved an amazing final product. Fortunately, as you will see my PinTried was not a PinFAIL. No, it was an absolute success! And I hope that you find this DIY Art Deco door tutorial as helpful as I found the original.
What you’ll need to get started:
- sandpaper (if you’re working with a wood door; we weren’t)
- measuring tape
- painter’s tape
- 2 contrasting paint colors (2qts. of each)
- paint rollers or brushes (we used these)
- mat or butter knife
To start, paint your entire door the lighter of your two paint colors and allow it to dry fully. (If you have a wood door, you may want to sand it to ensure better paint adhesion.) Patience is not one of my virtues, but I knew I had to allow my first coat to dry before I started taping out my design. If you tape before the paint is completely dry, when you go to remove it, you will pull off your base layer, resulting in a very difficult and tedious situation. It is definitely not worth the hours you think you will save. I recommend about 4-6 hours drying time before putting down any painter’s tape just to be safe. I knew the latex paint I was using had a fairly short drying time and with a little assistance of my handy dandy Lasko Pro Performance blower fan, it was dry and cured in just 90 minutes. (Side note: We used the Lasko fan to paint our entire apartment and it cut our dry time in half.)
While you are waiting for the paint to dry, grab a beer or 4 and sketch out your basic design on a piece of paper. Try to get the measurements of your sketch as true to life as possible. It will assist you in spacing our your painter’s tape on your door. Once you have a design, it’s time to mimic and measure. I didn’t take the door off of the hinges, but you may save some time and headaches if you do. The easiest way to start your DIY Art Deco design is to start with exact horizontal or vertical lines. In this case, I spaced and taped 7 lines evenly vertically from top to bottom to top. Then, take your tape and start your diagonal design (we’ll call it the break design). The break design is meant to overlap the vertical or horizontal pattern, and can be abstract or evenly spaced, as we did. When putting down the tape I recommend applying light, but firm pressure with a credit card or spackle knife to ensure no seepage of your secondary colors into your base color(s).
Once you have all your tape laid, use your mat knife (or a butter knife if you are working with a wood door) to remove your horizontal or vertical lines that lie under your break design. Remember, the break design will be your overlapping design once you start to paint. Once you have removed all the interior paint bits, you can begin to layer on your second coat of darker/brighter paint. Your patience will be tested again after this coat, as you must allow the paint to fully dry before taking up the tape. You will get the cleanest, most exact lines if you wait another 4-6 hours to peel back the tape and reveal you masterpiece. Again, the Lasko fan chopped our drying time down to 90 minutes, but if you have the time to spare, use it!
And now for the final full reveal of our DIY Art Deco Door!
The DIY Art Deco project definitely involves some planning and preparation, but isn’t overwhelmingly difficult or expensive. Had we not reused our living room paint leftovers, the budget on this DIY Art Deco charmer would have been just about $50! And what an impact in makes on an otherwise boring entryway. I will mark this PinTRIED down in the books as a success!
Door bore no more!
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