DIY: Painting Trompe L’oeil Molding


Photo: Patrick Cline for Lonny


Photo: Patrick Cline for Lonny

Written by: Ellie Somerville

Since painting trompe l’oeil molding in my apartment, I’ve had lots of compliments, but also lots of questions about how I went about it. It wasn’t my idea—Michelle suggested I do it, and I had seen it done before, but the idea of where to begin was daunting. I quickly realized, however, that it was easier done than I had imagined, and I’m hoping after a brief explanation you will feel the same way!

For beginners (like me!) it’s best to use similar colors so that mistakes won’t show up as much. I started by painting my walls light blue and then painted the two coats of the white “molding” on top.

I made a design plan, but it wasn’t meticulous. I looked at each wall and decided how many squares of molding I wanted on each one, so the width of each (while the same on one wall) changes on each wall.

After deciding that each “square” of molding would be two inches wide and eight inches from the ceiling, floor, and other walls, I got out my tape measure and started marking off the walls with a pencil.

Next came tape! I taped off all the “squares” and then used a plate as a stencil for the curved borders. After taping everything off, painting was a breeze!

Pulling the tape off a few hours later, I was thrilled with my results. If you try this yourself, I hope you are too!

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