How To Create Stylish Front Door Designs

Stylish door designs and other cool decorative touches are things you can learn in online design classes. Here is a simple, yet effective way to add a little art to the look of an ordinary front door without the expense of hiring a private decorator. There is so much variety in front door styles, colors and textures it might be wise to reflect for a moment on what your front door already looks like. Ask yourself: how would it look with a stencil pattern on it? There are certain styles of doors that are already quite detailed, with carvings and glass bevels; naturally, not all doors will look right with a stencil pattern on them. Generally, the types of front doors that will carry a stencil pattern well are either completely solid or have very little bevel work in them. The most ideal type of door to use a stencil design on is one of solid wood where there is no glass at all. Also, it helps to have a beveled frame pattern in the wood itself. This enables the homeowner to use interesting border patterns.

As an example in this exercise let's just say that your front door is solid wood with carved frames in the graining. You had the door painted a solid color on the outside to enhance your home's appearance, but the door shows nothing but Antique White on the inside and you're absolutely bored with it. You want to do something to it to wake it up a little, give it some life and some sparkle, so what do you do? When you stencil something, of course the biggest decision to make is determining the kind of look do you want your front door to have.  Are you the type of person who is into flowers, or do you prefer a more naturalistic, earthen look with ivies and mosses? How about those adorable "country ducks" you've seen on your neighbors' flatware or kitchen curtains? Many craft and retail stores carry a wide variety of stencil shapes, so the possibilities are endless. Once you have selected your favored design, you should first look at the solid door and picture it in your mind with the completed design.

Focus on what you see in front of you. You have a solid wood door with a single, whitish paint applied to it. Above the door knob, at eye level are two medium-sized frames carved in the door's surface. Below, there is one large frame cut into the wooden surface. The stencils you have chosen are some ivy patterns, as well as those charming country ducks - which are at medium height. Your paints should be craft acrylics, as these are the easiest to work with on this sort of project.  Apple Barrel is the preferred brand of many craft paint users, but there are a number of other brands available at your local craft store.  The colors you would select for this project are: Hunter Green, Country Blue, and Orange Pumpkin. You also should purchase a set of new brushes. Camel hair is the best to work with on wood. The ivy stencils you purchased came in two different styles: you have a pattern with ivy in the shape of an "L" for corners, as well as a pattern for straight lines. Before you begin, you will want to clean the front door of any debris so the pigment will go on without any streaking or pooling. You will also lessen the amount of air bubbles in the paint by doing this.

The next step is to take out your first stencil - the angled Ivy pattern - and place it against the first, beveled frame above the knob. Now, there are two ways to do this. If you feel brave and want to go ahead and paint in the stencil itself, then do so. However, I would strongly recommend drawing the stencil out with a pencil first. Once the stencil pattern has been painted it will be harder to correct any mistakes you make. It is generally a much better idea to draw out the entire pattern before adding pigment to the design. Draw the borders in first. To do this, place the angled ivy pattern against the top, left-hand corner of the first carved frame. Draw the design accordingly, then flip the stencil around and repeat the process on the opposite corner. Then, do the same for the bottom corners. When all four corners are in place there should be a small gap between each of the four angles. Carry out the same process on the second frame until it is surrounded by the ivy pattern as well.

Once you have finished drawing in the top pattern, go to the bottom frame and repeat the process. With the larger frame at the bottom of the front door you will also use the ivy extension mentioned earlier. Then, you will draw in the geese. With one pattern, place it against the door, in the center of the ivy frame; draw it out, then flip that same pattern around and draw a second goose so that they will be facing one another in the finished work. Next you will prepare your pigments and begin painting the design using the Hunter Green for the ivy, the Country Blue for the body of the geese, and the Orange Pumpkin for their bills and feet. Take your time in this project. The less you rush, the more professional the finished product will appear.

This same process can be used for any design you wish to apply to your door.  There are literally hundreds of stencils you can use, from Art Deco designs to subtle corner accents.  A search at your local craft store or online will not only give you a chance to find stencils and other decorating materials, but to leaf through crafters' magazines to get some great new design ideas.  You can get other great ideas by taking some classes in art or design online.


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