Wednesday, August 7, 2013


            I am so excited to share this project with you all. I think this project has major dramatic impact in the room and turned out really well (even if I say so myselfJ). Let me get to it right away….

           Remember the old dated sliding closet doors in my daughter’s room that I redid completely with painted birds on a tree branch? Well, my son’s room also had one exactly like that. I decided to tackle them as the first project in the room. My son wanted a bright room with warm fire colors (I think since my daughter got first dibs on the blues, he just went the opposite on the color wheel). Anyway, I think this palette was a good fit for him. My son and I chose a warm summer squash orangish yellow for the walls and two coats ensured complete flawless coverage. Oddly enough this color varies a lot depending on the light and time of day. Without writing too much about the walls' painting process and such, let me just get to the phoenix project….

So without further ado, here is again a reminder of the before

And here’s the magnificent Phoenix!

I would like to share a how-to of this project and you will see how easy it was.

     1.     I began with a thorough cleaning and sanding of the door. I took them off the hinges and brackets and worked on it in my garage workspace. My kids had used these doors as a display board of sorts and had used pins, tape, and glue to put things up. Cleaning up all that and sanding the doors was very important to ensure that the paint job after would not look patchy.

     2.     We chose a complimentary poppy orange for the doors. I opted for a semi-gloss on this just because it makes clean up easier. These doors too took what felt like many many coats to get an even finish (Or maybe I was just impatient to get to the painting of the Phoenix). I let the final coat dry for almost 36 hours. As impatient as I was, it was very important to let the paint dry and cure completely. I then took the doors back in the room and hung them up on their original brackets.

     3.     My son and I had previously brainstormed ideas for the door. For the sake of variety I was hesitant to repeat a painting project for the doors and wanted to try something different. But my son was set on a large tribal art piece in the room. Then it came down to what tribal picture…and finally we settled on a Phoenix. This image we took from the internet, and using a photo editing software we tweaked the image to suit the width of the doors and made the left wing span larger and extending higher to suggest flight.

     4.     It was important to get the sizing of the Phoenix absolutely right and so I chose not to free draw this. I rented an overhead projector for a day and that made this project go so much easier and faster. I had the phoenix image transferred onto a transparency at my local kinko’s and used that on the projector. I outlined the reflection with a pencil making sure I could see the lines even when the projector was turned off.

     5.     Using brushes of several thickness, I painted the Phoenix using black permanent craft acrylic paint. I have to say this process required a steady hand especially as the doors are upright. Since this Phoenix is such a precise image with sharp clean lines, a steady hand was a good thing to have. Especially, closer to the floor the tail of the Phoenix had to be painted lying down. It did require two coats to get that deep dark black color. In certain spots I had to go over with the orange color to get those sharp lines, smooth out some lines where my hand shook while painting, and to clean out smudges. The eye of the phoenix was to have been red but in the end I decided it looks better this way. The final step was a clear satin polyurethane coat.

Isn’t it a rising of the Phoenix from the ashes!

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