Switch plate covers to match tile

finished plate

On a recent trip to Utah, we completed a series of switch plates — this switch plate cover matched the tile in a bathroom.

The first thing we did was take a picture of the plate.  Then, it was brought back to my working station in the house.

beginning

We were given 2 actual tiles for reference.  The base coat of the plate was meant to match the white of the tile.

phone picture

With a hard pencil, the pattern is drawn on the plate.

draw sketch

With skinny tape, mask off the white areas.  The tape should be well burnished (see post on protecting fragile surfaces).

tape off

After the initial red and black squares were based out, a little variance of tonality was added.   Still with the tape on, the trompe l’oeil effect was next.

base paintA small slanted brush was the best brush for the delicate striping.

base paint

Then, the tape was removed.  Here is a picture of the actual tile.   You can see the 3-D element of the little lip on the edges.  This lends for a stronger accent and highlight (see elements of light and shadow).

actual tile

With a selection of fine, trompe l’oeil brushes, the final shadows and highlights were painted to finish the plate cover.  Additionally, a little aging was added to the white tile.

add trompe l'oeil

After a varnish, this one is installed and admired .  Then, on to the next one …

finish

finish

… more switch plate covers to show you — coming soon!

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