The tabletop on our for the I Can Do That project in our February 2010 issue, appeared a bit blasé. So to pep up the look, I thought inlay. Knowing I didn’t have the time to create, or the desire to purchase wood inlay, I turned to trompe l’oeil. Trompe l’oeil is French for “fool the eye.” You create an optical illusion that’s sometimes very involved, or it can be very basic. For this project I chose very basic, a 1/4″ wide line of paint that surrounds the tabletop. Or maybe it’s strips of ebony?
To add this visual interest to a project, you need three tools and paint. The tools are a probably laying around your shop, within easy reach. A combination square, pencil and blue painter’s tape is all that’s needed.
Layout work begins the process of deception. Set your combination square to 1-1/4″, then make a few marks along each side of the tabletop. Place enough lines to allow easy alignment of the tape.