Stretching Room Portrait Project

Probably one of the most recognized items from the Haunted Mansion is the stretching portraits. The originals were hand painted by Marc Davis. I have always wanted one, but the originals get auctioned off for quite a bit of money. (a little out of my league). I decided the next best thing would be to make my own!. Here is a picture of two of the originals and wood detail photo below that. My versions are static, they do not stretch.

Haunted Mansion Stretching Portraits
Wood detail (Photo from davelandweb.com)

Total cost for each portrait is around $55. You may do better if you find some of the wood items on sale. Your parts list needed for this project are pretty easy to locate. You will need:

  • 4 corner blocks for each painting
  • Fluted casing for the sides, tops and bottoms
  • 4 printed portraits
  • Backer board material
  • As with any project, glues, paints, stains, etc.

Wood corner blocks
Corner blocks and fluted casing

I purchased all of the wood at one of the big box stores. I found the digital artwork for the 4 portraits on the web. You can find them too if you do a little searching. I then waited for Vista Print to have a sale and purchased each “painting” as a vinyl banner for approx. $15 each. (wait for the 50% off sales). I ordered the indoor vinyl with no edging and no grommets.

I then purchased some 1/4″ thick plywood and cut it slightly smaller than the finished project. This will act as the backer board. Then I can secure the portrait and wood corners and rails to the plywood.

Getting ready to trim excess side material
Cut away!

I used spray adhesive to secure the vinyl portrait to the backer board.

Glued to wood backer

I then cut and stained all of the wood and let it dry before assembly.

Don’t forget your gloves or you’ll be wearing the mahogany stain on your hands like a badge of honor.

I only used wood glue to secure the corners and fluted molding, no nails or staples. I used extra weights to keep everything flat.

Use weights to prevent bows and warping

Here’s the completed project. I still have the other 3 waiting to be started.

All 4 completed