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As he himself admits, Ian Shiverick is a bit of a perfectionist. Still, it’s hard to believe he painted this geometric, M. C. Escher–worthy floor without going mad. His eyes didn’t cross or his knees ache? Seems he’s repressed the memory, along with a clear idea of how long it took. “Once I was on it,” he says, “I was so excited, I just wanted to get it done.”

A former schoolteacher with a bad case of the renovation bug, Ian salvaged a 1921 Tudor Revival wreck in Augusta, Georgia, that was originally built as a luxe garage—hence its concrete floors. In the dining room, shown here, the uneven concrete was too cracked to take the tile Ian planned, so he decided to fake it. After applying a crack filler and a sealer, he put down a coat of beige latex paint. Then he printed out a cube he found online, divided it into 5-inch diamonds, and used them as a template for a Mylar stencil about 2 feet long.

<p>This traditional pattern, found in places like the 18th-century Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, is now often replicated in tile. Floor artist <a href="http://www.wmaugusta.com/history" target="_blank">Ian Shiverick</a> did it with a stencil and three contrasting shades of paint.</p>

This traditional pattern, found in places like the 18th-century Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, is now often replicated in tile. Floor artist Ian Shiverick did it with a stencil and three contrasting shades of paint.

Inching across the floor, holding a lightly loaded, dense foam roller in one hand, Ian painted rows of gray diamonds parallel to the wall. Next, he rotated the stencil about 45 degrees and applied diagonal rows in his darkest shade; the base coat provides the third color.

Ian sees his trompe l’oeil as a work in progress: Before adding a border and clear coat, he plans to faux-age it by lightly spraying it with diluted gray paint. It’s a trick he discovered as a fine artist—you won’t be surprised to learn that this DIYer also paints on canvas.