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What's a Garage Duck?

A Garage Duck is a 2-dimensional artwork that can be displayed on any vertical surface, indoors or out. These ducks look great on the walls of the hunting cabin, den, and of course the garage! They are available as Hand-Painted Originals, PVC Reproductions, and Half-Size Vinyl Decals. Hanging accessories and instructions are included with the Hand-Painted Originals and PVC Reproductions.

Hand-Painted Original Garage Ducks are made with 1/4" marine plywood and they are hand painted with Sherwin Williams exterior latex. Details and airbrush work is done with Golden acrylics. A coat of Krylon UV-Resistant acrylic coating is applied for additional protection. The satin finish won't flare the neighbors!  Each Hand-Painted Original Garage Duck is painted by hand and therefore unique, and the Garage Duck you receive will not be identical to the one pictured on this website. Due to the nature of marine plywood, your Hand-Painted Original Garage Duck may have minor imperfections in the surface or edges.

PVC Reproduction Garage Ducks are printed on 3-mm PVC sheeting and printed with Fuji UV inks.  The lifespan when displaying indoors is indefinite. When displayed outdoors they are expected to last 3 to 5 years if in full sun and longer in shaded areas or north-facing walls.

Garage Duck half-size decals are printed on 4-mil PVC media featuring RapidAire® advanced air release technology for easier application. They are finished with a permanent luster overlaminate to help protect it from scuffs and scratches.  The decals have a life span of up to 8 years depending on exposure to the elements. The decals are easy to remove by heating with a heat gun.

Each Hand-Painted Original Garage Duck is painted by hand and therefore unique, and the Garage Duck you receive will not be identical to the one pictured on this website. Due to the nature of marine plywood, your Garage Duck may have minor imperfections in the surface or edges. 

The Natural History of the Garage Duck...

Why Garage Ducks? The amazing story behind a truly unique art form......

These started off for illustrative purposes, albeit really bad ones. When I was in the 10th grade my dad and I belonged to the Wayne County chapter of Michigan Duck Hunters Association. That group organized a waterfowlers’ clinic (Thanks Larry & Cindy Malski!) with members pontificating on their supposed expertise in the world of decoys, boats, dogs, etc. Our entire layout rig was set up on a lawn to shown how one sets a layout boat and mother lines of decoys. Well, anyone that’s been in a layout boat knows how entertaining it is when bluebills pile into the decoys with those big feet hanging down!

Garage Ducks through the agesA few days before the event I produced several of those masonite beauties you see at the top. They were mounted on poles stuck into the lawn so newbies would get the idea of what decoying divers looked like. A few people thought they were pretty funny and encouraged me to make more. I ignored them. Those old masonite versions hung on the garage walls for years, and hence the name. I’m not sure who started calling them that but there you go. There’s only one left (circa 1982) - a pricey collector’s item, I’m sure.

After failing for years at “real art”, in 2003 I hit the Saginaw Bay and Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festivals with new and improved Garage Ducks. They were a big hit and I sold a lot of them for a couple years. I used more durable materials and improved my painting skills a bit (middle bird). Many birds from back then are still hanging on hunters’ houses and garages and are in very good shape. Once the economic downturn hit Michigan it seemed like a silly waste of time trying to sell any kind of art to most folks so I stopped. Over the last 10 years I’ve done the occasional special order and have donated remaining inventory as raffle and auction items for various waterfowl-related fundraisers.

Garage Duck aficionados have been clamoring for more, and I’ve been busy redesigning goofy incoming divers and dabblers. Eventually, drakes and hens of most North American ducks will be offered along with geese and maybe some other birds. I’m striving for more detail but also want to keep the caricature-like wackiness of incoming waterfowl. A lot of the reference comes from my own photos. Most birds are cut on a CNC router (I used to jigsaw them before I got a brain), hand sanded, and primed with exterior latex primer. Then each Garage Duck is hand painted with Sherwin Williams exterior latex. Details and airbrush work is done with Golden acrylics, followed by a coat of Krylon UV-Resistant acrylic coating.

Through the years the level of detail and complexity of each Garage Duck has increased tremendously. To keep up with demand as well as to keep costs in check, I now offer Garage Duck PVC reproductions.  These durable, high-quality reproductions will give you years of enjoyment, and I'm very excited to finally be able to offer them. Be sure to join our mailing list or like us on Facebook to be the first to know about new species and designs.



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