Looked like a fun and easy project so I accepted.
Step 1: Buy or Gather Materials
Went to my local home depot and scouted the lumber aisle.
Ended up getting (3) 6 foot fencing boards that cost about $3.50 each. Also grabbed a few simpson steel straps for about $4 each.
Step 2: Cut and Assemble
After cutting the wood i cut the steel straps and started fastening the boards to each other.
Step 3: Sand and Stain
Since these are cheap boards they need lots and lots of sanding or even planing for them to end up nice and smooth. Well i dont have a planer and didnt want to sand much since my wife had ordered a "rustic" looking finish.
As it turns out, no sanding made it "too rustic" according to the boss so i had to go back and sand it smooth.
After lots of sanding with my sander, 60 grit, then 100, i went on to the stain.
Staining is upfront and simple. I always just follow the application instructions on the can.
I did 2 coats of stain to try to get it as dark as possible.
Step 4: Adding Your Artwork
My wife wanted a map of the Unites States.
I printed a map on 5 or 6 sheets of 11x17 paper and cut and taped it all together.
I then traced the map with a pen pressing as hard as i could to create an indentation on the wood.
As a lefty i should have started on the right coast to avoid smearing paint, but i screwed up and went backwards.
I used enamel paint from a hobby shop and a small paint brush.
Came out pretty nice.
Step 5: Finish and Display
I am considering adding some polyurethane for a nicer finish but have not decided yet.
I had salvaged a hanging wire from and old frame so i screwed that on.
Final step is signing and dating the piece on the back.
- Edit -
** I should note that these cheap boards tend to warp and bow in all different directions with any temperature changes or moisture. I set mine in the garage and the temperature changes caused a little bit of warping.
If i had to do it again i would sand and stain the boards individually first, let them cure for a week, then assemble them together, then paint the artwork.