Introduction: Reclaimed Wood Wall Art

About: Part-time tinkerer, full-time programmer!

I bought a snow blower last summer. It was shipped to me enclosed in a wooden cage surrounded by cardboard. I tossed them outside an let them sit all winter wanting them to get some weathering to them. When I had time, I pulled them out an figured out what I wanted to build from it.

Step 1: Parts List

Old wood- Preferably distressed reused wood.

Backer Board- I used 1/8" plywood

Construction Adhesive

A Saw

A Hammer


Jig Saw

Wood Burner kit

Wood Stain- There is wood stain that takes pigment, which I used for my blue.

Paint Brushes- small art brushes and foam brushes

Foam for padding

Screws X2- I had some laying around

Metal Hanging Wire

Step 2: Disassemble Pallets

Anywhere there were staples connecting the pieces together, I pried the pieces loose. Anywhere there was a nail, I left the connection alone to deal with later.

Step 3: Disconnect the Rest

I sawed the remaining connections off leaving me with boards of all about similar lengths. I didn't do any measurements, just simply cut, wanting the finished product to have uneven edges anyways.

Step 4: Test Layout

Layout all available pieces, I left the remaining nailed squares to allow the finished product to standoff from the wall. I made sure these would not be visible once it was hanging on the wall. I also moved pieces around to ensure that lengths varied on the sides.

Step 5: Measure a Backboard

Measure a thin backer board. Here I used 1/8" plywood. I cut it to a height and length that would allow all boards to be attached and would not stick out past them.

Step 6: Cut Spaces for the Standoffs.

To accommodate the standoffs needed to cut notches into the backer board. I cut them with plenty or room to spare. I used a spade drill bit to cut the corners and then a jigsaw to cut the lines. Test fit everything together and make sure adjustments do not need to be made.

Step 7: Glue Pieces to Backer Board

Clean the surface with a rag. Apply construction adhesive to the back of the boars where they will be covered with backer board. Apply pressure and weight, then wait at least 24 hours for everything to dry and cure. Then flip it over and check for loose boards. I had two that I needed to lift up and reapply adhesive to get them to stick.

Step 8: Measure the Useble Area.

Measure the area of the board that you would like to use. Since I am doing a world map, I measured the width and the height and wrote those numbers down.

Step 9: Get the Design

Find a stencil online that you would like to use for the image.

Open the image in Adobe Reader.

Click File -> Print.

Under Page Sizing & Handling, select Poster.

Adjust tile Scale so that the image takes up the space that you need. Keep in mind that white space can be removed and cut off.

I printed mine at 300% to take up the 24 inch width. This made the print 22 inches tall, but I had to increase it so that I didn't have additional space.

Click the cut marks check box, then print it out.

Cut or fold on the cut marks, then line up the pictures and tape it down to the board.

Step 10: Woodburn the Design

Using a wood burning tool, slowly burn along the lines of the picture. Keep water handy to dab on any paper that starts on fire.

Tear away pieces once they have been burned out, going over any lines that need to be darker or deeper.

Wood burning tips will need to be swapped to get different areas, so it is handy to have two.

It took about four days, working three hours a day to complete my map.

Step 11: Stain the First Color

I used a small paint brush to stain the wood, and swapped to a larger foam brush for larger areas. Because the surface is ruff, it can take more stain then usual to cover the area. Though usually stain is meant to be wiped away, that isn't possible with the rough grain.

Step 12: Finish Staining.

Different colors of stain will need more work. The blue stain here looked a lot different when applied with a small brush over a foam brush. A second coat was applied to help correct this somewhat, though it was not a big deal as the brush areas around the continents make continents look more authentic.

Step 13: Add Foam

A thin piece of foam will help keep the picture from damaging the wall. I used the same construction adhesive that I used to attach the board here as well.

Step 14: Add a Hanger

Screw two small screws into the boards and tightly string a piece of metal wire between them. Twist the wire around the screws several times to make sure it is completely secure.

Step 15: Enjoy

Now hang your wall and enjoy!

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