Introduction: Wooden Blocks Wall Art

About: Mechanical Design Engineer in the Automotive Industry

Hi guys!

I've been doing a lot of personal projects this year so my wife challenged me to do something for the house for a change. We saw this wall art a long time ago on Pinterest and we always wanted to do something like this. Since I had purchased a lot of materials anyway we thought it was a good opportunity to finally do it.

I will reveal the materials I used step by step as the project evolved.

Step 1: Step#1 - Cutting the Wood for the Blocks

First I will start with the wood:

  • I used 35m of 44x44 mm pine wood which came in lengths of 2.4m.
  • I thought this was the best ratio but I guess if you are using square profiles , anything goes!
  • Started by cutting the straight pieces. This again is up to you how long you want to cut them, the longer they are , the heavier the result will be at the end plus you have to keep in mind the proportions that gives you the depth effect.
  • I used as reference 78.5mm which later on I had to half in two with an angle. Each piece had 80g so at this point I knew that the blocks alone will weigh 23kgs.
  • To make the process repeatable I used an end stop on my mitre saw which allowed me to have equally cut pieces. If you want for everything to look tidy , symmetry is key.
  • After all the straight pieces were cut , I readjusted the end stop and also changed the angle on the saw so it matches the new dimension. I believe the angle is about 26 degrees.
  • Rinse and repeat...same process as the initial one until all pieces were finished. It is advised to use a new-ish blade so you have as less splinter as possible to make your life easier when it comes to finishing.
  • I chose to sand down manually every single piece all around ...all 576 pieces! I wasn't looking for a rustic looks so I wanted the blocks to be very sharp and with no defects.
  • Depending on the quality you want to get you can add or remove several steps that involve finishing.

Step 2: Step#2 - Building the Frame

For the frame I used exactly the same profile as I did for the block.

  • On this instance I've mitered the wood to 45 degrees after which I've put a 25x25mm rebate using the table saw.
  • I've set the rebate dimensions using my trusted depth gauge
  • After the rebates were mate I simply glued the corners using wood glue and clamped them down for a few good hours using 4x 90 deg mitre clamps
  • For the base I used 9mm plywood which got delivered cut to size so I didn't have to deal with that myself
  • After the frame is glued we proceed with painting it and after it's dried we fix it to the plywood base
  • I pre-drilled and counterbored everything to achieve a tidy result

Step 3: Step#3 - Selecting Design / Painting and Gluing

This is a rather subjective mater.

  • depending on what theme you use for your pattern you have to buy adequate colors
  • we used acrylic paints and went a little overkill and bought way more than we needed
  • please note that nothing could progress until my daughter lifted with her crane the brushes and few of the paints
  • for mine we used more than 30 shades variations from basic colors. It's not really rocket science but more of a trial and error process
  • using a bigger artistic brush makes the job easier and the process faster
  • after the paint is dried we proceed with gluing every block piece to the base. Brace yourselves with a lot of patience as there will be a lot of adhesive dripping in places it shouldn't
  • because I wanted to achieve a completely random effect, I had to make sure I don't have two pieces with the same orientation one next to each other
  • one thing you should take into account is leaving 4 blocks free where later on we'll drill holes for wall mounting

Step 4: Step#4 - Preparation and Wall Mounting

  • after all blocks have been painted/glued and dried we're going to drill holes in the 4 positions we left free
  • these are going to be used as through holes for our wall anchors
  • as this is going to be rather heavy , I suggest to use wall anchors of diameter 10mm onwards
  • mounting the big frame will be a two man job
  • once the frame is in position you can secure it using the nuts and washer provided in the anchor kit
  • after make sure everything is tight and secure all you have to do is mount the last 4 pieces that will hide the screws

Step 5: Final Words and Advice

There are a few tips and useful advice I'd like to pass on:

  • don't use too much wood glue as it will spill and make a great mess
  • the size I chose to make is about 50kg but you can reduce the overall weight by playing with the proportions. Maybe a thinner frame or no frame at all (wouldn't recommended) or shorter profiles (this would reduce the depth effect perception)
  • all acrylic colours get darker after they dry out so bare that in mind
  • you will need to plan ahead what colours to paint otherwise you will need a larger working area to store all painted blocks for drying
  • please be mindful this a long tedious process and you will get dirty and mess-up all the surrounding with adhesive and paint

I hope you enjoyed the instructions and should you have any questions , please drop me a message.

The full video is available with some nice cinematics on my Youtube Channel: