Easy DIY Wall Art




Introduction: Easy DIY Wall Art

About: I'm a DIY enthusiast, on a mission to learn as much as I can so I can share what I know with others! I work as a Community Coordinator for PartSelect, online resource for the DIY repair market.

Adorning your walls with beautiful art doesn’t have to be expensive. Do-it-yourself artwork is all the rage right now, and creating it is easier than you think.

All you need to create do-it-yourself wall art is some old planks, a paint brush, a few small nails, and your trusty can of spray paint. Oh, and don’t forget to bring up that half used gallon of paint from the basement. The only think you may have to purchase or borrow is a stencil, which you can find at most dollar stores for a buck or two, a piece of crown molding, some glue and a power saw or chop saw.

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Step 1: Finding the Wood

Keep your eyes open for any type of wood that is not too heavy. 

If you don’t have plentiful piles of wood scrap lying around the yard, consider yourself unlucky for this project but lucky for everyday other day of the year. Keep your eyes peeled for any neighbors who have just finished a reno or a deck, and hit them up for a few pieces of ‘garbage’ they might have.

Get creative with your search for some boards. If you have a family member with a barn that is falling apart in their back woods, go for a hike! Look for pieces that are cracked and weathered, but stay away from anything rotten!

My mother has this old sled in her burning pile and pieces of a front step, both are perfect candidates for some wall art!

Step 2: Pick Your Background Color

Once you have a sufficient amount of wood it’s time to choose your background color. I chose white. To make the paint on the wood look rustic and worn, I took a regular paint brush and dipped it lightly in the paint and ran it quickly across the wood. Because the paint is on so thin it should only take a few minutes to dry, especially if you’re outside on a sunny day.

Step 3: Distressing the Wood

Next distress the wood. I used a small hammer and a screw driver to mark up the wood. I did more distressing in the places where the paint didn’t completely cover making it seem as though the paint naturally worn off. The last picture shows the before and after.

Step 4: Get Creative

Next it’s time to be creative; how long and how wide do you want your art to be? Use a thin piece of wood and nail it across the back of your art to hold everything together in the formation you want.

When you are choosing nails make sure that the length of the nail doesn’t exceed the thickness of your painted boards. You don’t want any pointy metal pieces sticking out the front of your wall art. Search for any nails you can find in the house and cut them down to size. With a pair of metal clippers just snip the nails to length!

Step 5: Grab Your Stencil and Some Spray Paint

Now that you have something that might look like a small worn out table top, it time to fancy it up with your stencil and choice and spray paint.

Use painters tape to hold the stencil in place while you spray paint it. Keep the tape as close to the edge of the stencil as you can.

Hold the spray can about 1 foot, or 12 inches, away from the stencil. Use smooth and even passes across the entire stencil. Press and release the button at the end of each swipe across the wood. Remember: two thin light coats are always better than one thick and drippy coat.

Touch the paint lightly and if it’s not sticky the paint is dry.  If you’re happy with the coverage of the spray paint remove your stencil.
I wanted to add a personal touch so I took a small paint brush and some blue paint and added on a quote I liked.

Step 6: Adding in the Frame

The final step is adding a frame. I used a piece of left over crown molding from a neighbor’s project. It was out in the garbage because it was scratched and dented. I used a little painters dap to fill in the imperfections, sanded it smooth, added a fresh coat of paint and it looks brand-new! 

Use a chop saw and cut the crown or decorative molding at 45 degree angles to length.

I used carpentry glue to hold the frame together and to secure it to the wood. On the back of each piece and along the angled seam I squeezed on a good amount of glue and then laid the frame in place. It was a little tricky getting all the corners lined up without them slipping all over the place. Once everything is lined up hold it in place for about a minute then carefully pull your hands away and leave it to dry for a few hours.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

I originally thought I liked the look of the frame not being completely centered on the wood but, like I frequently do, I changed my mind and I wanted nothing outside the perimeter of the frame. I trimmed away the access pieces with the chop saw, touched up the edges with paint and stepped back to admire my masterpiece.

Lesson complete!

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    3 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! The first time is always a little shaky but I'm sure the next one will go even better :)