Make Painted Offcut Artwork

  • colourful timber offcut artwork

We show you how to create a colourful wall feature using scraps of timber and left over paint samples.

The average DIYer has at least one box of timber offcuts from past jobs gathering dust in a corner of the workshop. This project uses untreated pieces of timber and leftover paint to create a striking art work for almost no cost.

Making the Artwork

Arrange the offcuts on a backing board like a jigsaw puzzle using timber pieces of different depths and making sure the edges are straight. When you’re happy with the design, number the pieces and cut them to size with square edges.
 
Apply the paint or finish, securing the offcuts to the backing board and each other using PVA adhesive. Drive screw hooks into the backing and attach picture wire to hang the art work on the wall using a picture hanger or wall anchor.
 
For the backing board use a piece of 1000 x 850 x 6mm MDF or any leftover sheet material like plywood or particleboard up to 16mm thick, as anything larger will make the art work too heavy to manage.
 
TIP - A 1200 x 900 x 6mm plywood HandiPanel, about $15 from hardware stores, can be used as the backing.
 

Mounting the Artwork

Stand on a scale with the artwork, subtracting your body weight to choose the right type of picture hanger. A picture that weighs over 10 kilos is best hung from two points on the wall.
 
Use a spirit level to mark up the wall and check the artwork for level once it is hung.
 
For masonry use a masonry bit to drill a hole then tap in a wall plug or a sleeve anchor like a Dynabolt hook.
 
For plasterboard use a stud finder to locate the studs and secure a hook directly into the timber or use a three or four pin picture hanging hook.
 

Step 1. Arrange the offcuts

Position the offcuts on the backing board, starting from a corner and making sure the edges are straight, varying the depth of the pieces by positioning some on end or edge to create a 3D effect.

Step 2. Trim timber to size

When the arrangement is complete, number the pieces, marking any offcuts that extend beyond the backing board then clamp them to the workbench and trim with a jigsaw.

Step 3. Paint the pieces

Apply a primer and two coats of acrylic, leaving 15mm unpainted at the base to bond the adhesive.
TIP Mix and dilute colours then apply with a brush, sponge and cloth to achieve various paint effects.

Step 4. Texturise the timber

Select a few pieces to distress by tapping with a hammer after painting then use a detail sander to sand the paint back slightly, revealing the primer undercoat and timber grain for a rustic, weathered finish.

Step 5. Distress the finish

Roughen the painted pieces for a distressed finish by sanding the corners and edges lightly with 120 grit abrasive paper.
TIP After sanding apply a clear finish to seal the paint.

Step 6. Assemble artwork

Position the pieces as numbered on the backing board then apply PVA adhesive to the back and around the unpainted base edges to secure.
TIP Leave the adhesive to dry before attaching the hanging wire.

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