Holly’s Faux Pallet Art

by Holly LL on October 26, 2010

I tend to not be able to find art that fits my spaces or ideas when it comes to decorating. So often I have to go about making it myself.

The first part of this project, is completely inspired by this spoon/knife/fork stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils – the minute I saw this stencil I knew I had to have it!.

My grandparents had a giant spoon and fork hanging in their house {it’s at Mom and Dad’s house now…I plan on stealing it very soon!} and I remember it clearly and fondly. This Cutting Edge Stencil reminds me of it…a bit more modern, but still charming!

The second half of the project is all about my love of wood…especially old wood. I have been wanting to “build” a pallet or barnwood sign/piece of art for a long time. I love that rustic look (I gave up on finding the barnwood…no luck finding any here!). After reading some articles about the possible toxins in old pallets, I decided to make my own “wood canvas” out of pieces I had in the garage left over from various projects {and I think I may have used part of my son’s bed…OOPS!}.

  • Pieces of Wood – Widths may vary – I used 10″, 6″, and 4″ widths. {You do not need big pieces…they all get cut into approximately 26.5″ wide sections – they do not need to be perfectly cut – rough is good.}
  • Gorilla Glue, Wood Glue
  • Gorilla Glue, Gorilla Tape
  • Dremel Multi Max
  • Cutting Edge Stencil, Bon Appetit 0R030
  • DecoArt Stencil Paint, Black
  • Stencil Brushes from Cutting Edge Stencils
  • 4″ Foam roller
  • Mythic Paint, eggshell enamel in Clover Honey
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint, Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Glazing Medium
  • Rockler Foam Brush
  • DISChangers
  • Nails and Hammer
  • Paintbrush
  • Decorative Tacks or Upholstery Tacks
  • Optional: DecoArt American Acrylic Paint, White
Click HERE for a PDF
  1. Cut wood into length of approximately,
  2. Lay wood pieces out on ground to determine length of the piece, based on size of the stencil. My finished size is 42″ L x 26.5″ wide (of course it can be hung vertically also)
  3. Cut 2 longer pieces of wood to run the length of the piece – the are “base” boards. {I used what I had – cheap fence pieces}
  4. Now that your piece is laid out to the correct size, remove the 2 longer “base” boards and begin running Gorilla Wood Glue along the long edges of each cut piece of wood, butting each one up to the other. Do this with the face/right side down.
  5. Once all the widths of wood are glued together, place wood glue on the 2 longer pieces and position them on the back of the piece running lengthwise, each about 4 inches from the edge.
  6. Use Gorilla Tape to hold the pieces together while they dry.
  7. Optional: Once secure and with help, flip over the piece so that it dries face side up. Let dry completely.
  8. Use the Dremel Multi Max with the sander attachment and lightly sand the entire piece. I did not sand out all the rough edges because my overall effect was for it to be distressed. I just wanted to take off some of the splinters, etc.
  9. Wipe clean and paint with Mythic Paint.
  10. Let dry.
  11. Mark out placement of nails – The nails are not necessary for holding the piece together, but they do add some strength and they add to the old/real look of the piece.
  12. Using the Glazing medium mixed with Americana Burnt Umber acrylic paint (at a 1:1 ratio), glaze the wood and let dry.
  13. Rough up the paint with the Dreml Multi Max.
  14. Place Cutting Edge Stencil on board, centering it and secure with painters tape.
  15. Using the foam roller and Decoart stencil paint, slowly and carefully roll the paint on in one direction (there was a lot of detail on my stencil and I found going in one direction helped keep the lines clean).
  16. Let dry slightly and remove stencil.
  17. Let dry completely.
  18. Using the Dremel Multi Max, sand all over, using hard movements in area to get the right amount of wear. Hit all edges to round out for a worn look.
  19. Wipe Clean.
  20. Mix Burnt Umber and Glazing Medium together and brush on glaze over entire piece. Wipe off with rag. (I glazed 3 times: step 12, step 20 and then step 22)- I choose to do this to enhance the aging process.
  21. Optional: I was loving  my wood canvas but something was still not quite right. I found some black upholstery tacks at the hardware store and added them to the width of the piece, spaced about every 5″
  22. So…I am crazy…the piece was not looking old enough…I mixed a glaze using the Glazing Medium and American White Acrylic paint (1:1 ratio) and glazed the entire piece. It dulled the color and made it look faded and even older.
  23. Apply 2 DISChangers (I need 2 because of the weight and size of my piece) and let them dry overnight…then hang!

OK…so this is a lot of steps…but they are not hard…and many of them were added (the extra layers of glaze) to  achieve my desired overall effect. This is a process that can be used with any color of paint, any finishing techniques and any stencil!

The final product (It is nearly impossible to take photos in my house – the lighting is awful! – I tried! Here is one hanging up and another in a vertical position.

Come check out more great ideas and DIYing at 504 Main.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali @ Honey and Maple Syrup October 27, 2010 at 3:48 am

What a cool piece of art!

jen @ tatertots and jello October 30, 2010 at 4:22 am

that turned out so great!!

I ordered that same stencil. I love that you used the wood background. It looks great!


Roeshel November 1, 2010 at 1:32 am

I love it! I had a similar idea in mind! lol! Great minds DIY alike. This is beautiful, Holly. Great job!

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish November 8, 2010 at 2:26 am

Love this! Had to share on my FB page!

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