Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wood & Cloth - Project - Tree Silhouette Wall Art Panels

Is there a medical term for individuals that have a severe phobia to hanging things on the wall? 

Large Art Placement Aversion? 

Whatever the term, I have it.  I don't have an issue with the actual act of hanging things on the wall but when it comes to picking out wall art.....shear panic!  I have always liked blank spaces on walls and feel a bit claustrophobic when every spare inch of wall in a house has something hanging on it.  I also feel like large wall decorations are such a commitment...and you have to put holes in the wall!  The husband makes frequent, futile attempts to remind me that holes can be filled and walls can always be repainted.  Unfortunately I now have an almost paralyzing mental block when it comes to making the commitment on a wall art project or purchase.

So it is big day for Wood & Cloth when we hang something new on the walls...yippee!

We teased this project awhile back and it is finally done!  While the actual project didn't take too much time finding a project the wife could actually envision on the wall...took about 2 years.   

We actually stumbled upon this project in the Lowe's Creative Project magazine that we get in the mail.  If you don't currently get the mailer I suggest you sign-up for it on the Lowe's website it is free and has a surprising amount of interesting projects.

This is the original project picture and the instruction link back to Lowes.
Tree wall art
I liked the concept but knew I needed something bigger and the colors were not going to work for our stairway landing wall.  So we tweaked the plans a bit and the final project is something I found easy to hang on the wall.

Project Ranking
Difficult - Moderate
*Depending on your final size you may need access to some sort of saw.
Frustration - Medium
*I spent a long time laying down the tape for the tree patterns.  If your project is smaller and you don't second guess yourself all of the time like I did trying to get things perfect this may not be frustrating at all!
Makeability- 100% Worth It
*Even with some mild frustration this project was worth it.  We ended up with a large high quality piece of wall art that even I am glad is hanging on the wall.

NOTE: Lowe's lists out materials on their website.  The materials listed below are specific for the piece we made.

Oak Plywood  (Each panel is 14 x 36 inches)
*The Lowes version used Birch.  We liked the Oak grain a bit better.  You want to be careful when you select your wood.  If you are planning on hanging large pieces on the wall you will want to make sure that your board is flat.  We pulled out a few different pieces before we found one that we liked.  It is also important that you get a fairly thick piece.  Ours was 3/4 inches.  If you get something really thin it will just warp when you stain/paint it. 

Wood Stain
*Golden Oak from Minwax.  As you will note below we tried out a bunch of stain/paint combinations.  At this point I think we pretty much own the entire collection of Minwax stains so I thought we should try them all out.

*Dark color is Valencia Moss in Satin from Valspar.
*Lighter color is Dry Earth in Satin from Valspar.
*I cannot overstate how much I love the paint testers.  Whenever we do a paint project we try out a few options.  I would say that 80% of the time we end up going with a color that was not our first choice at the store.  Paint truly does look different in your home....plus then you have a bunch of extra colors to use for various projects later on.

Paint tape (skinny and wide sizes)

As the instructions are posted on the Lowes site no need to go into them again.  However here are a few tips we picked up along the way.

Tip 1:  Don't over think things.  I was completely paralyzed at the beginning thinking that I needed to do a practice placement of my tape strips or at least draw out a rough design layout.  Just start putting some tape down.  The tape comes off pretty easy so you can pull it off and redo if you don't like the look of things.

Tip 2: Don't let your tape stay on your panels too long.  I ended up doing 2 coats of paint for each of the panels so by the time I let the first one and then the second one dry the tape was on the panels about 12 hours.  I did find that in some places it was a bit hard to remove.  At the same time I don't think you want to rush to get the tape off as you won't get the nice lines if you try to take the tape off while the paint is still wet.  It makes a mess (don't ask how I know...)

Like all things I end up hanging on the wall I instantly hated how the panels looked.  Did I mention I have a problem? 

It took me awhile but now as I walk past the stairs and see them hanging on the wall I have to admit they look much better than the blank wall.  For me that is saying a lot. 

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