Thinking about building some custom wall art into your shop wall? Check out this shop wall mountain mural DIY project where I built wall art right into the wall!
Hey guys, in this video I’ll be showing you how I made this built in wall art for my shop. I did an abstract mountain scene but this concept can easily be adapted to anything that personally appeals to you.
Members of Triton Tools were hanging out with me in my shop. We ended up with an extra day so we decided to do another project.
Since my walls are made from full sheets of plywood I started by moving things off the wall space where I wanted my mountain range to be. I picked a sheet at the center of my partition wall but if I ever want to move it to another location, I can easily swap it out for another sheet. I quickly unscrewed it from the studs then laid it flat on my workbench to get started.
Because I like to game plan beforehand, I took the time to model the scene I would be going after in a 3D modeling software. This allowed me to get a good visual and to make lots of changes before making any cuts. It also allowed me to quickly pencil out the scene on my sheet of plywood as I was able to use difference references, such as the edge of the plywood, to pull measurements for the start and stoping point of each line.
You can see I’m using the track from my track saw as my main straight edge for this. However I did pull in a variety of straight edges to use for this.
I first thought to make these lines using the track saw on the track, but the problem with the round blade is it would leave a sloped cut and mating up two lines, such as all the peaks, would not come out cleanly. So instead I used my router with a router adaptor for the track saw. This is an adaptor that is attached to the base of the router and that mates to track saw track so that you can use the track to make straight lines with your router. That’s cool!
Mark from Triton acted as my pit crew as I called it : ) And I do recommend having a second person on hand if you take this route. Having two people to clamp and unclamp, move and reclamp, made this project go really quick.
For cutting in the lines, I’m using a 1/4” Infinity spiral up cut bit, which left a really clean cut through the veneer. Meaning I didn’t have a lot of messy tear out to deal with later on. As for depth, I cut down about 3/8”.
After getting the second mountain completely cut out I stopped to vacuum out and maaaan….hehehehe I was so excited that this was working out.
For the sun, I wanted to cut in the circle portion first so I could then connect the straight lines of the rays into it. To do this I swapped out the router adaptor to the edge guide that comes with the router. You can use this not only as a regular edge guide but also as a circle cutting jig. It attaches to the base of the router in the same fashion, then I found center, stick a brad nail in as a pin point, then make my cut.
Quick and easy, now back to the track adaptor to finish making the straight line cuts and we can move on to coloring it.
Oh, and I also had to fix a mistake I made on my very first cut. I overshot my stop point and by the time I realized it I was too far past to really do anything about it. Filling it was pretty simple. I just cut a strip from a scrap piece of ply that fit into the grove. I left it long then used a chisel to cut it where I needed it.
Once everything was cut we had to throw it up on the wall to see how it looked. Which absolutely called for high fives!
Ok lets throw some color on it! To prep the sheet I first sanded all the grooves. This was minimal since I was using a high quality bit but I did wrap a carpenters pencil and sand paper and run through each line to knock down the fuzzies.
Then I used my palm ROS on the entire sheet. I started off using 220 grit here to make sure I didn’t go through that very thin veneer of the plywood.
Then I played around on a scrap piece of the plywood with a few color options before getting going on the real thing. I am using paint for this but I didn’t want to 100% cover the grain of the ply so I’m using the whitewashing technique where I add water to thin it out and make it appear more like a stain. I’m using a 2:1 ratio so two part water to one part paint.
Once I had my colors sorted and I knew which one was going where, I started applying with a foam brush.
I decided to leave the grooves raw for the mean time.
I worked in small sections where I would apply it, then quickly wipe off the excess using a paper towel. It was easy with a foam brush to not go onto another section with the coloring but I made a mess a few times when it came time to wipe it off. But, I also discovered that 220 sand paper removes these spots easy enough without going through the veneer so it’s nothing to freak out about either way. : )
Then it was the same process for the snow caps and the sun then I let it set up for about an hour to really dry before throwing it up on the wall.
: D Yay! Its funny how much I love it. This is why it’s fun to work with other people or participate in things that give you parameters sometimes.
So? What do you think?! If you did a mural what would you choose it to be of? Leave me a comment down below and let me know.
Also be sure to follow me on all my social media platforms if you want to follow my builds in real time. I’ll see you on the next one!
Things I Used In This Shop Wall Mountain Mural Project:
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