Okay, I’ll be honest. We made this wall art 100% for the looks and 0% for the sound diffuser capabilities. But regardless of the reason we made it, it still works for both purposes.
To make this end grain wall art, we’re going to use furring strips, which are some of the least expensive boards available at home improvement stores.
They aren’t always the prettiest or straightest boards, but they’ll work just fine for this project since we’re cutting them down into such small pieces and we’re focused on the end grains.
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
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- Miter Saw
- Circular Saw
- Brad Nailer
What You’ll Need
- 1/4″ plywood project panel
- 8 – 2x2x8 furring strips
- 1/4x4x3 select pine
- Wood glue
- Stain (we used True Black)
- Spray Polycrylic
- Spray paint (we used Metallic Copper and Gold)
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How to Make Sound Diffuser Wall Art
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STEP 1: SAND
Before we cut our furring strips down into hundreds of little pieces, let’s knock out the majority of our sanding. It’s significantly easier to sand long boards than little 2″ pieces.
Sand until smooth using 120, 180, and 220 grit sandpaper.
STEP 2: STAIN
Stain your furring strips. Staining before cutting is significantly faster and will ensure that the black stain doesn’t bleed onto the face of the boards.
You might also want to stain your select pine boards and plywood project panel, but you could also wait until you cut those down to size.
STEP 3: CUT 2x2s
Since we’ve already sanded and stained, we want to make sure our cuts are nice and clean. To do this, we’ll cut through the 2x2s nice and slow to reduce splintering.
Here’s what we cut:
- (50) 1.5″ pieces
- (100) 2″ pieces
- (100) 2.5″ pieces
- (50) 3″ pieces
We set up a stop for each of the sizes to ensure consistent sizing and to avoid tons of measuring.
STEP 4: SPRAY PAINT
Now that we have our pieces cut, we selected 60 pieces from our pile of cuts. We selected a variety of different sizes and didn’t count them out exactly.
Once we had 60 pieces, we separated them into 2 groups of 30 pieces, each with a variety of heights.
You can add color variation to your art by staining or spray painting at this step. If you’re spray painting, tape the sides of your pieces to ensure the black isn’t painted over.
STEP 5: LAYOUT
Before we actually assemble the wall art, we want to lay out the design. We laid ours out to be 12 pieces tall and 24 pieces wide.
There are no rules here–just lay it out in a random pattern. Since we aren’t gluing anything in place just yet, you can always switch out and move pieces at the end.
The key is to avoid two pieces of the same height from being side by side. They can be placed diagonally from each other, but ideally not right next to.
STEP 6: CUT PLYWOOD
Now that you have your design laid out, you can cut your plywood to size. Measure your laid out artwork on each side.
The overall dimensions should be close to 35×17.5, but your dimensions will vary based on your particular furring strips. Most furring strips aren’t going to measure 1.5×1.5″ exactly which is why it’s best to lay out the design before cutting the plywood.
STEP 7: ASSEMBLE
To assemble, apply a generous layer of wood glue to the plywood backing and then place your pieces onto the plywood. Hold each piece in place for a few seconds before moving onto the next one.
I would recommend working in rows or columns to keep things organized. Only apply enough glue for 1-3 rows or columns at a time.
You can also apply glue to each individual piece, but it takes significantly longer.
STEP 8: ADD FRAME
Now that you have the sound diffuser portion all done, it’s time to frame it out. Cut your frame pieces to size then glue and nail them in place.
STEP 9: HANG IT UP
We used this High & Might hanging kit on ours. Even though the piece ended up weighing 30lbs, we didn’t hang it into studs. We added two d-rings to the back and then hung it using the 60lbs hangers just to be safe 😉
There you have it! Now you know how to make your very own DIY sound diffuser. Like I mentioned earlier, we actually made this strictly as an end-grain art piece–the sound diffusing properties were just an added bonus😉
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