Easy DIY Wooden Tree Painting: Tutorial!

Finally!  My internet is cooperating!  Want a new Mouse House Tutorial?  You do?  Awesome!
You want to make this awesome artwork too?  What a coincidence!  I just made one today!
How to Make Easy Wooden Tree Art
I can’t claim this idea as my own!  I originally saw something similar in my monthly Lowe’s catalog (yes, I am one of those people that actually read the monthly home improvement magazines cover to cover:)  However, they didn’t exactly give the best step-by-step instructions on how to do it, so I had to come up with most of the steps on my own.  Lucky for you, I am going to share the process!
Materials Needed:
*2×2 sheet of birch plywood
*fine grit sandpaper
*small, teeny amount of wood stain in your color choice
*white/cream paint, very small amount
*paint roller
*lint-free rag
I bought my sheet of 2×2 plywood from Lowes.  You will want a sheet of plywood that is stain grade (basically, you don’t want any of the crappy pressboard or subfloor stuff).  This sheet cost me $8.
Gather your supplies and get started!
There are MANY choices of wood stains, but I chose this particular color.  Later on in this tutorial, I will show you what a difference stain color can make!  I personally wanted something light and airy.  YOU may want something dark and rich.  Go with what you want.
First, lightly sand your entire piece of wood…. sides and front.  Go with the grain.
Wipe down with a tack cloth (removes all the dust).
Grab a lint-free cloth ( I used one of the old wash cloths we had in a drawer).  Start staining your wood, by liberally applying the stain.  By liberally, I mean LIBERALLY.
You want it to look like almost too much stain!  (you will go back later and wipe it down).
Go WITH the grain.  Don’t forget the sides!
Wait about 5 minutes and wipe down your entire piece with a fresh lint-free cloth.
Again, go WITH the grain!
Let the entire piece dry overnight.
It will be stinky, so keep it in a garage or outside somewhere.
Now for the fun part!
After your stained wood has dried for 24 hours, you are ready to go!
Grab your supplies… stained wood, scissors or Xacto knife,  and blue painters tape.
Start laying out your painter’s tape in “tree shapes”.  I doubled up the tape for some of the trunks to give them a wider shape.  This is the part where YOU get to create your OWN design!  I rounded the edges of the bottoms of the trunks to give it a natural feel.
Create branches… overlap pieces, making it feel natural!  Make sure to go over the sides too!
Press down all the tape REALLY well!  This helps ensure that the paint won’t seep under!
 Once you have your pattern laid out, gather your painting supplies.  I just used a basic satin latex paint.  You need a VERY minimal amount, so try to use what you already have.
You will also need a foam roller brush.  Oh, and a paper plate, if you are lazy like me and don’t feel like cleaning out the metal paint tray.  🙂
Using the foam roller, roll paint over the entire piece of wood, including the sides.
Wait about 1- 3 hours
( I can never wait long enough and usually end up tearing off the tape before it is ready:)
Carefully, start removing the tape.
(excuse my paint stained fingernails:)
Do you see the gorgeous stain underneath that tape????
Once you peel it off, you are left with this loveliness!
And  I crack myself up…. I signed my own artwork, haha.
So, did that help you???  I hope so!
Here are a few other ideas for you…. The stain and paint colors could make a HUGE difference in the outcome!  I did a few photo editing tricks to show how different it can look with different stain:
 The stain I used:
Using a darker stain would be awesome too!
Hope this helps you guys out!  I would love to see your artwork!  Post it on my Facebook page.!
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Hayley Crouse is a wife, mother and multifaceted designer. Her love of sewing, crafting, cooking and interior design infuses her daily life and naturally spills over into her online presence. She pushes the envelope of her creativity and hopes that others will be inspired to do the same. She currently authors the Welcome to the Mouse House Blog, is the pattern designer behind Mouse House Creations and is a collaborative designer with Willow & Co. Patterns.
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36 Responses to Easy DIY Wooden Tree Painting: Tutorial!

  1. Katie March 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Great tutorial! Thanks!

  2. Anonymous March 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Awesome! I am going to try it some day.

  3. theoriginalthread March 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, will definitely be giving it a go oneday soon.

  4. Rebecca March 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Love this! When I saw the picture I thought “how cool would that be to make with painters tape?” and then you did! I’m going to pin this, unless you tell me not to. 😉

  5. Katy B March 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    This is too freakin’ cool! I am so jealous of people who have the talent (or even patience) to do things like this. Thanks for sharing it.

    And, hey, I happened upon your BBC profile from that zombie thread about making sammiches. Ha … as if!

  6. Sue@creativetryals.blogspot.com March 17, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    Oh, that is so clever. Thank you for the tutorial. Saw you on TT&J.

  7. Nat and Holly March 17, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    I just found your blog through TT&J…. I love it!! This tree art is amazing, thanks for sharing your tutorial. Also, I’m totally crushing on the chair re-do you linked up! Wish I could find a cane back chair to makeover 🙂 I’m following now, and can’t wait to keep looking around your blog! – Holly

  8. Heather Alverson March 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Love this idea, I will be trying this for sure. Visiting from Tatertots & Jello link-up party.

  9. Anonymous March 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Wow, love it!!

  10. Six Sisters March 20, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    This tree painting tutorial is amazing! Thanks for being a part of our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We loved having you and hope you’ll be back! -The Sisters

  11. Grace @ Sense and Simplicity March 23, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    I love how you can see the wood grain through the stain for the tree part. Great job!

  12. sara @ applestone drive March 24, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    Wow, great tutorial and great painting. Thanks for making it look so easy!!
    Visiting from the TT&J party.

    sara @ applestonedrive.blogspot.com

  13. Sarah @ Just The Bee's Knees March 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Wow! I love this! I’m always looking for new (inexpensive) ways to add art to my home. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Laurel Stephens March 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Hi! Saw your artwork featured on Centsational Girl and came over to have a closer look and pin it. This is just beautiful. Thank you for the tutorial.

  15. Debbie March 27, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    Your deck boards look as good as mine. JK. Although that did give me the idea to do this on exterior plywood and hang it on one of the walls of my house surrounding our deck. My spring goal is to get my deck spruced up and feeling more like an outdoor room. Plus this could take the eyes off our weather beaten deck boards.

  16. Wendy March 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    When you say apply “liberally” that means a lot– a generous amount. Applying a conservative amount means just a little. Not a criticism at all– just trying to be helpful. Love the post and instructions! Thanks!

  17. The Mouse House March 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Thanks everyone for the compliments!

    Wendy, not sure if I misunderstand you, but I meant liberally…. a lot. You need a lot of stain on it. Perhaps I misunderstand?? However, thanks for your help!

  18. Anonymous March 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Wow. It looks just like this one from Lowe’s Creative Ideas:

  19. The Mouse House March 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Yes! That is where I got my idea from and I mentioned it in my blog post! Loved the idea of it!

  20. Linda @ it all started with paint March 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm #


    1. This is awesome! Seriously!

    2. I’m pinning away. I want to make one for my master bedroom and this is the best tutorial I’ve found …

    3. Would you consider linking this up to our “It’s a Cinch” multi-blog link party? When you link at one blog, you’re automatically linked up to the party’s five co-hosts …


    Hope to see you at the party!



  21. thistlewoodfarm March 28, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    What an awesome idea! Thanks so much for the tutorial! I need to use this idea for my hallway!

    I am pinning this awesome idea!

    Thanks for linking to the party.


  22. Linda @ it all started with paint March 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    So happy to see you at the party! I’m going to FB share too.

    And now, as a party hostess, can I get you a drink? Red or white?



  23. wen March 31, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    LOVE this!!! I am going to ride the coattails of your creativity and make this soon 🙂 Thanks!!

  24. Karah @ thespacebetweenblog April 1, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    I love this so much I posted it on my facebook wall. Thanks so much for sharing this at our party!

  25. Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage April 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    This is absolutely amazing!! I seriously need to do this!

    Pinning this fabulous tutorial too.

    Glad you joined our Cinch party.

  26. Janet April 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    Beautiful! How did I miss this in the Lowe’s magazine? I read them cover to cover, too, and have saved a bunch for projects yet to be done.

  27. Jenn Gray April 28, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Love lOve loVe lovE! Bythewayjenngray.blogspot.com

  28. Kristina @ ReMadeSimple April 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    I love this idea! Looks like something you’d buy at a high end store-I appreciate your tutorial-gonna pin this one and follow you-thanks!

  29. HeatherC July 25, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    My fiance and I have wanted tree art for our house but haven’t decided on any yet. This is great because I can make it so it’s even better! Thanks!

  30. Inspire Me Heather September 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Your wall art looks great! I have this linked to my “plywood” post too today, it was fun researching plywood projects and I thought this one stood out!

  31. Your Retail Helper October 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    I loved this tutorial. I found it on Pinterest and knew I needed to try it for my DIY section on my website (full credit to you, of course). Here’s how mine turned out: http://yourretailhelper.blogspot.com/2012/10/diy-tree-art-for-free.html# .

    I also made a Family Tree version for my parent’s anniversary. We wrote names on the branches and used ink thumbprints for the leaves. They loved it.

    Thanks so much for your creativity!
    Your Retail Helper

  32. Anonymous October 24, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Hi there! I’m very excited to try your idea! Just one question… how did you hang the painting to your wall? Any tips would be great 🙂



  33. The Mouse House October 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Thanks everyone!
    Remember if you have a specific question, try to email me so that I can respond directly to you!
    I use picture hanging nails and and wire to hang it!!!

  34. Ahmed Yaqoob January 30, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    Nicely done. I liked the tips and as my business is of lamination and wood sheets I would try this at hoem too.


    frontier greenwood industries

  35. Micheal Hussey March 22, 2014 at 5:01 am #

    Waooow!!! Magnificent blogs, this is what I wanted to search. Thanks buddy
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  36. writing essays for cheap February 10, 2016 at 4:51 am #

    Wow!!! Nice work. I love the trick you used to create this wooden painting. Expecting more awesome posts 🙂

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