DIY Wooden State Art

Earlier this year I posted a Wooden World Map-it has actually been one of my most popular posts to date! Shortly after that post I had received so many inquiries about buying one that I began selling them in my Etsy shop.  A couple of weeks ago I was contacted to make a custom state version of the map and I just loved it so much I decided to share it with you all today.

I won’t rehash the entire tutorial again, if you’d like to find the original post, you can see it here.

I basically made a smaller version of the world map panel with leftover lumber I had on hand.  I used my favorite map site to create a template of the outline of Kentucky.  I transferred the image by coloring the back of the papers with pencil then tracing over it to leave a pencil impression on the wood-basically the same as carbon paper-but cheaper!

I then treated the wood panel with Wood Conditioner.  This is a very important step.  Many of my readers who attempted to make their own version of my world map and did not get good results skipped this step.  PLEASE condition the wood before staining if you are going to go through all the work to make one of these! After conditioning the wood I used craft paint brushes and Mission Oak PolyShades to paint the stain on.  When dry I gave it about four coats of spray on polyurethane.

I’m so excited to send this artwork on its way to its new home, I hope they love it as much as I do!

What do you think?

linking at Uncommon Designs, Setting for Four and


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  1. Savannah says

    I was just wondering how you get the outside of the map painted perfectly? Do you stain the entire piece first, then lay the outline of the map down and paint white over it, then peel off the map? This is my favorite style of the wooden maps so I would love to know how to get that look!

    • Melissa says

      Hi Savannah,

      The outside area is not painted at all, it is regular white pine. I traced the map in pencil on the panel then stain only the interior of the state outline using stain and a craft brush then poly over the entire piece.
      Hope that helps-let me know if you have any more questions!



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