DIY Gilded Wood Shim Wall Art

I am a fan of using wood shims in projects and today I am sharing how to create DIY gilded wood shim wall art.


I made some wood shim art about a year ago and have been itching to make another for quite some time. As you may already know I plan on creating a gallery wall in my office/studio but need more art to add to the mix.

My budget is quite limited so I decided to DIY some wall art using materials I already had on hand. Not only is this project super easy but it can also be customized to match your decor style and colors.

Here is what I used to create my own gilded wood shim wall art:

  • 2 packs of Wood shims {depends on how large or small you want your art}
  • Gold Leaf Materials {I would actually skip this and go with gold spray paint, see explanation below}
  • Plywood
  • Scrap Wood for the Frame
  • Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
  • Paint & Paintbrush/or spray paint
  • Jig Saw
  • Nail gun / you could hammer some nails in or use screws

Let me start off by saying that I used gold leaf on 1/3 of my wood shims, but if I was to do this project all over again I would simply spray paint them with gold paint instead or used rub n buff. Sure the gold leaf may add a little extra sparkle but it was much more time consuming and I think the spray paint would have looked great, been easier and less expensive :)

The first thing I did was grab a bunch of wood shims and decide what pattern I wanted and how big I wanted it to be. I actually laid the shims out on some leftover plywood from my giant chalkboard project. You may have seen this photo on Instagram last week:


I didn’t have enough wood shims to double them up, which creates a flat even look {as seen in the photo above}, but I like the texture and effect of the different widths so that was okay with me.

I separated my wood shims into 3 piles knowing I wanted 1/3 to stay natural, 1/3 to be gilded and the other 1/3 to be painted with a custom blue color I mixed. After I lightly sanded and then painted/gilded my wood shims I used my glue gun to attach them to the piece of plywood.


I covered most of the board, knowing that we would go back with the jigsaw to cut the overhanging wood shims, and make the edges straight. I made a line with some painters tape and Eric then cut along the edge of the tape to ensure a straight

Afterwards Eric created a frame using some thin scrap wood that I painted white {which he cut to size}. He then used our Ryobi Airstrike to nail them into place. Once the first frame was nailed into place he nailed some more scrap wood {which I also painted white} on top of the first frame, which basically created a shadowbox effect.


After filling in some of the frame cracks and a bit of touchup painting my DIY gilded wood shim art was all finished, woo-hoo!



I still have some gallery wall planning to do so I haven’t actually put it up yet, but will definitely share those photos with you as soon as it is.

I love how it turned out and that I was able to make it using what we had on hand. So what do you think?



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  1. 1

    Katie, that is gorgeous! I’m sure the gold leafing took forever, but it definitely looks worth the effort! I’m pinning this for later:)
    Katie @ Addicted 2 DIY recently posted…Star Wars Wall Art DIY – Contributor PostMy Profile

  2. 3

    O so lovely! These colours look so great together, what a beautiful piece of art you have created.
    Julie recently posted…Geometric Bangle RefashionMy Profile

  3. 5
    Carole H says:

    I love it and need something big for my living room. This would be perfect!

  4. 7

    Beautiful! I’ve been shy of trying anything gilded because it looks so delicate and finicky. But, this is just such a pretty piece you may have just convinced me to give it a try.
    Chasing August recently posted…How to Finish Your Kit with StainMy Profile

    • 8

      I bought a bunch of gold leafing materials a couple months ago but this was actually my first attempt using it and it was so much easier than I anticipated. I bought a gold leaf pen and rub n buff at the same time and think either of those would have been easier and less messy for this project though :) I definitely recommend giving it a try and would love to see what you come up with!
      Upcycled Treasures recently posted…Whimsical Faux Fur Office Chair MakeoverMy Profile

  5. 9

    Awesome use of wood shims. I like the effect with the different colors.
    Audra @ Renewed Projects recently posted…Book-Page Themed Favors and PrizesMy Profile

  6. 11

    Great job on this Katie! I’m thinking of doing something similar for my office. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. 13

    This is absolutely beautiful. You have just inspired me. I have a whole bunch of shims in my car (why, I don’t know).
    Carmody recently posted…My Guest Post- Designer Trapped in a Lawyers Body.My Profile

  8. 14

    This is such a great project! A suggestion: they make this stuff called liquid gilding. It goes on like paint, has the gorgeous metallic shine of gold leaf, and is pretty inexpensive. I’ve seen it in bronze, gold, rose gold, copper, and silver. It would save you time and still give the same look. :)
    Brittany Kemp recently posted…West Elm Knock-off Jewelry BoxMy Profile

    • 15

      Hi Brittany! Is that the same as rub n buff or the liquid gold leaf pen? I had both of those on hand but decided to use gold leafing as my first attempt. Looking back I definitely would have gone with something else to achieve a similar look with less time :) Thanks for the tip!
      Upcycled Treasures recently posted…Whimsical Faux Fur Office Chair MakeoverMy Profile

      • 16

        It’s similar to the liquid gold leaf pen, but easier because you paint it on just like any regular paint! I personally like Martha Stewart’s liquid gilding products, but I know other companies make it as well (and probably for cheaper). The only issue is that it has a really strong smell, so it’s best to work with it outside.
        Brittany Kemp recently posted…Leather CoastersMy Profile

  9. 17

    This is so cool! I love the touch of blue color that goes through it! Thanks for sharing today at our Twirl and Take a Bow party! Hope to see you again next week!

  10. 19

    Love this project. Can you believe that I’ve never used wood shims? I need to get on that!
    Ashley@Biggerthanthethreeofus recently posted…The Ever-Evolving Living RoomMy Profile

  11. 21

    This is so beautiful! I want to try it and can’t wait! I definitely need to get some shims. Thanks for sharing at the HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT linky! I’m glad I clicked on your link!
    Teri recently posted…Doggie DNA Test: What Breeds Make Up Your Mix?My Profile

  12. 23

    This is so cool! I love art like this and if its gilded, then its icing on the cake!
    Jenna recently posted…No-Sew Upholstered Box Spring for when bed rails get in the wayMy Profile

  13. 25

    Love this project! Now I have some inspiration for what to do with the zillions of wood shims I have in my basement. :) Pinning!
    Erin @ DIY on the Cheap recently posted…Adorable Kids ChairsMy Profile

  14. 27

    Very creative. I love making my own wall art.

  15. 28

    This is BEAUTIFUL, Katie. Love the simple color palette <3
    Amy @ Homey Oh My! recently posted…Washi Tape Pens- Guest Post at PBteen Blog!My Profile

  16. 30

    This is totally so cool.You are really coming up with some great projects, so creative lady!! I could almost see putting glass over the top and becoming a serving tray, too!
    Amy W recently posted…Five Tips for hosting a great party + a Tiny Prints CollaborationMy Profile

    • 31

      Funny you mention that because when Eric and I were trying to decide what scrap wood to use as a frame we had considered some poplar wood but then the frame stuck out too far and looked like a tray to me, lol. Of course it wouldn’t be functional at that point because it would be uneven, but using glass to make it even would be a genius idea! I like where your head’s at :)
      Upcycled Treasures recently posted…Whimsical Faux Fur Office Chair MakeoverMy Profile

  17. 32

    Wow! That looks like a lot of work, but look at how fabulous it turned out/11 You go girl!
    “hugs” Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique
    Have a very terrific weekend!!
    Crystelle Boutique recently posted…DIY Project For Your SmartphoneMy Profile

  18. 34

    Very nice! I love the pattern and the touch of gold :)
    Gretchen@BoxyColonial recently posted…Shaking Things Up in the Dining RoomMy Profile

  19. 35

    This is great! I’d love to make something like this! I really love those colors together!
    Kate recently posted…Mandala Tutorial!My Profile

  20. 36

    Wow…alot of work but well worth it..its gorgeous!
    lovin the colors!
    Jen recently posted…~ knockoff restoration hardware shelves using plumbing fixtures ~My Profile

  21. 37

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love the gold, wood, and turquoise together. You are so good!
    Alexis @ Persia Lou recently posted…Happy Spring BannerMy Profile

  22. 39

    This is so awesome–love it!
    Becky recently posted…Under $100 Link PartyMy Profile


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