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?


Please Note: All designs are for personal use only and remain the copyright of Upcycled Treasures, and cannot be changed, resold or redistributed in any way.

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    • says

      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

  1. says

    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

      • says

        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

  2. says

    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!

    • says

      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 :)
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