On one of my shopping trips to Re-Use Hawai’i, I picked up reclaimed louvers and painted trim pieces to turn them into wall art. I created a template to aid me in making cool star wars paintings. It helped standardize the size of the artwork and the placement of the cross pieces. These will simply be glued and nailed together. Determining nail length was a challenge for me when I started learning about woodwork. Now, I typically use nails that are long enough to penetrate through the first material and enter at least half-way through the second. While the nails will mechanically fasten the cross piece in place, wood glue creates a chemical bond that will help keep pieces together. I simply squeezed a curved zigzag pattern of glue along the length of each piece and slid them in place. I set the brad nails centered on the cross piece and the perpendicular louvers, hammering them in at a slight angle, then inset the brads with an oversized nail set.
My miter saw made quick work of trimming the louvers flush with the cross pieces. I did not sand out the imperfections because they are sign posts of the wood’s reclaimed history. Orange carbon paper found in family storage aided me in transferring my drawing from paper to wood and will allow me to reproduce these paintings time and time again. I recommend this simple painting project for beginning woodworkers. These also make good use of scrap lumber, and you can scale your paintings or signs either larger or smaller. After 3 layers of no-VOC paint and non-toxic varnish, this fawn is finished. I’m displaying pieces from my woodland collection on our accent wall made with reclaimed louvers, too.