Sunday Swap: Paint Chip Wall Art Tutorial

Before the good ole’ Sunday Swap, I want to remind you all that I will be doing a giveaway once we reach 50 followers. We are only 3 followers away…. So tell your momma, your bff, your kid’s school teacher, whoever  to stop by and “follow” Corduroy Dreams.
Thank you.My Sunday Swap today is from Jen at Life, Crafts, and Whatever. I LOVE this cute piece she made completely out of paint chips she got from the hardware store. Amazing!

Hi Corduroy Dreams readers! I’m Jen from Life, Crafts and Whatever. Natalie was kind enough to ask me about doing a blog swap with her (my first!), and I happily accepted! 

Natalie asked me to share a little about me and my blog, so here it goes. I started my blog just a month or so ago, thanks to urging from my husband. I didn’t think that anyone would be interested in my crafts, but it is a nice way to pass the time. Plus, it gives me the motivation to finish projects so I’ll have something to post! I’m a huge fan of thrift stores. I love going through the racks, eyes peeled, looking for that hidden treasure that just needs some spray paint and some love. I love seeing an item in a catalog for $200, and making my own version for a tenth of the price.

I’m a stay at home mommy to three girls, ages 7, 5 and 5 months. I’m married to my super awesome hubby, and we live about half an hour outside of Dallas, TX. My husband is a graphic/web designer at one of the largest churches in Texas.


Today I’m going to share my paint chip wall art tutorial. It’s been featured on House of Hepworths and The Shabby Nest. Talk about an honor! On to the tutorial . . . .
Paint Chip Wall Art

I had a wall in my kitchen that was just begging for some art. I first saw this idea on Mod Podge Rocks and fell in love with it. I saw a cute version on The Boatwright Family Blog too. This was originally inspired by this piece on the Ballard Designs Website. But who wants to pay almost $300 for something you can make for under $10?

My first stop was at Home Depot for some paint chips. I grabbed a stack of different colors (sorry, Home Depot) and brought them home. I then laid them out and removed some of the colors that didn’t work.

I then measured the smaller side, and it measured 3.25 inches, so I got out my cutting mat and my exacto blade and cut the longer side down so it’d be a square. Then it was time to do some math. I knew that I wanted the final piece to be a square, so after doing some multiplication, figured out that my final piece would be 32.5 by 32.5 inches, so 10 squares by 10 squares. So I had hubby stop by Home Depot on the way home from work, and pick up a piece of 4×8 plywood for $8, and they cut it down to size, for free. I heart free. I also had him pick up some blue paint chips, since my neutral color pallet was looking a bit blah. I then painted all the edges of the board a dark brown.

So my next step was to lay out all of my squares, and figure out my pattern. Then I stacked them in order.


So after I stacked them, I laid out a handful of them on a tray covered with tin foil, brought them outside, sprayed them with 3M spray adhesive, brought them back inside, and laid them down and used a card to smooth them down. Then did that about 4 billion times until I was finished with the whole board.

Then, after those were done, I put mod podge on the board and brushed it out. I did three layers of mod podge. I like texture, so I made sure there were a lot of brush strokes in my layers.

I let those dry for a day, and then got out some wood stain. I used Minwax “Dark Walnut”. I would put on a layer, take most of it off, let it dry, and then repeat. I did three layers of the stain.

Hubsters says I always look mad in pictures. I think I look like I’m concentrating.

If after you put on all the layers of stain, but there are just a couple of paint chips that are still too bright, you can just put the stain on those ones, let it sit, and then gently wipe it off.

Excuse the camera flash, it was the only way I could get the mod podge texture to show up. The stain would settle in the crevices, but I like that.

One of the things that hubby and I loved so much about the Ballard Designs piece was the gold sheen to it. So on the final coat of the mod podge that I put on top of everything, I added some shimmery gold craft paint in a ratio of one part gold paint to 4 parts mod podge, give or take.

So after you have your super amazing hubby hang it…

You are left with this!

You can see the gold sheen in this pic.
Hubby told me to “Vanna White” it.

*I stacked my paint chips in order from 1 to 100.  But somewhere between stacking them, spraying them with glue, and laying them out, they got out of order. Luckily I was going for a random pattern, so it didn’t matter anyway. But if you’re going for a specific pattern, it’d be worth numbering them all. Don’t press too hard, or you’ll see the indentations on the front.
*Use a darker stain than you think you’ll need. Since you’re wiping most of it off, a lighter color isn’t going to show at all. Always remember that it’s easier to add than it is to remove.

Are you going to make one? I had the mod podge, stain, gold paint, and 3M glue already. So with the free paint chips (Thank you Home Depot), I paid $8 for the board. And I have a ton of wood left over, hubby wants me to make an all blue and gray one for the master bathroom. So this project cost me under $10.

If you make your own paint chip art, please link back and let me know so I can check it out. Happy Crafting!


Thanks, Jen. I’m thinking I might need to try something like this for my upcoming basement re-do. Also, Please check out the tutorial I’ll be sharing on her blog here.




  1. Deshalb spricht man auch von Freiklettern (engl.: Climbing, Freeclimbing).
    Mindestteilnehmerzahl sechs Kinder (inkl. Kosten bei 6 bis 9 Kindern: 6 Kinder für 115 €
    / jedes weitere Kind 8 € / jeder weitere Erwachsene 15 € Kosten bei 10 bis 14 Kindern: 169 € pauschal (Kostenaufwand
    für zweiten Trainer) Kosten ab dem 15 Kind: jedes weitere Kind 8 € / jeder weitere Erwachsene 15 € Wenn
    der Outdoor-Hochseilgarten und Flying-Fox zugebucht werden soll,
    verlängert sich der Kindergeburtstag um eine
    halbe Stunde auf 3,5 Stunden gesamt.

  2. This is brilliant AND you did such a great job!

    I’ve worked with mod podge for years and love it! One thing I might suggest is to use mod podge on the backs on the paint chips (to glue them to the board) instead of the spray adhesive. If it looks like it might be coming up around the edges just wait a few minutes and smooth it down with your hand or a cloth. I might also use the mod podge over the top of the pieces as I go if you need them to stay down. That’s the great thing about mod podge…you can’t really ruin anything with it!

    Again…great job!


  3. Thank you so much for the awesome idea!! I’m currently in the process of making my own right now, and added an extra step that gave me more of the original look. Before the Mod Podge, I went through with the gold paint and distressed the heck out of it. Basically, went up and down each row (to break it down further – went vertically about 4 rows at a time, and then ran over it horizontally to spread the paint – does that make sense?); let it dry, and did the same process horizontally. It’s really taking on an awesome effect right now!! Not only has the gold really caused the colors to pop, but it’s also hiding any imperfections (like my gaps and couple crooked ones – yay for being impatient!) as I go 🙂 Can’t wait to see it when I’m all done!

  4. I’ve been wanting to make one of these, but I have a question. How did you hang the plywood on the wall? Did you attach picture hangers or is it too heavy for that?


  5. I love it !!!
    I am going to try this !!!!
    I did find one that is M. Monroe I love it !!!!
    I have always wanted to do something with my stair way !!!
    I want a family tree( the branches and leaves would be were you put the photos) going all through the foyer and up the stair way to my studio !!! What do you think ?
    Let me know ok !!
    Thanks Marie
    I have been trying to figure for years how to do this . I think Paint chips would work ( abstract tree ) not sure yet !!! but I am loving the paint chip art !!!!

  6. I'm here from the swap. Your wreath is amazing. I actually have it bookmarked to try it one day. I'm your newest follower.

  7. this sounds like a fun summer project for me! i've received soooo many funny project ideas from this blog! love this blog! 🙂

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