DIY Dragged Paint Wall Art



Although wall art is endlessly fun to look at and shop for, the reality is, most pieces (especially large-scale ones) are so costly you could design an entire room for just that price tag!

When decorating Cloe’s dining room, I knew we could have our cake and eat it too — a beautiful, large piece of shining, sophisticated wall art, but on a college girl’s budget!

Starting with the decision to use a piece of plywood instead of a canvas (saving major $!), this process is wallet-friendly and so much fun to make! (Almost as fun as it is to look at and enjoy in your decorated space.)


Prep It:

Large piece of plywood
Many shades of gray paint
Large drywall spreader
Silver glitter
Silver leaf pages
Power drill
6 silver standoffs


Do It!:

  1. Start by painting your plywood piece white, or the lightest shade of gray you have. This ensures that there will be no wood peaking through in the final design!
  2. To make your painting, pour little puddles of different shades of gray in a vertical line on one edge of the plywood. Use your spreader to swipe/ drag the paint horizontally across the plywood. You don’t need to make straight lines, have fun waving the lines around!
  3. Continue this process until you have covered the canvas and are happy with your design. Use the paintbrush and spatula if needed to get exactly the lines/ look you were going for!
  4. To add some sparkle, sprinkle silver glitter lightly across one of the paint stripes when it is still wet. The glitter will stick to the paint as it dries!
  5. Once the paint is dry, add even more shine by transferring pieces of silver leaf across the design.
  6. When you’re all done, measure halfway across the plywood sheet and mark two spots — one close to the top and one close to the bottom. Mark 4 other spots across the corners of the plywood.
  7. Drill holes through each of these spots. Then, with the help of a friend, hold the plywood up to the wall where you want it to hang and mark through the holes onto the wall, so that they line up.
  8. Drill where marked on the wall, and hang the painting using your standoffs. DIY perfection!



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Hi Mr Kate, what size is this plywood and what type of paints did you use?

Venissa timbreza

I was thinking this could be done with blues... I want a big piece for behind my bed... I am thinking of doing my bedroom in beach theme... and this as almost waves? How would mr. Kate change it to reflect the beach theme ?


Hi Venissa! A beach theme sounds awesome! Focus on blues and whites to get that wave like look, and instead of silver glitter and leafing, opt for gold to get that sun reflecting off the water look, maybe!! Let me know how it comes out! XO


Hi Mr. Kate. Am absolutely wowed by this wall art. Could you please tell me how to apply the silver leaf. I have no idea how to go about that... Is it glued over??


Hi Omara!! Applying silver leaf is luckily really easy! You remove it from the backing, then place it down on the surface and gently brush it down into place. I go over the process in a little more detail in this tutorial: XOXO


Hi Mr Kate, I was wondering if you can use a large canvas panel instead of the plywood? Thank you.


Hi Sandra! You can, but since canvas is textured, the final painting will have a different finish and texture to it!


I love this diy! I'm attempting a version of it tomorrow. I was recently able to buy my grandparents' home back into the family and am slowly fixing it up a room at a time. It can be a bit overwhelming at times, so I love coming here to see ideas on projects I can do myself! Thank you for all of the fun inspiration! Also, I tour with the show The Book of Mormon. You and Joey should come see it when we are in LA this summer at the Pantages!


Thank you so much, Sonya!! I hope yours turned out amazing!! XOXO


It looks really nice and creative wall painting . Great!

Andrea O Waldron

I love love love this idea!! I need a giant piece of art for a blank wall, thanks for the inspo!


Glad you like it!! XO