A DIY wood sound diffuser is usually used for acoustic purposes. In my case, I made it purely for aesthetics. I've seen many versions of this idea but decided to make cheerful, dynamic wall art.
There is much information online about what type of wood you need for an acoustic sound diffuser. Since we are making it for the art, we don't need to go into detail about all the specifications. Let's just settle that soft woods and pine are good!
I used 2x2" select pine wood; it is more expensive, but I thought since I'm cutting 1" pieces at an angle, that would look nicer.
To save on the cost of a DIY wood sound diffuser, you can use the cheapest 2x2". It will require more sanding, but I'm sure will also look lovely.
This project is simple to make, and you could whip it up in a weekend. When I started cutting these pieces, the blade guard on my miter saw broke, and I had to postpone the final result. Watch the video on YouTube to see what difficulties I faced and how to change a miter saw guard blade.
Since I decided to paint all the pieces by hand, it took me longer than it could. More about that later.
You can make any design with colors, but let me explain "there will be a light" thing".
My idea was to create an even from dark to sun/light. I don't think I succeeded since when I finished and my daughter looked at it, she saw... guess what?
haha, that was unexpected. I thought of changing it but realized that art is supposed to provoke a feeling in you. And if it's a fish for my daughter, let's be it!
The size of my DIY wood sound diffuser wall art is 42x26" (without frame), but the beauty of this project is that you can customize it to your liking, including the size, color, and shape of the pieces.
How do you make a sound diffuser wall art?
Step 1 - sand and cut the pieces.
First, you'd need to sand the boards. It's much easier to sand the longboard than individual pieces. Since I used select pine for this project, the sanding was minimal.
To cut the pieces at an angle, you'd need a miter saw. I cut my pieces at a 22.5-degree angle. The longer side is 1", and the shorter is ½".
The smaller pieces were made intentionally to remove some weight from the overall wall art. Since I didn't care about the acoustic effect, it could be smaller. But do your research about traveling sound and how long the pieces need to be if you want to use us as a DIY sound diffuser.
I'm sure there is a better way to cut it on the table saw, by creating a special jig. To me, it was easier to cut it on the miter saw.
Not going to lie; that took a while. At some point, I started to cut two boards at the time and wish I had done it from the beginning. That speeded up the work.
When boards got to 4", instead of risking my fingers, I left them behind.
I made a mark on the miter saw so I wouldn't have to measure the angle each time. There was a lot of back and forth involved, and took me a few hours to cut them all.
PIN TO MAKE LATER
Step 2 - Finishing
I decided to have 17 rows and 27 columns. This probably shouldn't matter to you since you can make the size that fits your needs.
When all 459 pieces were cut, I lightly sanded every individual piece.
Step 3 - dry fit
After all the pieces were ready, I laid them down to see how they fit.
They looked so gorgeous that I was debating whether I should just stain them instead of painting them with color. But if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I always choose the color.
Step 4 - cut the back.
When you line up all the blocks on a ¼" plywood sheet and decide on rows and columns, draw the line around the edge and cut ¼" plywood to size.
If you don't have a jigsaw or table saw at home, you can ask any home improvement store to cut it for you.
Step 5 - paint (optional)
I wanted a dramatic effect like a light coming out from the darkness.
As usual, I chose my favorite acrylic paints in various blues, yellows, browns, and oranges.
You could spray paint blocks, saving you a lot of time. I wanted to see the grain as I did on building blocks a while back. So using acrylic paint and drops of water, I made a paint wash of sorts. It's thin enough to show the grain but still has color.
It's purely up to you what route you decide to go.
There is no real rule about painting pieces. Just one piece of advice - it will probably take longer than you think. Perfect for a chill night with Netflix. It was a therapeutic experience for me, I finished a season of some silly tv show, and it took me overall about 5 hours to paint all the pieces.
I started by painting yellows since it's always better to start with light colors, but then switched my strategy and continued with blues. As soon as it'd dry, I would put it on the base and arrange it as I go. This way, I could see if there are too many blocks of one color.
I love the colors! They are vibrant, dynamic, and overall mesmerizing.
Step 6 - glue
After you arrange colors and are satisfied with this sound diffuser wall art, you can proceed to glue wooden blocks to the board.
To glue blocks to the board, you'd need wood glue. It's easier to apply glue in rows or columns. I took off the last raw and shifted all blocks down.
Get a straight board and lay it next to the edge - this way, you will be sure the edge of the wall art is straight and even.
Put a bit of glue on the board and press blocks down. Let it dry overnight.
Step 7 - make a frame.
You can opt out of the frame, but I decided to make one. I made the same frame as the butterfly pin board that I made before. Simply measure the length of the wall art and cut 1x2"s at a 45-degree angle on the miter saw.
To attach it, I used a brad nailer and drove brad nails directly through the blocks.
What do you think? I love the colors! It's such a cheerful sound diffuser wall art; it makes me smile every time I look at it.
I plan to have it in my office to lighten up the mood. And now I see a fish in there all the time haha