Updated: Jul 21, 2021
I remember years ago, before I had a studio I would to go to art workshops and often there would be a long wall with nails in it for students to hang their canvases and paint. I have always loved painting straight up much better than the traditional easel with a tilt. I remember putting nails in the wall of the kids playroom (a.k.a the guest room, office, spare room) so I could continue painting this way after I was home from the workshops.
Then a few years ago when my hubby and I designed my art studio I knew I wanted one big wall to paint on. Mark, the hubs, can build anything so I sketched out an idea I had seen from other artists and my Pinterest art studio boards and it ended up being so easy. The only thing you really need is a wall, some wood and screws.
When we bought our house every room had knotty pine wood panels (walls and ceilings) and throughout the last 15 years we've been renovating the rooms one at a time. The house was built in the 1940's and I guess knotty pine was the look back then! We kept some of the wood - you can see in the photo above we used it for the ceiling in my art studio. Each panel was sanded down and left unvarnished. I love that some of the original house is in my studio now.
To make this wall easel - we stripped the knotty pine wood planks into 1x4's, but you can go into Home Depot or Lowes and buy pine wood (or any kind of wood) precut to this size. Then we figured out the dimensions for how many vertical and horizontal strips I would need and cut them to the right lengths.
I drew out a sketch on how I wanted the grid to look and boom! it was done in a couple hours. Just lay the vertical panels in first, screw it in and then do the same with the horizontal panels.
I knew I wanted to hang multiple canvases at once, because I love to work on more than one piece at a time. Mark would measure and drill 2 screws a couple inches apart and was very precise, but when he wasn't looking I just grabbed a hammer and pounded in some nails when I needed more!
Depending on the size of the canvas you may need multiple sets of screws (or nails) as you may paint on different sized canvases the way I do!
Having a wall grid that is almost as tall as it is wide is super helpful if I want to sit at a stool and paint instead of stand. I love the possibilities!
Of course I had to get a photo of my sweet 9 year old lab, Scout in this blog post. I went through a lot of treats to make him sit and stay!
I am so grateful for my handy hubby, but really I think anyone would be able to build this kind of an easel if you have an extra wall to use. And remember it's just nails, so even if it was temporary you can always take it down and paint the wall over again!
This wall easel is one of my most favorite things in.my studio! I love to rearrange the canvases so that this easel is always full even if I am not in a paint session. This way I am always thinking about the next mark I want to make or color I want to choose!