DIY Painted Map on Antiqued Wood

Maps and antique wood. It takes a really amazing trend for this go-against-the-flow kind of gal to jump on board. Well, I have hook, line, and sinker. I love antiqued wood, pallet artwork, and am planning on decorating our den in a world/travel/missions theme. Yes, it can be a cohesive theme… I think. We will see as I reach completion.

The first piece I am making for it is a really awesome mantel piece. I do not have a mantel that fits our fire place yet, but once I do this will look awesome on it. At least I hope so since I have already spent an awesome amount of time on it, and am only half done.

Today I want to share with you the first part of it. It is a painted map on pallets. You’ll just have to wait and see part two of it when I finally finish it. Perhaps over the weekend.

The Pallet

If you do not have a pallet you will need to make one. I had old crate lids my husband brought home from work. If you do not have one you can make it out of new wood, and antique it (instructions below), or make one out of old pallets. All you need is pieces of wood of similar, or same length, nailed to a back strip of wood. Simple.

The Antiqued Pallet

After a good scrubbing, I used this tutorial on how to make the wood look antique. I made the tea and rust mixture over a month ago, and it have just been using it as needed.

Printing Out The Map
Next thing you need to do is print out the pieces of the map. 

Tape the pieces of your map together.

Chalk Transfer
Knowing how to do a chalk transfer has vastly changed my crafting potential. I use it all the time!

Cover the back of your piece of paper(s) with chalk. I used white chalk here, and it have since found that is not the best route. It is best to use a brightly colored chalk pastel, I like blue. The pastels are softer, so they transfer better and you can see if you have fully covered an area. 

Tape your paper to the piece of wood to which you want to transfer the design. Use a pen to trace over your design. I have also learned that a colored pen is good for this as you can see better where you have traced. 

When you lift the paper you should have a chalk transfer that you can then trace with pencil or pen. 

Since I used regular chalk I actually had quite a few places I had to free had parts of the world… my apologies to anyone who landed in the ocean or had their livelihood lost as they were then miles and MILES from the sea.

Painting the Map

This is the funnest part, I did most of it while watching a chick flick while Mark was gone (or maybe he was reading…) and the kids were asleep. 

I did couple layers of paint with a paint brush. 

Plus a few layers of paint marker along the edges and for the small islands. 

So, four layers of detailed work, to make it look smooth… 

Then I distressed it. I love the distress look but it distressed me distressing a piece I stressed over looking smooth and perfect.

I used steel wool, but am a wimp so all you see is the baby washcloth I used to hold the steel wool. I guess I could have taken a picture of me touching that horrid prickly stuff, but I like to keep it real around here. So, admitting to being a wimp it is. Or maybe it is just brilliant. I will stick with that. I am brilliant. 

Now, to just finish it… and show you the next part which I am being very secretive about. Let us just say it involves four trendy things, maps, antiqued wood, string, and word art with a few words from the greatest man to have ever walked the earth- Jesus. Ok, so perhaps I am just being a little secretive about it. Any guesses?


  1. Hello! I am not sure what you scripture verse you wrote on the map. I my self am trying to draw a map for my husband as a Christmas gift. I want to write a scripture verse on it, but not sure which one yet.

    • I will be adding part of the great commission “…and make disciples”. I was hoping to have it finished by now but have been unable to complete it.

  2. That is wonderful! I am writing two verses. Revelation 5:9-10 and probably the great commission as well. Thank you so much for posting this.

  3. Great project! Just stumbled across this now while trying to make a Christmas gift for a friend. What kind of paint did you use – oil or acrylic? Also, what is this paint marker you mentioned, and where can I buy one?


    • Either paint should work. I think I used oil as it was leftover wall paint. As far as the marker, you can get them at most craft stores or on Amazon. I think I even got mine at our local Walmart.

  4. This is about the tenth tutorial I’ve looked at for creating a map like this, but yours was the first to talk about chalk transfers! I was really hoping there was an easier way and I’m glad I found it! Thank you.

  5. Simply make a wooden appliance box. They are around for hundred
    years and also still work good.


  1. […] can also do a chalk transfer (instructions here) then trace the chalk outline with a pencil and wash away the […]