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My Finished Resin Petri Display Wall

I’ve spent the last two days working on a big display of all of my resin petri discs (pretty circles of clear resin with alcohol inks suspended in them), and I’m so happy with how it turned out! It’s so bright and colorful, and y’all know that I can’t get enough color. Here’s how it turned out…

I decided to keep it super simple. No lights, no colored backings, no gold accents. Just white canvases with colorful discs. I like the simplicity of it. I did try adding gold accents to the sides of the canvases, but it was just too busy for my taste.

For this project, I used these 5″ x 5″ wood panels (affiliate link), and I was very impressed with the quality. Out of five packs of 10 panels, I only had one panel that had a little ding in the corner. The rest were perfect.

I also thought they were the perfect thickness at 3/4-inch.

The process as really very simple, although I did have 45 of them, so it was pretty time-consuming. I used a little 3-inch roller to prime and paint the panels. I used my original favorite primer, Zinsser Oil-Based Cover Stain, and then sanded the panels very quickly with 220-grit sandpaper before rolling on two coats of Behr Polar Bear in a satin finish.

After all of the panels were dry, I used my hot glue gun to glue the resin discs to the panels. And then came the hard part. I had to arrange them like I wanted them on the wall, in nine rows of five. Green was definitely over-represented, so getting the colors all disbursed in a way that I thought looked balanced took a bit of time, but this is what I finally settled on.

And then I was finally ready to put them on the wall. I considered so many different ways to attach these to the wall, but in the end, I decided to use hot glue. I know that some of you could never imagine using hot glue on your wall, and of course, there are plenty of other options. This option appealed to me because once they’re on the wall, they will stay put. They won’t be knocked out of line as I walk by and brush up against them. They won’t shift if I come in the back door and slam the door a little too hard. I just couldn’t have a display of 45 squares that constantly needed to be adjusted.

I would generally use 3M picture hanging strips for something like this, but I had two issues with that option. First, buying enough for 45 panels would have been expensive. And also, those picture hanging strips are thick, so the panels would have stood away from the wall just a bit, and the strips would have shown.

So with all of that in mind, I opted for hot glue. Starting with the middle row, I found the center of the display area, and I started with the center panel. And then I used my level to get the center row level, and I used a scrap piece of 1″ x 2″ lumber for the spacing. And using those tools, plus the hot glue gun, I worked out from the center disc.

I went into much more detail about how to hang a big gallery wall (which is basically what this is) when I installed the butterfly gallery wall in the water closet of our bathroom. If you’d like more detail about the process, you can see that here: Grid Gallery Wall Using 25 Free Butterfly Illustration.

One important thing to keep in mind when doing a grid gallery wall with this many items is that no matter how hard you try, and no matter how much of a perfectionist you are, it will never be perfect. As a perfectionist, I hate to admit that, but it’s true. You just have to make slight adjustments as you go, and know that once the wall is viewed as a whole, those slight imperfections probably won’t stand out at all.

It took quite a while to get all 45 panels on the wall, especially because I started to second guess myself about halfway through. I started to question the position of the arrangement that I had chosen, and wondered if it would look better centered between the cabinet on the right and the casing on the left rather than what I had done, which is to center the display between the thermostat on the right and the casing on the left.

So at about the halfway mark, I took the panels on the first column off of the wall (which was surprisingly easy to do with a rubber mallet, and it didn’t damage the wall), and moved those to the right side instead. That made the whole arrangement almost dead center on the wall. And I hated it. That made one of the panels right up against the thermostat — the round thermostat — which threw everything off visually as it made it look like the thermostat was trying to be a part of the whole arrangement, but had fallen out of line. My brain couldn’t handle that. 😀 So I removed that row again, and moved them back to the left side.

I’m fine with this arrangement and the placement because the cabinet doors can open completely without hitting any of them.

And that’s it! Here’s how the final wall arrangement looks as of this morning with the tools put away (or shoved out of view 😀 ). And you’ll notice that I still have to caulk and paint the baseboards. This wall arrangement project took longer than I expected, so I didn’t make any progress on any of the trim this weekend.

But who even cares about trim when we can look at all of this glorious color?

I just can’t get enough of it. And my absolute favorite thing about it is that it’s visible from the kitchen sink. So I can stand at my sink and wash dishes and see all of this magnificent color.

Of course, the view from the kitchen is more like this side view, but I love the side view also.

Of course, you’ll never get the full impact of the wall in pictures. Sadly.

The beauty of these resin and alcohol ink petri discs is the 3D effect where you can see the “movement” of the alcohol ink suspended inside the resin. And that’s hard to capture in photos.

But at least you can appreciate the color. Here are three pictures showing the straight on view of all 45 of the petri discs.

I’m so pleased with how this turned out!

And next up, I’m going to mount and hang the huge landscape design plan. Y’all, that thing is 52 inches wide and 78 inches tall! It’s HUGE and glorious, and I can’t wait to see it on the wall. So stay tuned for that.

 

 

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37 Comments

  1. W O W!! They are beautiful and look just perfect on the wall. And don’t compete with the paint swatch cabinet. I understand how you got them spaced evenly on the wall, but how did you center the petri dishes so perfectly?

    1. That’s my question: how did you get the discs placed so perfectly on the wood????

      They look beuatiful!

    2. I eyeballed the placement of those. I’m pretty good at eyeballing things like that, but I can assure you that they’re not perfect. 😀 But again, when they’re displayed in a huge grouping like this, no one is going to notice those minor imperfections.

  2. Those are gorgeous! They must be absolutely amazing in light catching, three-dimensional real life!

  3. Awesome! Great job and they look fabulous. I love color like you do, I think they are gorgeous.
    Cheers!

  4. I remember when you made the petri discs and I thought then how beautiful they were. This wall display is gorgeous and happy you found a way to use them

  5. I love it when you tell us how pleased you are with your decisions after a project is finished. This one is a colorful home run.

  6. This is stunning! The perfect placement, the perfect colors, the perfect display – I love it!

  7. Kristi, it’s beautiful! I wish I had a box of resin-filled discs to display!
    I have a question (maybe you’ve covered this before): how do you paint something small like the wooden planks that you probably hold in your hand? Do you go back later and paint the part that you were holding?

  8. GORGEOUS! I would lose my mind trying to do something like this, but you always pull off the impossible!

  9. I love this exactly how you did it. It’s gorgeous, and even in the first picture I loved the placement…I knew that had to be hard. I loved those when you were making them, and I always wondered where they went. I doubt you were planning this back then. Do you still have the instructions on how to do these in your archives? I want to try that someday too. By the way…good call on spreading them a little away from that thermostat. I saw that right away as well and thought it was the right call. I’m glad you didn’t add the gold…too much of a good thing can be…too much. 😉

  10. I love the round dishes in the square wood. The colors are wonderful, also. Anxious to see the landscape giant on the wall. You will be ready to clean the floors pretty soon and then on to the bathroom??
    Keep up the colorful work!
    Glad you have not floated away.

  11. Oh my gosh. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! It looks PERFECT on the wall next to your pink cabinets! You outdid yourself!

  12. Wow. This is a wonderful to look at wall. I applaud you on your little petri dish resins.

  13. It looks fantastic, Kristi. Beautiful work. So glad you thought to use them and also that you kept it simple.

  14. This is absolutely beautiful! Love, love, love the idea of hot gluing to the wall.
    I’ve been following your blogs for years. I absolutely love the way you write, your explanations (for and against) and of course your amazing talent. You inspire me every time!
    Very much appreciated! From Queensland, Australia 🇦🇺

  15. You never fail to amaze me – pure perfection – Love it!

    Always a fan of your talent

  16. The spoon art. The butterfly art. Resin art. Is there anything you CAN’T do? LOVE the resin art!

  17. LOVE! Quite a few years ago I ordered two of your resin pieces for the guest room through Etsy (I was decorating for grandchildren visits).They are still so beautiful and catch the morning sunlight. Such a treasure.

  18. I never would have thought of hanging with hot glue – but makes total sense. It would drive me crazy to fix them constantly too!

    My question is – did you use the industrial/contractor grade hot glue you’ve mentioned before in other posts?