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Dowel Starburst Wall Art

Perfect for rooms with long walls or high ceilings, this easy-to-make wall sculpture adds sparks of color and a delicate but dramatic shape.

Dowel starburst hung on a wall

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Jigsaw and fine-tooth blade
  • Drill and 3/16-in bit
  • Miter box and handsaw or pruning shears
  • Circle compass
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Screwdriver


  • 15-in pine round, #114105
  • 20 - 3/16-in poplar round dowels, #19376
  • Quart can with lid, #27318
  • D-ring hanger, #264577
  • Valspar Signature paint, 8-ounces: Vivid Orange (#2011-3), Ripe Pomegranate (#2009-3)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown.

Missing anything? Shop Online

Project Resources


Step 1

Using a compass, mark a 7-inch-diameter circle on the pine round. (Avoid touching the rounded edge.) Cut out the circle with a jigsaw and sand the edges smooth.

Step 2

Print and assemble the drilling pattern. Wrap it around the edge of the circle and hold it in place with clear tape.

Step 3

Drill the top row of holes at a slight angle.

Choose which side of the disk will face out on the finished project and clamp the back side against a work surface. As you drill the top row of holes, point the bit toward the center of the disk but tilt the drill up slightly. This will make the front dowels stand out from the wall.

Good to Know

For consistent drilling depth, attach a stop collar or wrap a tape flag around the drill bit 1 inch from the tip.

Step 4

Drill the bottom row of holes 90 degrees to the surface.

Drill 1-inch-deep holes on the bottom row (the one that will be closest to the wall) where marked on the template. For this row, drill 90 degrees to the surface of the circle.

Step 5

Cut a 22-inch piece from each 3/16-inch dowel. Then cut the leftover portion of the dowels to 24 inches long. (You should have 20 of each.) Lightly sand the dowels smooth.

Step 6

In a clean, empty quart can, pour 8 ounces of paint. Tilt the can at a 45-degree angle and dip a dowel into the can and rotate it. Remove the dowel and tape it upside down against a table edge so the paint will drip off the end before it dries. Repeat for the remaining dowels using different colors as desired.

Step 7

Dilute four tablespoons of your choice of paint with an equal amount of water and stir thoroughly. Brush the thinned paint onto the 7-inch disk on the front, back, and edges. Then wipe off the excess paint with a soft cloth to leave behind a color wash.

Step 8

Finished starburst showing dowel angle

Screw the hanger into the back of the disk. Then insert the dowels in alternating lengths and colors. If a dowel fits loosely in a hole, dab glue on the end of the dowel and insert. Let the glue dry completely before hanging the project.