Making a Painted Quilt Block or Barn Quilt

Every once in a while, I get together with my mom and sisters to have a Craft Day. It's fun to catch up and be creative for a little bit. 

We got together recently and decided to all paint quilt blocks. The other name for these is Barn Quilts. Barn Quilts are really popular the Midwest of the United States. They are giant quilts painted on the sides of barns.  I really want one on my shed!

This is how we made our Barn Quilts. 

We started out with some well sanded, 8 x 8 inch wood blocks. These ones are about 2 inches thick. Then we lightly drew a quilt block pattern onto the wood. 

Wooden Block with Pencil Lines

Having the wood be 8 x 8 inches made it easier to use a four square quilt block, because it can be divided into four sections. So I drew a two inch grid onto the wood, then added any additional lines for the pattern. 

Then, we started painting. We used acrylic craft paint.

Start with the lighter colors first because they are easier to cover up mistakes with the dark colors. Dark colors are really hard to cover with light colors. 

Some of us used blue painters tape to mask off the sections. When doing this be careful for bleeding under the tape. Start with a light coat of paint and let it dry completely. Then add more coats of paint to get your desired opacity. 

Painting on the Wooden Blocks

Some of us decided not to use the tape and just to carefully follow the lines. Smaller brushes help with accuracy. Here is my mom working on her block. 

Free hand Painting the quilt block

When I finished filling in the sections, I went back with a tiny brush to fix some problem areas. 

Finishing up

Then I painted the sides. 

Here is the finished block! It is not perfect but I love how it turned out.

Final product

Here is my sister's "Fuzzy Pineapple" Barn Quilt. She did this all freehand. 

Fuzzy Pineapple Quilt block painting

These will not stand up to the elements outside. These are good inside wall hangings.  I added a sawtooth hanger to use to hang on the wall. 

I want to do this activity again! My mom enjoys this kind of "quilting."

Have fun quilting!


  • Hi Tracie!
    I usually get them at a local craft store. There is also a store near me that specializes in wood for crafts. They have a good selection. Also, most hardware stores can help cut down boards for you. Thanks for asking!

  • where do you get the 8×8×2 boards?

    Tracie Gilliland
  • Check out YouTube! A woman uses sample jars from Home Depot if chosen exterior paints but before she does, she places 2 coats of white exterior primer on the blocks. Being an artist, I would choose a medium tone color like beige or light grey instead to prime the wood.

    Maureen Komperda
  • Hi Janet.
    I think house paint would totally work. I think if you use that then you wouldn’t need a clear coat. I would talk to your local hardware/paint store to get their opinion to be sure.
    Thanks for asking!

    Becky Smith
  • would like one to go on my two sheds. How do you do the outside ones? What paint? Is it the paint you would use on the outside of an house? What kind of clear covering over the paint or should it just be painted?
    Janet Schiltz

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