Make a Pet or Baby Gate Inspired by Modern Art

Add stylish safety and separation to door openings, hallways or staircases with a child and baby gate inspired by iconic artist Piet Mondrian.

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Materials Needed:

  • 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" paint-grade plywood
  • T-square
  • circular saw
  • table saw
  • dado blade
  • newspaper or roll of kraft paper
  • painter's tape
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • quart of white latex paint in gloss finish
  • can of black spray paint in gloss finish
  • can of red spray paint in gloss finish
  • can of yellow spray paint in gloss finish
  • can of blue spray paint in gloss finish
  • 3" drywall screws
  • drill
  • roller handle
  • roller sleeve
  • paint pan
  • 6' strips of 2x2" pine
  • 6' planks of 1x3" pine
  • nail gun
  • brads
  • wood glue
  • 8' strip of 1/2" thick by 1 1/2" wide pine trim
  • 8' strip of 1/2" thick by 1" wide pine trim
  • gate latch
  • stud finder
  • level

Determine Proper Measurements

Use a measuring tape to determine the proper width and height of hallway, door or staircase opening. This measurement will account for the gate itself as well as one 2x2" wall support strip, one 1x3" wall support strip and hinges that will attach the gate to the support strips. Tip: Write down the gate dimensions; you'll need them to cut the support strips later on.

Referring to these dimensions, mark 4x8’ sheet of 3/4"-thick paint-grade plywood to size with pencil. Note: Deduct 3" for the combined width of the two support strips, 1/8” per side for hinges and 2” all the way around to account for gate frame.

Next, use T-square to draw perfectly straight lines atop the marks that denote the edges of the gate. Cut the gate to size along the lines using a circular saw.

Paint Plywood, Then Mark Pattern

Once plywood is cut to size, paint sides and edges with glossy white latex paint using roller handle and roller sleeve. Allow at least one hour for paint to dry, then use T-square and pencil to mark a Mondrian-style pattern on both sides.

Tip: Piet Mondrian was known for abstract pieces that included a white background and a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines that were filled in with the three primary colors. Research his paintings and find a favorite, or make his style your own with an original arrangement.

Tape Off and Paint Pattern

After white paint has thoroughly dried, decide proper placement for red, yellow and blue accent colors.

Next, use newspaper or a roll of kraft paper and painter’s tape to section off the portion of the pattern that will be painted the first accent color. This will protect the rest of the surface from any overspray. Once surfaces are protected, spray on the first accent color, keeping can at least 8” from surface, moving back and forth in a slow, controlled manner. Allow at least 30 minutes for spray paint to dry before removing, then repositioning, painter’s tape and paper.

Repeat for all three accent colors and all sections of the pattern.

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