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Tips to Refresh an Old Canvas into New Wall Art

One of my favorite ways to decorate my home, is to shop the pile of junk in my basement. Not only am I saving money, but I am repurposing clutter into a new home decor item.

If you have an old canvas, large picture, or thrifted a cheap piece of artwork, this is an easy way to paint turn it into new wall art!

Old Canvas or Thrifted Artwork Makeover

Before you rush out to buy a new piece of wall art for you home, take a look at that pile of clutter that you already have.

You might find a few hidden gems that can be turned into a brand new work of art with a little paint.

Shop your home, check out a yard sale, or thrift store for items that can be updated.

Then browse online for inspiration for your old canvas makeover. It helps if you have a rough idea of what you are looking for and can even try to recreate it.

I found this Pottery Barn painting selling online for nearly 400 dollars! The painting was beautiful, but I was not paying this price for a small piece of art.

I like to change things in my home often, so I find it best to shop thrift stores or make things to save money.

old canvas

Plus it is so satisfying when you can replicate an expensive piece for only a few dollars out of pocket.

The fact that you saved so much money on the item, will make you enjoy it even more than the real thing.

How to Update an Old Canvas Painting

You can find blank canvas in a variety of sizes at any craft store or you can update a canvas that you have on hand.

There are a few ways to update a canvas, but I decided to wrap mine in wallpaper.

I recommend using a thick material such as wallpaper or contact paper to cover your canvas.

The wallpaper that I used for this project is paintable and has texture to make my painting a little more interesting.

This pottery barn dupe looks best with a little texture because it looks more like the original design.

Browse online and find some inspiration for your canvas, so you can try to recreate your own work of art.

There are so many times that I bought home decor and I am over it, so quickly.

The things that I have made for my home have been my favorite items, and they make me feel so proud that I made that.

I also, made pottery barn knock off basket wall art for under $20, and I love how they came out. The originals were selling for over $300!

old canvas makeover
Canvas Before

Covering the Old Canvas

Before ordering your wallpaper or contact paper make sure that you will have enough material to overlap your canvas.

You should have at least an inch of overlap to cover the sides of the canvas.

If you accidentally ordered a wallpaper that is too short, you could still adhere it to the canvas.

Once you paint over the sides of the canvas, the paint should help cover the sides.

Wood Frame

Another option is to add a frame to your diy canvas art with common board.

The common board will act as a floating frame on the outside of the canvas.

I planned on adding a frame to my canvas at some point, so standby because I will be posting about that soon.

Attaching the Wallpaper

To attach the wallpaper to your old canvas you will need a staple gun, scissors, and staples.

Lay the canvas down flat and place the wallpaper overtop of the canvas.

Then cut the wallpaper with scissors, making sure to leave at least an inch of overlap.

The wallpaper should overlap all sides of the canvas, so you can properly secure it.

Watch the video to get a better idea of how to make your own diy canvas art.

Stapling the Wallpaper to the Canvas

Grab a staple gun and extra staples, to start attaching the wallpaper.

Firmly press the staple gun against a side of the canvas, making sure to space the staples 1-2 inches.

After I finished the right side of the canvas, I moved onto the left side.

Make sure the wallpaper is stretched tightly to the left side then staple it in place.

Following the same steps for all remaining sides until the wallpaper is attached.

Make sure to watch the video to get a better idea of how to make your own diy canvas art.

Wallpaper Corners on Canvas

There should be an overlap of wallpaper on the ends of the canvas that need to be tucked back.

The wallpaper should be folded cleaning like you are wrapping a gift as seen below.

Once the wallpaper is laying flat against the side, you can secure it in place with a staple.

diy canvas art
Attaching corners

Painting the Wallpaper

If you went with a paintable wallpaper then grab your paint and brushes to finish your old canvas makeover.

I used scrap paint from miscellaneous projects in my home, so this would match my home decor. If you are more artistic this will come out much better and you might find it helpful to use acrylic paints.

Recently I painted my master bathroom vanity green, so I wanted to bring this same color into my master bedroom.

old canvas

On a paper plate, I mixed different shades of green, gray, white and black. The nice thing about this project is that it is easy to paint and you can’t mess it up.

If you don’t love how a color turned out or didn’t blend well, simply add more paint to blend it in.

Tips and Tricks to Painting an Old Canvas

If you want to put more detail into your abstract canvas painting then I recommend using a smaller paint brush.

I am not artistic at all, so I just used a random paint brush and a roller that I had on hand.

The nice about abstract, is that if you mess up you can easily blend colors over top to fix your mistake.

If you are not satisfied with your diy canvas art, you can paint over it with a shade of white and try again.

My old canvas makeover isn’t perfect, but I had fun making it and it was inexpensive.

It was easy to make and matches my color scheme perfectly and brings a little texture to my room.

Plus it used up some samples of paint that I had laying around. For even more thrifted artwork ideas take a look at Our Southern Home.

If you are looking for other easy things to paint then you will enjoy some of my other projects.

thrifted artwork
My DIY Canvas Art!

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