Upcycled Canvas

5 Materials
1 Day

Let just start by saying, I hate throwing things away! I have had this huge canvas for around 10 years now. I used to love the photo! But now as styles change, I thought it was time for an up-cycle! Of course it wasn’t going in the trash! I googled some images of modern pictures/paintings. I came across one similar from World Market and thought hey I can do that! It took some time, but it was fun, easy, and cheap! My favorite things. Try it for yourself! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @justinwray for weekly DIY. 😊

Here is the original photo. As you can see I started painting it in the corner. I will start by saying I made a mistake by trying to cover it with just white paint! Many coats later, I finally decided to try a primer. The grey Rustoleum primer worked magic! I had two bottle laying around from a former project. I used about one and a half on this. Two coats and the old photo was gone!

After the primer was dry, I also made another huge mistake!! I tried covering the canvas in a Krylon off white spray paint. Big mistake. At this point, I thought this is what I was going to call artwork and just leave it. 😂

Behr saved the day! I picked this up at a little store here in Pittsburgh, called Creative Re-use. They sell donations, so you can pick things up super cheap. I think the whole can cost me around a dollar. Win! Once the primer was dry, I used a wall roller and added two coats of this. It covered perfectly! Just don’t forget to not press too hard, you don’t want to stretch the canvas. This created the perfect base for the fun part!

I picked up these craft paints at Michaels. They cost around a dollar a piece. I picked shades that would match my bedroom. The little foam brushes were from Dollar Tree. They sell these in 3 packs, which was perfect because they are all different sizes. Great for creating texture and different patterns! I also picked up some paint brushes and these little paint trays at the Dollar Tree. These trays come in a 6 pack and were great for mixing the different shades!

Sorry the photo is so dark, I was painting at night! I used the little trays and mixed the paint in different shades of grey. Some dark, some cool, some warm, I wanted them to all be in the same family. I mainly used the grey as a base for all the shades. Now this was the fun part! Honestly, I just started on the outside, making lines and circles with dots. I placed a few of the bigger circles where I wanted them. I filled around with lines of dots. This was the part where you second guess if it looks good or not. 😂 It doesn’t really turn out until the whole thing is covered! I LOVE the way this came out! It’s the perfect addition to my bedroom. It looks crazy with so many dots, but blends perfectly with the rest of the room because the colors are a perfect match! Don’t forget, if you make a mistake or don’t like something, just cover it in the white wall paint! I hope you enjoy trying this project! It was a lot of fun and I didn’t have to throw away that old canvas! Reuse and recycle!

This finished product!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Linda
    on Feb 6, 2020

    It is unclear to me what you used to make your circles. Was it the end of the handles?

    • Justin Beiter
      on Feb 6, 2020

      I used a brush and cut the tip off a bit, it made it a little more blunt to paint circles and also the circle sponge brushes. They come in a pack with three different sizes at the Dollar Tree. 😊 It took some creativity, but it got there eventually. 😊

Join the conversation

2 of 43 comments
  • Justin Beiter
    on Feb 10, 2020

    Haha thank you! I really enjoyed making it! Have fun when you do try it out! 😊

  • John Wolf
    7 days ago

    Justin, I LOVE the way this turned out! Very creative of you. I don't know why more people don't buy 2nd hand canvas prints to make their masterpieces. I bet it's cheaper than to buy a blank canvas. I love the colors and the pattern on this. Kudos.

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