3 Easy Steps for Repurposing Old Canvas Art

I found this oversized art for $14.99 and was originally drawn to the frame only. But over time, I didn't' have the heart to paint this old canvas...even if it did represent old 1960's reproduction art you'd find in motels. I give old pieces "a chance" before I tackle them with a paint brush. The seascape grew on us...so I found a temporary solution by creating "new" art that I can change with the seasons, and still display the seascape if we want to at a later date.
Backgrounds can be changed with each season.
I found this reproduction art from the 1960's. At first my instinct was to cover the canvas permanently...but I hung the piece in its original form over my mantel for several months before I repurposed it.
Here it is before. As a family we decided the gold frame wasn't quite working with our decor. So I opted to paint the frame only...yet still retain the seascape image to display at a later date.

Step 1: PAINTING THE FRAME --> Since I was salvaging the original art, I taped it off carefully...and drybrushed the frame to a color that blended with my decor yet still complemented the art. For $14.99, this oversized frame was a steal.

Step 2: COVER THE CANVAS with a BACKGROUND IMAGE (Temporarily or permanently). Using a tape measure and exacto knife. I cut this barnwood paper to-size to cover the canvas. I did not want a permanent solution because as a family, we all decided that we liked the original art (which has almost no value) but the seascape was something that we wanted to display again. If you want to permanently cover the art, then you can Mod Podge. (where to buy the paper is in the blog post). Because I wanted only to temporarily cover my canvas, I sprayed the back of this paper with repositionable adhesive spray. This way I can easily remove the barnwood look, change it...or even display the original seascape again.

Step 3: Come visit the blog to see the final result!

Full home tour and all of my sources are in the link below.
In order to dry brush the frame, I lightly taped off the image, then painted the frame. Then carefully removed the tape.
The end result!
I tacked down this image with repositionable spray so it would be removable -- and I could still display the original seascape.
Come visit SnazzyLittleThings.com for the final reveal and information on where to buy the supplies!
Jeanette @SnazzyLittleThings.com
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 8 questions
  • Lst9777247 Lst9777247 on Oct 28, 2016
    How did you get the wreath to stay put?

  • Mam22553953 Mam22553953 on Jul 07, 2017
    Nicely done. My question: please tell me about the wall behind the art. What is it made of and where do you purchase that material? I so love the design!!!

  • Lori Lori on Nov 08, 2017
    Where can i buy this

Join the conversation
3 of 237 comments
  • P P on Oct 27, 2022

    2 generations ago when my grandparents had a huge over the fireplace seascape 'painting' my grandmother thought was too dark, granddaddy got out the white shoe polish and whitened up the 'breakers' of the waves on the beach till it was light enough for her! He also used pecan halves to rub out scratches in the wooden frame - he said iodine worked on mahogany scratches! And I bet white & other shades of acrylic paint would work to 'highlight' darker 'art' these days!

    • Lily Lily on Nov 20, 2022

      I love that people knew how to look after their possessions and make them work, not just throw them out and start over. Thankfully that seems to be changing with the youngest generation.

  • Lily Lily on Nov 20, 2022

    Bad as the seascape is, it will be more popular on a recurring basis than the faux farmhouse look.