DIY Wall Decor With a Mod Podge Brushstroke Technique

3 Materials
30 Minutes

The genius way to get expensive looking wall décor for (almost) free!

It would be great if we could all have expensive art collections but that's just not possible. I want to show you today how you can make some gorgeous DIY wall decor next to nothing. 

To make my faux art I started with a public domain image I love. Make sure that what you use for your project is a public domain art image so that there isn’t a copyright on it. I downloaded the picture I chose and had it printed at my local Staples. The image ended up costing me about $1.50 to have it printed. It was really inexpensive to print it on nice thick paper.  

Once I had the image I wanted to grabbed a frame from the thrift store that cost a couple of dollars. It was also really inexpensive and fit perfectly over the print.  

To turn the print into a vintage-inspired piece of art, I started by flipping the frame over and I measured the inside edge. I wanted to cut a piece of self-adhesive foamcore to fit on the inside and my frame ended up being 13” by 10” inches.  

I marked out the measurements on the foam core, 

and then used a straight edged knife to cut it out. 

To adhere the print to the foamcore I peeled off the adhesive cover and then laid the print gently on top.  

Before pressing it into place, I turned it over to make sure it was lined up correctly and then really press it firmly down.  

Once the print is adhered, I trimmed up the edges so that it fit perfectly into the frame.   

The trick to making the $1.50 print look like a vintage oil painting was in the next step. I took matte Mod Podge and using a natural bristle brush, painted it all over the print. The natural bristle brush and Mod Podge create lots of texture, that when dry, looks like painted brush strokes. I made sure to make the brush strokes in all directions for a really authentic look. If it were an old painting, the paint would have been on there in layers, and it would be going in all different directions.  

After applying the Mod Podge, I left it to dry overnight.  

An inexpensive public domain art image that I was able to print off for $1.50 now looks like a really expensive oil painting hanging in my collection of art. I am thrilled with how this DIY wall decor turned out. I hope that you'll grab an image and try this yourself. It is really fun and a great way to get some really high-end-looking art for next to nothing.

If you love thrifting and vintage finds as much as I do, be sure to grab my handy cheat sheet "10 Things to NEVER Pass Up at the Thrift Store" here...

Don't forget to hop over to the Recreated Designs blog for more inspiration here...

Resources for this project:
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Recreated Designs
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  2 questions
  • Mammaw Mammaw on Feb 27, 2022

    How in the world did you think about doing something like this? I think it turned out lovely. I would never have thought to do this.

    thank you for the inspiration. Have a good day. Stay safe.

  • Aprile Aprile on Feb 24, 2023

    Where can we get the public domain images? Thanks. It looks really pretty.

Join the conversation
3 of 22 comments
  • Karen Karen on Feb 23, 2024

    For pictures, I use calendar photos of artists I love such as Vincent van Gogh, Monet,

    Rousseau. Great job!

  • Tam Tam on Feb 23, 2024

    Curses! We've been duped! (Applause from the crowd)