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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

An Easy Way to Repurpose Old Canvas Art

Repurposing and reusing old canvases is the best way to create custom artwork for free!  Add an easy wood frame, a little paint and you have the perfect modern art piece. 

A few weeks ago, I cleaned out my husband's office, which included going through a lot of old decor. As I was preparing bags to be packed up for Goodwill I hesitated adding a few old art canvases to the "donate" pile.  I knew they would be easy to update, so I set them to the side for future projects. 

If you saw my Fall Home Tour on Monday than you may have already seen my new DIY artwork.  I actually finished this project and took photos before I fully decorated for fall, but wasn't able to get the post written in time.  Better late than never, right? 

DIY canvas art, repurposing, modern farmhouse, dining room

I had previously purchased artwork for the spot above my new bar cart, but ended up moving it downstairs when I was finishing the vintage modern bathroom makeover.  That left me with a blank wall in the dining room that was just asking to be filled.

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*** You may notice that I use a lot of the same supplies.  It's an upfront expense, but once you have the supplies you can create endless projects***

- Art canvas (keep your eye out at thrift stores and clearance aisles if you don't have an old one laying around) 
- Paint (I used plaster and black milk paint)
- 1x2x6 boards (length depending on how big your canvas is)
- Wood stain (I used Weathered Oak and Special Walnut)
- Nail gun
- Mitre saw (or hand saw and mitre box)


I started with a canvas that had been previously hanging in our basement.  It was during a time when I was all over using bright colors, especially orange and aqua.  Obviously, it's no longer my style, but that's nothing a little paint and wood couldn't fix.

Wall canvas before
I measured and cut my 1x2's at 45 degree angles to build a frame for my canvas.  This isn't necessary, but it definitely gave my piece more contrast and a more expensive look.
Building frame for canvas

framing canvas with wood
After I had all my wood cut, I painted my canvas and stained the wood.
painting canvas
I first went over the wood with Weathered Oak stain then a light coat of Special Walnut.
staining frame for diy artwork makeover
Once everything was dry I attached the wood frame to the canvas using my nail gun.  I knew I wanted black and white art and since I have zero drawling ability I went with simple arrows,
painting wall canvas

repurposed wall canvas
I used a silicone glue brush because it leaves brush strokes, which creates great texture.  I didn't measure when painting the arrows.  I wanted to keep things imperfect, but intentional.
Repurposing an old canvas into modern artwork with paint and an easy wood frame.

updated canvas with paint and a wood frame
I love the contrast of the black and white against the wood frame and the fact that I can swap out the basement artwork with this one when I feel the urge for a change.
DIY updated art canvas

dining room fall centerpiece

How to update an old art canvas

- Wall color: Sherwin-Williams Accessible Beige
- Door color: Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore
- Bar Cart: Target
- Rug: Target
- Chairs (similar): Amazon (they no longer carry my exact chairs)
- Mug Rack: World Market
- Large Wall Clock: Painted Fox Home
- Light: 

Pin it for later Repurposing an old canvas into modern artwork with paint and an easy wood frame.

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  1. I really enjoy your posts. I like your design style. Thank you for all your wonderful ideas!

    1. Thank you so much Colette! I'm glad you are enjoying the posts :)