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Thursday, March 10, 2022

How to Make Vintage-Inspired Oil Paintings

  Learn how to make ordinary art look like vintage-inspired oil paintings in just a few simple steps!

Do you love the look of vintage oil paintings?  

Does your budget not allow for you to splurge on one-of-a-kind original artwork?

I love decorating my walls with unique vintage decor and one-of-a-kind art.  It's one of my favorite ways to personalize my house and make it feel more like home.  Unfortunately, original oil paintings and vintage art can be expensive and hard to come by. 

The good news is, you can get the look and texture of vintage oil paintings for a fraction of the price.

diy vintage-inspired art


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- Art print (printed on thick cardstock)
- Mod Podge (I used satin) 
- Craft paintbrush
- Scissors
- Vintage frame (I found mine at Goodwill)


Search public domains for free vintage-inspired images or purchase inexpensive downloadable prints online.  

Public Domain sites are not copyright protected so you can print, sell and distribute images as you please. Some of my favorite public domain art sources are National Gallery of ArtRaw Pixel and Picryl

I was looking for specific vintage ship and seascape art, so I headed to one of my favorite ETSY art sources and ordered a set of downloadable vintage coastal images.  

Learn how to make your own vintage-inspired oil painting in just a few simple steps!


Print your image on thick cardstock to the desired size.  If you prefer an image size larger than 8x10 you'll want to forego using a home printer and have your image printed from a print shop instead.  Office Depot, Staples, Shutterfly and Vista Print are great options for ordering larger size prints. 

vintage-inspired coastal prints


Using a small craft brush, "paint" your picture with Mod Podge.  For the most realistic vintage oil painting look, be sure to follow the original paint lines of the image.   You'll want to add enough Mod Podge to give the picture texture, but don't go overboard.  

After the Mod Podge is dry, cut out your image to fit your frame if it's not already cut and sized. 

Painting over a print with Mod Podge

Mod Podge painted vintage prints


In my opinion, the frame is one of the most important aspects of obtaining the perfect vintage oil painting look.  Granted, authentic oil paintings are on canvas and not framed, but using a vintage frame will help give the appearance of original vintage art. 

Framing a vintage-inspired print

framing a vintage-inspired print

It's hard to show the detail in a picture, but the Mod Podge adds a nice clear texture and gave the print the perfect appearance of a vintage oil canvas.  
DIY vintage-inspired canvas oil painting
DIY vintage-inspired oil painting

I prefer the look of framed art, but another idea is to add art to a frame without using a mat and glass or use Mod Podge to glue a print onto a thrifted or inexpensive canvas.  

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how to make a vintage-inspired canvas oil painting

How to mix old and new in your home decor


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Would you like to comment?

  1. Katie, The Mod Podge trick is such a fantastic idea..I never thought of it!! I just printed out a couple pics this morn and I definitely going to do this! (I’ll link back to you)

  2. Funny and sneaky! :D But the idea is neat and I'm sure the effect in real life looks cool. Thanks for the tips!