DIY – Updating Old Canvas Art

[original post October 1, 2015]

Today’s Project: Operation Canvas Art

I’ve been having this insane DIY itch lately. If I didn’t know better I’d think I was pregnant the way I’ve been nesting. One of the projects on my to do list was to update this nasty canvas art. 

It actually isn’t that bad. A Parisian street scene in neutral colors. 

But it was dated. And no longer went with my recently updated design style. I couldn’t complain though, this canvas was huge, fit my space perfectly, and served it’s purpose courtesy of a $20 Target clearance find for six years. It just needed to be updated.

So off I went to Pinterest, where I found this and this tutorial. 

DIY Canvas Art Inspiration. Isn’t Pinterest great?!

It looked simple enough. So I gathered up my supplies:

  • One canvas
  • Painters tape
  • Metallic paint color of your choice 
  • Other paint colors, varied from one to as many as you’d like to use
  • Tape measure
  • Sharpie

First I cleaned off my canvas. The paint will always stick better when you work with a clean surface. 

Once dried, I sprayed the whole canvas with my metallic silver spray paint.


After my spray paint dried, I began taping off my design. It’s best to choose your pattern first. I’m a visual person so I needed to see it physically to make up my mind. I chose to split the canvas down the center first, then into quarters. I then taped off the herringbone pattern, alternating between two and five inch sections, at a two inch angle. I used a Sharpie here to mark off my measurements, then placed my tape down, remembering always to tape around the sides as well! It took some time, maybe about 20 minutes to tape off the entire pattern.

TIP: The sides of your canvas will show so don’t forget about them! They need love too!

I painted the two inch sections first with my gray paint, then went back and painted my white paint on. Don’t forget to paint all the way around the sides of your canvas!

TIP: Make sure your tape is pressed down firmly, or you will have paint leak under it. Leaking was unavoidable on my canvas as it had such texture previous to my project. 

After the paint is dry, peel of your tape and enjoy your masterpiece! Ahhhh, doesn’t it feel nice to create something so fresh and new? It’s times like these I feel like a true crafting badass!

This was a very easy project, and because two of my paints were spray paints, dry time was quick and it was completed entirely during naptime! It doesn’t get much better than that! And cost is minimal. I paid $0.00 as I had all the supplies, including the old canvas on hand. 

Canvas can be expensive so use these tips to keep your project cost down:

Check thrift stores for an old canvas painting you can paint over. Options like your local thrift store or Habitat Restore are great. If you must buy new from a craft store [which I highly do not recommend because you are wasting money and not recycling] don’t forget to use a couple code!

Happy Painting!!

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