Looking for inspiration to create your own abstract canvas wall art? Check out this blog post to learn how to paint over a thrifted canvas (and why it’s worth it!).
I have always been drawn to simple and subtle abstract art. I love how it is understated and leaves room for the imagination. When I saw someone painting over a thrifted canvas to create their own abstract art, I immediately knew I wanted to try it for myself
My only problem? I don’t always trust my artistic skills! I could not mean it more when I say this abstract art is SO easy to make. If I can do it – you can do it!
This blog post is about taking a thrifted canvas and turning it into a dream abstract art piece!
Abstract Canvas Wall Art
While browsing at my local thrift shop, I came across the perfect canvas. I knew it would be great for painting over to create my own abstract canvas wall art.
Before And After
The original thrifted wall art definitely wasn’t the worst but it was also not my style! The reason I was drawn to it was because of its texture. I knew the original texture would work out great for the art inspiration I was trying to recreate. The canvas was 24 x 24 and I paid under $15 for it.
Materials You’ll Need
Here is a list of materials you will need to create your own thrifted canvas art!
1. Canvas: Choose a canvas that’s in good condition (it can be thrifted or original).
2. Canvas Primer: Add a primer first to help your paint stick to the thrifted canvas art. Check out the leftover primer I used from another project below or you might opt for a specific canvas primer like this.
3. Paint: Use whatever leftover paint you have on hand or acrylic paint (these are versatile and dry quickly, making them easy for layering!). I used leftover Casement by Fusion Mineral Paint and Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore (paint matched at Home Depot).
4. Brushes: Various sizes and shapes for different painting techniques.
5. Rag or Paper Towels: For wiping brushes and cleaning up spills.
6. Work Surface: A stable surface to paint on.
7. Inspiration and Ideas: Have a clear concept or reference for your new artwork.
1. Clean the Canvas: Remove any dust, dirt, or loose paint from the existing artwork on the canvas. A gentle wipe with a dry cloth will do.
2. Prime the Canvas: Apply a layer of primer over the canvas. Let it dry according to the instructions (usually around 1-2 hours).
3. Plan Your New Artwork: Decide on the concept, composition, and colours for your new artwork. You can sketch your idea lightly with a pencil or dive right into painting.
4. Apply Base Colours: Start with a rough layer of your background colour(s). This will provide a foundation for your new artwork. For this DIY, I applied Casement by Fusion Mineral Paint all over the canvas. You might need to apply multiple layers to completely cover the previous work. I was able to get good coverage with 2 coats.
5. Layering and Details: As your base dries, start adding in your next colour(s). I added Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore to the bottom of my canvas art.
6. Create Texture: To create texture, paint “sloppy” and allow paint to clump. Smooth some areas and leave other areas rough looking. Just have fun with this step – don’t overthink it!
7. Drying Time: Don’t forget to make sure to allow each layer to dry before adding the next layer. This prevents colours from mixing and muddying. You want to keep the white paint and blue paint looking sharp against each other.
8. Final Touches: Once you’re happy with your new artwork, make any final adjustments and details.
9. Varnish (Optional): Apply a clear acrylic varnish over your finished artwork to protect it from dust and UV rays. I did not do this step – totally optional!
Remember that painting over an existing canvas can be a creative process, and there’s no right or wrong way to create abstract canvas wall art. If elements of the previous artwork show through in places, you can incorporate them into your new piece or use them as part of the texture (just like I did!). Embrace the imperfections and let your creativity flow!
Why Thrifting Wall Art Is Worth It
Painting over a canvas to create new art can be worth it for several reasons:
1. A fresh start allows you to experiment with new ideas, techniques, and styles. It’s an opportunity to push your artistic boundaries and challenge yourself!
2. Painting over an existing canvas is a sustainable approach as it reduces waste by re-purposing materials.
3. Buying new canvases can be expensive. Reusing a canvas eliminates the need to invest in new materials and is very budget friendly!
4. Painting over canvas gives a sense of accomplishment and true excitement for what you are able to create.
5. Using an existing canvas can create intriguing layers which add additional depth and complexity to the final piece.
This blog post was about how to create your own thrifted abstract canvas art!
It’s amazing what you can create with thrifted canvas art! I love how this DIY turned out. It has made the perfect addition to the awkward wall behind our corner piano. I like using leftover paint from other projects to create a feeling of cohesion in our home. My favourite part about this piece? How easy it was to make!
I hope this blog post has inspired you to take on a abstract canvas wall art project of your own!
Looking for more thrifting ideas? Check out this blog post!
Happy thrifting and DIYing!