DIY Transform a Print into Painting – Mounting Prints on Canvas

Sometimes printed art just doesn’t have enough texture. I ordered two fun prints from Etsy.com to go in my living room, but my Wal-Mart frames did not do the pictures justice…at all! Sarah suggested I mount the prints onto canvas an use Mod Podge to make them look more like original paintings. She also told me to try Mod Podge over the top of the prints to for texture. This would give the illusion that the prints are hand-painted. I went to work on the prints and experimented with different glues etc.

Supplies:

  • Canvas, dimensions of print (5 for $15 at Michaels)
  • Cutting board of some sort
  • Straight Edge
  • X-acto Knife
  • Mod Podge
  • Fine Paint Brush
  • Pencil

Start by tracing the print to the exact size of the canvas surface with a pencil. Then place the straight edge onto the print, in line with the tracing. With the X-acto knife, carefully cut down the tracing on all four sides. Be sure you aren’t cutting off an important part of the print if you have to sacrifice part of the picture. Once the print is cut to exact size, smother the canvas with Mod Podge, using a medium size paint brush. The print won’t stick to the canvas if there isn’t enough glue (I first tried adhesive spray glue, but it was not compatible with the Mod Podge surface coating). Smooth down the print starting from the middle and working your way out to the edges. Use a heavy book to press the print for 10 minutes or so.

The next step is to use a fine brush to lather on the Mod Podge onto the print. Follow the curves and shapes in the print to create believable strokes.

This does actually add shine and enhances the picture. Let this dry for an hour or two. You might notice bubbles between the print and the canvas (mine disappeared after the print dried) but it doesn’t hurt to smooth it down while its drying.

The companion piece:

IT may be hard to see in the pictures, but my prints look 100 times better now! Try it yourself

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7 Comments

  1. Posted August 23, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    Sarah’s note: Do not mount an expensive or original piece of artwork this way. The Mod Podge is permanent and will devalue an expensive piece of artwork.
    Also, if this piece will be in an area with much sunlight, it is also advisable to coat it with MSA Varnish that will protect the piece from UV rays:
    http://tinyurl.com/2b2xo4r

  2. Posted August 23, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What a great idea! I found you thru a RT on twitter and am so glad I did…I never would have thought to do this. Beautiful prints, too! My colors and style 🙂

  3. Anna
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 7:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you Jayma! Glad to have inspired you. I know, aren’t the prints so neat? I am not an artist so it is always hard for me to find unique art.

  4. Posted August 24, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    Instead of tracing off of the original, why not take a copy of the print and trace off of that one. That way no harm done if you make a boo-boo! lol Love the idea tho and I am going to try it!

  5. Anna
    Posted August 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Melanie, Great idea! I hope you have some fun mounting your picture!

  6. Patsy
    Posted November 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What a great inexpensive project. Tell me, do you think I could do this with fabric or would it be best to wrap and staple on the back?

  7. krystn
    Posted July 30, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    great idea! gosh i hope i can remember all these things someday when i have a ‘home’

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