How to Update Old Canvas Art

How to Update Old Canvas Art

Hello, everyone! Brittany here from by Brittany Goldwyn. Today I have a wall art tutorial for you that’s easy and cheap but has a massive impact! This is how to update an old canvas art!

The original canvas was a piece we bought many years ago during an Ikea trip. It holds the dubious title of being the only thing I’ve ever regretted purchasing from Ikea. I don’t even know why we got it…it isn’t my style. We needed something about this size for a space in our old apartment, so I settled. It isn’t a good idea to settle on something you look at every day. 🙂

So instead of chucking the canvas, it collected dust until I decided to use it for a project.Now I’m so happy I had it for this project!


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Step 1: If your old canvas is very colorful, you might want to paint over it. Many tapestries are thin and lightweight, and you don’t want to be able to see the canvas’s original design through the fabric.

How to Update Old Canvas Art

Grab the closest can of neutral-colored paint you have on hand and use a little roller like this for quick coverage:

How to Update Old Canvas Art

Step 2: After the painted canvas is completely dry, iron your tapestry. Time to begin attaching it to the canvas. To get an idea of how you want to place your tapestry, prop the canvas up against a wall and drape the tapestry over it. Make marks on the back of the tapestry if necessary.

How to Update Old Canvas Art

Step 3: Lay the tapestry over a large workspace face down. The floor is fine if you don’t have a big desk or counter. Carefully lower your canvas onto the tapestry according to the placement you decided in step 2.

How to Update Old Canvas Art

Step 4: Begin attaching the tapestry to the canvas by folding the fabric over the back of the canvas and stapling in a straight line.

How to Update Old Canvas Art

Step 5: Once one side is completely secured, use your scissors to trim the fabric on the remaining three sides. Remember to leave enough on each side to fold over and staple in place.

Tip: Occasionally prop the canvas up and check for wrinkles or uneven stapling. You want to pull the fabric tight as you’re stapling each side in place. Staple opposing sides first. Start with the bottom, then pull the fabric up around the top and attach there. Then tackle the sides. When you staple the sides in place, wrap the corners tight and neat like you would a present.

How to Update Old Canvas Art

Ready to see the final updated canvas? First here’s a reminder of the before…

How to Update Old Canvas Art

And the after! I’m in love. Isn’t he adorable? And it was such an easy update, too!

How to Update Old Canvas Art

If you liked this, definitely check out my abstract painted black and gold leaf canvas art, which uses an old canvas as well! Or my oversized faux canvas wall art, which is so massive that I had to build my own frame! You might also like Brittany’s tutorial for creating a giant abstract ocean painting.

How to Paint Giant Abstract Ocean Painting

Until next month, Pretty Handy Girl readers!

Read More of Brittany Goldwyn’s Tutorials ~

13 replies
  1. Mila
    Mila says:

    I don’t have any old canvases to use but couldn’t I just buy a canvas at Michaels?
    Love love this idea and the Owl is beautiful!

  2. Casey
    Casey says:

    If you ever get to Vienna, Austria, I highly recommend that you go see Klimt’s “The Kiss” in person. It is beautiful with gold and bright colors that bounce light. Might make you change your mind about your original print. Or maybe get a better reproduction! It is very large in person, life size.
    Good use of an old canvas.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] art, see the full tutorial here…this is an old project that I moved from elsewhere in the house. I just love this […]

  2. […] shows you how you can make over an old canvas and turn it into this cutie! Check out the full post here. […]

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