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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

  • Claire Douglas

How to make DIY textured canvas art in 3 easy steps.

Updated: Jun 10

Wondering how to make textured art? Read this.

Are you looking to add a touch of personality to your walls? DIY textured canvas art is a fantastic way to create a unique and eye-catching piece of artwork that reflects your style and creativity. This simple little DIY home decor project went down a storm on Pinterest & Insta when I shared it, which was a surprise as it's not a big transformation but I think it appealed as was so easy to do & costs so little. It's also a great way of repurposing an old canvas and saving waste.

We have a brilliant shop in town that sells cheap art supplies, so when I was planning how to make textured art, I picked up these canvases for £2 each and got a small tub of polyfiller from Amazon for £1. Then the fun starts! You can go as minimalist or extra as you like and the great thing is that no two canvases will be the same so you really are creating unique pieces of art.

You will need

  • Canvas (old or new - doesn't need to be blank)

  • Putty knife / palette knife

  • Something to create texture - Drywall mud / drywall compound / jointing compound / finishing plaster or polyfiller depending where you're reading this from!

  • Painter’s tape

  • Paint (acrylic or leftover wall paint/ emulsion)

  • Paintbrush

  • Staple gun (optional)

  • Wooden frame (optional)


Step 1: Prepare Your Canvas

Start by laying your blank canvas on a flat surface. If you're using an old canvas, make sure it's clean and free of any debris. Next, use painter’s tape to mask off the frame sides if you want to create your own canvas frame.

How to make textured art

Step 2: Apply the Texture

Now comes the fun part! Using a putty knife or palette knife, apply a thin layer of drywall mud to the entire canvas surface. Experiment with different directions and strokes to achieve the textured look you desire. Try spreading the polyfiller out with different tools to give different effects. I used a grout spreader (below) to give the ridged appearance, but you can get a more subtle effect from a spatula and a smoother result again from a sponge or paintbrush. Don't worry about making it perfect - imperfections add character to your artwork.

How to make textured art

You can also increase the texture by building up thin layers of filler, this helps it dry quicker and can make it less prone to crack. Flexible filler is great if you want to create thicker layers as it is designed to crack less.

Step 3: Add Paint

How to make textured art
F&B Treron & Bone respectively

Once the texture is dry, it's time to add some paint. This could be in a maximalist way if that's your style or you could keep things super neutral and minimalist. You could start by applying a base coat of white paint over the entire canvas to help your paint colour pop and prevent bare bits of filler from peeking out. After the white paint has dried, apply your chosen paint, either over the whole canvas or just in patches. You can apply the paint with a brush or palette knife. Applying the paint in different directions enhances the textured effect.

A selection of tester pots of paint.

Another great thing about making your own art, is that you can ensure that the colours of the paint that you use compliment the colour palette of your interiors (below), making the whole aesthetic look more thought out.

Top tip: Buy tester pots of paint if you only need the paint for your canvas art or use up any leftover paint you have. I love the testers from the Decorating centre online as they are huge - making them great value for money (unlike many of the designer brands, which although lovely, are as expensive as little pots of caviar!)

Create your own frame (Optional)

If you want to give your textured canvas wall art an elevated look, you can create your own frame using wooden frame pieces and a staple gun. Simply measure and cut the frame sides to fit the canvas, then use a nail gun or staple gun to secure the frame pieces in place.

Tips for success with DIY textured art

  • Experiment with different looks by varying the thickness of the filler and the direction of your brush/knife strokes.

  • Use leftover emulsion (wall paint) for a finish that complements your current interiors.

  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes - the beauty of art is that it's unique and personal.

How to develop DIY textured wall art

Now that you've completed the initial steps of applying the base layer and adding texture to your canvas, it's time to explore different ways to enhance the overall look and feel of your canvas art piece. Adding additional layers of texture is a good idea to achieve a more dynamic and visually appealing result.

Experiment with textures

Consider using unconventional materials like canvas fabric or textured paper to create interesting textures. Apply these materials to the entire piece using a thick layer of PVA glue. Press them firmly onto the canvas, ensuring they adhere well.

Experiment with techniques

Another good idea to add depth and interest to your canvas is by creating faux brush strokes. After applying the base layer of paint, dip a dry brush into a contrasting colour (such as black paint) and lightly drag it across the canvas in different directions. This will create the look of built up brush strokes.

Don't be afraid to think outside the box and experiment with different techniques. You can use stencils, sponges, or even your fingers to create unique patterns and textures on the canvas.

How to make textured art
Gold leaf ready to be dusted

Embellishments for the finishing touch

Once you're satisfied with the amount of texture and depth on your canvas, the next step is to add the finishing touches aka beautiful things. This could be as simple as adding a little bit of black paint to highlight certain areas or incorporating additional elements like beads or sequins for a touch of sparkle.  You can add gold leaf (like I did below), it's actually not real gold but another substitute from Amazon.

So now you know how to make textured art. This kind of DIY art is perfect for customising and putting your stamp on. Hang it in your home office, bedroom, kitchen or living room. Remember to use a stud finder before drilling into a wall to hang your DIY art. Let me know if you have a go, tag me in your insta posts and I'll share them to my stories. Don't forget to subscribe to my weekly email (just pop your email in the box at the bottom of the page) if you want to be kept up to date on my latest blog posts, discount codes and styling tips.

Where next?

Here are some other posts about DIY home decor

I'd love to keep you up to date with future DIY, decorating, interior styling, and upcycling projects is concerned with all things aesthetic and building a connection with your home through your decor and and Money-saving home decor hacks.


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