diy faux oil painting with vintage print and Mod Podge

Easy DIY Faux Oil Painting With Printed Art and Mod Podge

This DIY Faux oil painting technique is an affordable and easy way to get the look of original artwork in your home. Follow this easy tutorial to transform a simple paper print into beautiful art that mimics the look of vintage oil paintings.

DIY faux oil painting

Art is one of those interior design elements that we all need in our homes. 

Yet, curating a collection of paintings that fit your home style takes time and a healthy budget, especially if you love real oil paintings!

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, I was prepping our home for guests and needed a large piece of art above our sofa. We had only been in our house for a couple of months at this point, so I knew things wouldn’t look “perfect,” but I wanted it to feel put together. I happened to have a massive vintage frame I purchased at a local shop a few years ago, and unsure what to do with it, I kept moving it from room to room.

That’s when I decided to go out on a limb and try something new.

So, I ordered a large matte poster print from Staples for $25 and attempted a faux oil painting for the first time. 

It turned out surprisingly well; one family member even commented that they liked my painting!

In this blog post, I share this faux oil painting DIY from start to finish with an easy step-by-step tutorial. Let’s get started!

diy faux oil painting
Diy faux oil painting

How Do You Mimic An Oil Painting?

Matte Mod Podge: Mod Podge is a versatile adhesive, sealant, and finisher. It dries clear and wipes down easily, making it ideal for artwork in kitchens and bathrooms. The matte sheen is essential for this project so the final product resembles an authentic painting.

Canvas: Mounting art prints to canvas allows the canvas texture to come through subtly, giving it the look of an original painting. You can use stretched canvas, canvas board, or stretch your own canvas.

Prints of oil Paintings: It is best to go with prints of original oil paintings. The brush strokes and crackles appear on the prints, so it is easy to mimic these patterns using Mod Podge brushstrokes. Although you can use any art, free vintage prints are my personal favorite.

diy faux oil painting

Where to get Free Vintage Art

Did you know digital artwork is available online for free download?

The Smithsonian Museum website and other public domain sites like Artvee offer open access to hundreds of historic drawings and paintings. Click here to view and download my curated collection on Artvee.

DIY faux oil painting

Where to Print Your Digital Download

Print shops like FedEx, Staples, and Office Depot are great ideas for affordable prints and offer many same-day print options. They do not offer specialty paper, but they have matte textures, which work really well for this DIY. (My faux oil painting above our sofa is a matte poster print from Staples.)

If using a home printer, I recommend something heavier than regular copy paper because the paper will become very fragile when exposed to the Mod Podge. 

For the portrait of a man and the stormy ship in this tutorial, I ordered fine art prints from Picture Salon on their Somerset Velvet paper. It is a lovely, heavy watercolor paper, and the picture quality is outstanding. This option is a little pricier, so choose whatever fits your bud

Diy faux oil painting

DIY Faux Oil Painting


How to Make a Print Look Like an Old Painting

Step 1: Prepare Canvas

If you require a custom-sized canvas unavailable in stores, use either of these methods. Otherwise, a stretched canvas in the appropriate size is all you need. 

Canvas Roll: 

  1. Remove the old canvas frame from the back of the frame.
  2. Measure and cut a new piece of canvas with two inches of margin on every side.
  3. Stretch the canvas over the wood frame as tight as possible, adding a staple every couple of inches to hold it in place.

It helped me think of wrapping a present. You want the front of the canvas to be smooth, but the back and corners do not have to be perfect because the art will be covering it. 

Canvas Board: Measure and cut the canvas board to the desired size with an X-ACTO razor (or whatever you have on hand.)

Step 2: Apply Mod Podge to the Canvas

Use a brush to apply a thin, even base coat of Mod Podge to the surface of the canvas. Make sure to cover the entire canvas area where you will place the art.

Step 3: Attach Art Print to Canvas

Carefully center the printed art onto the canvas. Use your fingers or a brayer to smooth out wrinkles and air bubbles, ensuring the image is flat and adheres securely to the canvas.

Note: If mounting canvas to a frame, the print does not need to wrap around the sides of the canvas board.

Step 4: Seal the Art Print with Mod Podge

Once the image is in place and smoothed out, apply another thin layer of Mod Podge over the art print. This layer will seal the paper print onto the canvas and provide a protective coating.

Step 5: Add Texture With Mod Podge Brushstrokes

Now for the fun part! While the Mod Podge is still wet, go back with more Mod Podge on a paintbrush and layer in texture. Mimic the brush strokes of the art print until you achieve the desired effect.

You can put on this artistic a bit thicker because it will create a raised effect that looks like real paint. If it is difficult to see the brush strokes on the print, I recommend allowing the first layer of Mod Podge to dry until you can see the brushstrokes.

Feel free to add extra layers of Mod Podge for more texture. Just let each layer completely dry before adding more.

After the final coat, allow Mod Podge to dry completely per the manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on the thickness of the layers applied, this may take several hours or overnight.

Step 6: Attach Canvas Art to Frame & Display

Place the frame facedown on a clean, even surface. Center the stretched canvas art in the opening and staple it to the frame.

Proudly display your faux oil painting masterpiece!

Can you believe how convincing this is?! This DIY faux oil painting trick is an affordable way to get the look of original vintage artwork in your home. Whether adding to a gallery wall or simply wanting the look of a canvas painting without the associated cost, this DIY project is for you. Enjoy the creative process and have fun filling your home with stunning artwork!

diy faux oil painting

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