Introduction: Barn Board (Canvas) Wall Art

My take on the popular DIY canvas art right now: barn board style!

Step 1: Materials Needed

The materials needed:

  • Canvas; mine is a 5x7" because the entire sheet of paper would fit over it. Smaller is easier for starting out!
  • A gel medium; Liquitex is good. I tried one with Mod Podge and it just didn't turn out as well.
  • A brush
  • Ruler + pencil
  • Goo Gone (in case you get any glue anywhere and need to clean it up)
  • An inkjet printed piece of wood, big enough to cover your canvas (which is why smaller is better for this!) Inkjet printed means printed on a home deskjet computer, not from a copy machine or a professional printer. Mine is from Morguefile
  • White acrylic paint + paint brush (not pictured)

Step 2: Figure Out Your Design

Before I even started with the crafting, I made my design in Photoshop. This is what I wanted mine to look like, but let's be honest, text is hard to duplicate when painting.

The Morguefile image downloads at print resolution (300 DPI), but I still recommend using a photo editor to double check that and crop it to the right size for your canvas.

If you're lazy, you can just print out the wood with the design on it. I wanted to paint mine on to give the art more texture.

Step 3: Glue!

To start off, I first marked on my paper with my ruler and pencil to mark where to place my canvas on it. My canvas had deep 1" sides so I wanted to make sure I had the canvas centered when I glued it to the paper.

Spread an even and decently thick layer of Liquitex on your canvas, and then carefully adhere the printed paper to it. Using your fingers or gently using a credit card, spread the paper out flat so there's no wrinkles. It may take a bit of work but try to not tear the paper at all.

Let it sit and dry for at least 24 hours, depending on how thick you applied the glue. Longer drying time won't hurt it at all, so I usually wait a few days.

Step 4: Paper Peeling

Using water, entirely soak a segment of the paper on the canvas. Then use your fingers to gently scrape it off. It will take some getting used to, so I recommend starting on the sides to avoid from scratching up the front. Avoid rolling the paper off because that will pull off some of the barn board ink. Scratching too roughly can do that as well.

It's a little time consuming but something you can do while watching TV or a movie. If any of your paper dries just re-wet it.

Scratch it all off!

Step 5: Try Not to Cry

Most likely, because it's your first time doing this, you're not going to get all of the paper off on your first try. I still miss some too. So once the canvas dries and you see how fuzzy it still is, it might make you a little sad. But it's also handy because then you can just re-target what's still fuzzy and not have to wet down the entire canvas.

You can do it! Just imagine how pretty it's going to be when you're all done.

Step 6: Paint and Seal!

Once the paper is scraped off and your canvas is dry, paint your design on it! I chose to apply my white ink a little thinly so some of the barn board was still visible beneath, making it a bit more realistic.

Let your paint dry, and then seal the canvas. The best way I've found to do this is to dip your fingers into the Liquitex and spread it onto the canvas. Really work it into the board, and this helps to enrich the color if you feel it's looking a little dull. After this dries, you're done!

I want to thank you for reading this DIY! I made it for my class blog, which is Please view it to support me- there's more crafts on it too! I also earn more points for comments and interaction on my blog posts, so if you're feeling kind, I would really appreciate it.