Introduction: The Old: a Used Thrift Store Canvas to the New: a New Original Art Piece.

With very little time, money, or training you can turn an old canvas into your own work of art.

Step 1: Thrift Store Canvas to One of a Kind Art Piece

I bought this canvas at a local thrift store in a package of four canvases. The cost for all four was $2. As it is, this canvas was useless to me because this is not a painting I would hang nor could I use it as is. However, using the technique that follows I was able to transform this old canvas into a new original work of art.

Step 2: Supplies

After you've found your used canvas, you will need a paint brush, some gesso, and white paint.

Brush the canvas with a layer of gesso and let it dry. This will take about 30 minutes if you paint just a covering amount of gesso onto the canvas.

Step 3: This Is What Your First Layer Will Look Like Dried.

After you've painted the first coat of gesso and let it dry, apply another coat of gesso and again, let it dry.

Step 4: This Is What Your Canvas Will Look Like After Two Layers of Gesso.

You are starting to see some coverage at this point. You can continue to add gesso in coats, letting it dry between and after about five coats you will have an almost new canvas surface. When you have covered the canvas with enough gesso to give you the surface you desire, apply a thin layer of white paint and you are ready to use your canvas.

Step 5: This Is the Same Canvas After Three Coats of Gesso and 1 Coat of White Paint.

I stopped at this point because the original paint shows through texturally and I will be using this canvas to create a mixed media piece. I found a broken brooch, some keys, a positive quote, some papers, and lace and affixed it all with glue. I then used some very thin shimmer paint and this is what I created.

Step 6: Finished Product.

This mixed media piece cost approximately $2 since I bought the used canvas in a package of 4 for $2. Anyone could do this project as it is simple and born out of your imagination.

Happy Crafting,


Step 7:

Before and After Contest 2017

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2017