A DIY Vintage Canvas Tutorial

You know what they say - one person's trash is another's treasure.

Can you even say you went to the country if you didn’t stop at a local antique shop? No trip to the country is complete without a vintage treasure hunt, especially at the Aberfoyle market just outside of Guelph, Ontario.

These canvases were found at the Aberfoyle antique market, the canvases look a bit outdated so here’s how to turn vintage canvases into wall worthy masterpieces!

What you need: 

  • A vintage painting
  • Acrylic paint of choice
  • Clear Casting and Coating Epoxy Resin
  • 3 disposable cups
  • 4 painting pyramids or 4 more disposable cups
  • Plastic lining
  • Painters tape
  • Stirring utensil
  • Gloves
  • A level
  • A timer
  • An artists torch or heat gun
  • A large box (larger than your painting)
  • Foam core board

First off when you’re looking for the perfect vintage piece, the trick is to look for scale, colour palette and frame. You have to have a little vision but if those three things appeal to you in some way you can work with it. Like this piece that I’m going to work with (pictured below). If you want to revamp your piece you can paint over some areas to give it a bit of an edge. I recommend you get a good quality acrylic paint that compliments your space and piece and keep things simple. You can see how I picked up the main colours in this painting and just enhanced them.

Method:

  1. You first need to set up your workspace – I lined a cardboard box with plastic and painters tape and placed it on a level surface. I then placed 4 painting pyramids in the middle of the lined box and placed the painting on top. The painting pyramids are to support the art as it cures. You can also use plastic cups for this.
  2. Mix your resin. Get your resin, hardener, plastic cups and stir stick ready and measure one part resin, one part hardener. Pour them into the same cup and stir the contents vigorously for 3 minutes. You don’t want to undermix, so set a timer. Also don’t be alarmed if the resin feels warm, that’s normal!
  3. Pour your mixed resin over the canvas and spread it over your painting using a playing card or business card. Be sure to also spread it on the sides of your piece – it may even drip some and that’s ok. Also be mindful of time – resin starts to cure after 45 minutes.
  4. For a high gloss finish, use a butane torch on a low flame and gently sweep the flame across the surface to get rid of any air bubbles. I suggest holding the torch about 8 inches away from your painting to avoid damaging the resin.
  5. After you’ve removed all of the bubbles, Cover the box with your foam core board and leave your work to dry. Allow it to cure for 24-72 hours. Add any extra elements, like gold foil and paint accents to make your piece pop.

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