Easy How to Create a DIY Textured Wall Art Tutorial

March 16, 2023

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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After completing my picture frame moulding in my theater room, as I shared last week, I wanted a substantial piece to fill the space of each box. Creating these DIY textured wall art canvases not only complement the walls well, but they also have an added bonus. These canvases serve as a surface for sound to be absorbed. While they may not be as effective as acoustic panels, they look good and they somewhat serve that purpose.

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Adding art to your walls is a simple and effective way to enhance the look and feel of your home. However, not everyone wants to hang a traditional painting or photograph. If you’re looking for something a little more unique and eye-catching, consider creating your own textured wall art.

In this DIY textured wall art tutorial, I’ll show you how to use everyday materials to create a piece of art that is both beautiful and tactile. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY-er or just starting out, this guide will provide all the information you need to create your own textured wall art that perfectly fits your style and space. So gather your materials and let’s get started on this fun and creative canvas art project!

How to Create a DIY Textured Wall Art Tutorial

Materials Needed for DIY Textured Wall Art Tutorial:

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Tools Needed for DIY Textured Wall Art:

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Step One: How to get a creamy paste

I have tried my hand at DIY textured wall art in the past and have loved how they’ve turned out. However, I’ve never been able to figure out how to get that creamy textured paste. After perusing Pinterest and even taking a course on textured art, I now know the secret. And I’m here to share it with you!

3 ingredients used for DIY textured wall art: joint compound; white acryllic paint; paste

Dish out the amount of joint compound you need. Add in a few drips of acrylic paint and start stirring. I was pretty liberal in the amount I added. There’s really no wrong amount.

And now you need to really work at it. Smash it, stir it, mix it around. The more you stir, the creamier it gets. Use those muscles. Take breaks as needed, but keep stirring until it’s at a consistency you really like.

If it seems too creamy and not enough texture, add some more drywall joint compound. If it’s not creamy enough, add in more of the acrylic paint. Like I said, there’s really no right or wrong amount. You just have to play with it, til you get it to the texture you like.

Can you see the difference between the two? The left paint scraper is just joint compound. The right paint scraper has the acrylic added in. So creamy! It’s so good!!

Two paint scrapers with paste on the end of each one. Paste on left is very rough; Paste on right is very smooth

But, if you’re looking for even more creamy goodness, the texture paste will change the game a little more. Adding in 2-3 spoonfuls of this stuff really gives your paste that smooth, like butter, feel. Stir it in and watch the texture change even more.

Step Two: Create your base

How you start creating your textured art, is dependent on the look you want. I’ll use my four canvases to show you the different ways I used in this easy tutorial to create a modern art, inexpensive canvas.

Canvas board with joint compound

For my first canvas

Now for the fun part! Using my paint scraper, I spread my compound mixture evenly across my entire blank canvas. I then used my wider paint scraper to smooth it out even more.

For my next step, I used a palette knife to draw a curved line. This line would serve as a separation between the smooth side of my canvas and the textured side.

Using the number 1 palette knife from the set I bought off of amazon, I then rapidly tapped the compound on one side of the line. This caused heaps to form, adding a really cool texture to a large section of the canvas….

A girl using a painter's knife to add texture for a diy textured wall art canvas


Canvas board with texture painting

For my second canvas

The first thing I did, was evenly tape off my sections. You can see where I placed my tape, in the picture below…

Canvas taped with painters tape for DIY textured wall art

Now that I have it taped off in the sections I want, I added an even layer of compound, using my putty knife, to the bottom of the canvas…

Canvas taped with painters tape in two sections. Joint compound on the bottom; nothing on the top

I then used my square-notched trowel to form lines horizontally across this section. Try to keep the trowel at a 45 degree angle. This will create fuller lines that aren’t lumpy. Be sure to wipe away excess paste on your trowel in between each swipe that you make across the canvas…

Canvas taped with painters tape for DIY textured wall art. Textured paste on bottom; smooth paste on top

Now you’re ready to do the other section. This time run the trowel vertically across the canvas. Starting at the top, at a 45 degree angle, and running it all the way down to the end of the section…

A girl using a tile grouting tool to add texture to joint compound paste on a canvas

It should now look something like this…

Canvas with textured lines running opposite direction

For my third canvas

I decided to get a little adventurous with my third canvas art piece. I started out by drawing my design, using a pencil. Because I wrote so lightly, you’ll need to look very close to see my lines…

Blank white canvas board

I then applied my compound mixture to the canvas, as I went. Filling in the sections along the way. The first section has the appearance of a mountain-like scene on the top and the bottom. To do this, I added an even layer of compound in the each section. Then I used palette knife number 3 to draw lines, as shown below…..

Canvas board with textured wall art design

Filling in the next section on both sides, I used palette knife number 1 to get this texture. (Similar to the same texture from my first canvas). The sunshine was flowing in strong on this day. Sorry for all the shadows. But I have to admit, I was loving that sunny day….

Canvas board with textured design for DIY textured wall art

For my third section, I evenly spread the compound and then drew lines using palette knife number 4….

Canvas board with textured wall art design

And then it was finally time to fill in the rest of my canvas. After filling each section evenly with the compound mixture, I used palette knife number 1 to draw wider lines on each side of the canvas….

A girl holding a painter's knife to add texture to a diy textured wall art canvas

And there she is. Ahhhh! All of those textures. Love it!

DIY textured wall art completed design

For my fourth canvas

Moving onto my final canvas that I made for my theater room makeover… For this one, I kept it simple.

After playing with Bonsai Trunk by Behr and my white acrylic paint colors, I landed on a shade I really liked. I basically just kept adding white acrylic paint to the Bonsai Trunk until it was a a very light hue….

Mixing white and green paint in a bowl to get a lighter green color

I then painted the entire canvas with this color. Two coats. Added my joint compound with no rhyme or reason. Got it to the textured look I wanted, while keeping the mixture on the bottom half of the canvas.

Note: If you are not planning on framing you canvas, be sure to paint the sides of the canvas too.

The funny thing is, although this was the easiest and most basic canvas, it is my favorite. The simple things…

A green canvas with joint compound spread across the bottom half to add texture

There are so many different looks and textures you can try out for your wall art. I’m only sharing a few here. But this is a time to get creative. Don’t be afraid to mess anything up. You can always use your paint scraper to flatten the different textures out and start all over.

Step Three: Time for paint

Or not. 🙂 These DIY textured wall art canvases are perfect just as they are. While I debated leaving them all white, in the end I decided to add some color. This is a great time to bust out those old paint samples. Again, after playing with paint colors, here’s how they turned out…

DIY textured wall art in a fun geometrical pattern

A canvas with a green square and tan square

A diy textured wall art with white on the top and textured tan on the botton

Canvas painted green with white joint compound added for texture

Each of these easy wall art canvases are the perfect size for my picture frame moulding wall….

Canvases hung on wall behind a sofa

5 Quick and important tips:

Tip 1: Adding the texture paste is optional

While it will make your compound creamier. It’s not a necessity. The acrylic paint does almost as good of a job. I ran out of texture paste by the time I got to my third canvas, and to be honest, you really can’t tell a difference. The paste is an additional cost, you don’t necessarily have to make.

Tip 2: It takes a while for the canvases to dry

This is a DIY of patience. Haha! Not because it’s hard work, but because it can take a couple days for the drying process of your canvas. This is, of course, dependent upon how thick you apply your compound. Which leads me to my 3rd tip…

Tip 3: Don’t apply your paste too thick

Doing so will cause cracks to occur. When you make swipes with the trowel, it should go all the way down to the canvas. Therefore, err on the side of applying a thin layer rather than a thick layer.

Tip 4: You don’t always have to go out and buy a new canvas.

Look around your house for already framed old canvas pictures that you’re no longer fond of. Apply your compound mixture over that ugly picture and voila–now you have something beautiful again!

Tip 5: Canvases come in many different ways.

Most of the time they do not have a firm backing. This can make applying the compound very tricky. You may even run the risk of ripping the canvas. To avoid this from happening, use foam board or a 3/4 inch board as a backing. I used these 4 boards (in the picture below) for my backing.

With each canvas I did, I made sure these boards fit perfectly in between the back wooden frame sections (as shown below)….

Plywood boards laid out for diy textured wall art canvas placement

Pic of the back of canvas with a cross pattern

Framed canvas art can be expensive. As I shared before, I recreated this piece from Crate and Barrel and saved over $600!

Beautiful canvas wall art on the wall with decor on a console in front of it

My favorite thing to do is to scroll through West Elm, Crate and Barrel and other designer stores and recreate their pieces of art. An inexpensive way to elevate a room to the next level.

I hope you found these complete plans for this DIY textured wall art tutorial to not only be informative, but something you can re-create. Another super easy DIY project. And might I add, so much fun. Are you ready to go out and create your own interesting texture, abstract wall art?

DIY textured wall art canvases on a long black wall behind a sofa

Be sure to check back next week for the final step of this simple project. Come see how I made these floating frames for my canvases. Full tutorial coming next Thursday to show you how to make your own frame for your canvas wall art.

Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!

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More Theater Room Projects:

3 Easy Steps to DIY Picture Frame Moulding Tutorial







Easy How to Build DIY Floor to Ceiling Bookshelves









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