The Learner Observer

DIY Abstract Art From Thrifted Canvases

March 26, 2018

It’s been actual years since I have put a paintbrush to a canvas, and this project isn’t exactly like the terrible paintings my mom may or may not still have stored in her basement, but it brought me back to the days of exploring what paint can do on something other than my walls!

I used my very favourite paint for this project – Fusion Mineral Paint. I’ve used it on everything from fabric to furniture to walls, and now artwork!

Here are the two pieces I started with. I bought them for $4 each at the thrift store!

Not exactly great, right? I felt totally inspired by this piece from Anthropologie that is so fresh and modern, and perfect for Spring with these pastel colours.


I used Fusion’s Lamp White as the base for the two canvases and just rolled it on to cover up all of this black. Two coats later, the canvases were ready!

While the paint dried, I cut some 1×2’s to size to make the frame and sanded the edges, then stained them in Minwax Provincial.

I used small foam brushes for the larger areas on the canvas, and for the soft pink I used Little Piggy, the soft blues are Little Whale and Little Teapot, and the grey is Little Lamb – all from the Tones for Tots collection!

Then I added in some darker colours: Seaside and Coral, both from the Penney & Co. collection.


I let the paint dry a bit more before adding some smaller details, like painting over some of the larger shapes. I also had some of the shapes a lot more textured than others, letting the paint drip a bit in different directions.

I left some of the little drips, and I didn’t worry about making the lines too perfect or straight. I wanted this to look organic if that’s at all appropriate to say about abstract art!

Here are the two canvases before I added in the last few details:

I added the frames in once everything was dry, which was as simple as nailing them around the canvas. Nothing fancy here! And they match another framed canvas I have in the room.

I REALLY love how this more traditional room just got a dose of modern with these two pieces, and I love that the whole space feels brighter and more fun now!

Having a few more modern pieces in the house, like in the family room, has made me want to do the same in our bedroom. This was such a simple and inexpensive way to do that!

Here’s a closer look at the frames and the texture on the canvas:

I’m so glad I went through with this project and I’m sure these pieces will move around our house a few times!

The whole thing cost me $10 to make, including the frame, because I happened to have the stain and paint, but you can keep costs way low by using tester pots like I did! Fusion has these at a super affordable price, and I didn’t even need a full one to cover both canvases! 

Now tell me, would you try some abstract art like this?



Leave a Reply