DIY Hand-painted Canvas Backdrop

Posted by on Jul 8, 2019 | 19 comments

DIY HAND-PAINTED CANVAS BACKDROP/BACKGROUNDI have been thinking about doing this project for quite a while. I have been searching, reading and watching YouTube videos on how to do it. My biggest question was, how would a professional do it? What technique do they use? What materials do they use?I have never owned a hand-painted canvas of any kind, so it was hard for me to even imagine what a canvas backdrop would feel like.The most useful information I found was here:http://vukelichphoto.com/blog/2015/11/30/how-to-make-an-oliphant-style-canvas-backdrop(And I would like to thank Philip Vukelich for such detailed information about his technique.)Even though I could follow his directions 100%, I still decided to add some other things that might help a canvas backdrop have a longer life. This was one of my main concerns.A regular canvas must be mounted on a wood frame before it’s painted on. And it will probably never get rolled afterwards, so there is less chance of the paint cracking.So, what can I use on my huge canvas to prevent the paint from cracking with time?I found out that some people use acrylic paint for painting fabric sofas or couches, but to make that fabric usable and naturally soft, they HAVE to use a Fabric Medium.*** Fabric/Textile Medium is white, so it will thin your paint and will also change your color to a lighter shade ***My canvas wasn’t primed and instead of using dilated gesso, as it was done by Mr. Vukelich, I used Mod Podge Sealer to prevent the paint from leaking through to the other side of the canvas.Why? Well, I think gesso will give your backdrop more texture and will add more weight to your backdrop. Also, I wanted the other side of my backdrop to simply be white, so I used Mod Podge to seal the canvas.Also, if you seal the canvas, then you will use less paint and it will be a much smoother painting process.I couldn’t find Mod Podge Flat/Matte Finish in the large bottle, so I thought if it were gloss, it wouldn’t make any difference since I would be covering it with flat white paint anyway.Oh, yea, the BIGGEST challenge was to stretch this huge piece of canvas and remove all wrinkles MISTAKE #1: My canvas is heavy-duty so ironing it didn’t help. I tried to sprinkle it with water and iron it and the canvas started to shrink!!! OMG!!! I guess because it is cotton!I remembered watching a video where a guy was using a sponge and warm water to remove the wrinkles before priming the canvas. The canvas was already mounted on a frame. So, I decided to stretch the canvas first.I have a hardwood floor stage that is about 10 ft x 10 ft and it’s mounted on plywood because I still have carpet underneath it.MISTAKE #2: I decided to tape the canvas to my hardwood floor. I might have chosen the wrong tape, but I was afraid to leave any glue residue on my floor. It worked just fine in the beginning but once I applied warm water on the canvas, my tape loosened up and even pins didn’t help. Double and triple tapes layers didn’t help either.I wish I could build up a wooden frame but there were too many extra things to buy and no way to bring it home unless I rented a trailer. And I would have needed more time to build it as well.I found my way out by nailing the canvas to the plywood base that is underneath my hardwood floor.The canvas was a rectangular shape, so on the 2 opposite shorter sides,...

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