Are you looking to add a personal touch to your home décor? Then you’re in luck. DIY textured wall art is a simple and cost-effective way to bring a splash of creativity to any room, and making it isn’t difficult or expensive.
Sure, you can buy completed textured wall art, but adding personal touches to your home brings warmth, intrigue, and richness in ways purchased work can’t. The artwork is all you, and that means something. This understanding has existed for years, evident in styles like Wabi Sabi, but it has grown more popular. Today, you see more focus on personalized art in styles like Modern Farmhouse, Cottagecore, and Japandi.
Textured wall art is a fantastic way to introduce depth and a tactile element to your walls. It also works in every room, including home offices – an area I specialize in. Adding beauty and personal touches to your workspace does wonders for productivity.
In this article, I demystify the process of DIY textured wall art. This comprehensive tutorial defines what textured wall art is and provides a list of materials and steps for creating this DIY wall art. Whether you are a veteran artist or just starting, this guide gives you what you need to take on the challenge with confidence.
What is DIY Textured Wall Art?
DIY textured wall art is similar to a painting but features raised, tactile patterns and designs made from plaster, spackle, or joint compound. The art stands out for its three-dimensional elements – so much so that the texture alone can be its appeal. It is an excellent solution for abstract wall art. It often comes as white artwork, but it can be done in other single colors and color blends. The art is often set inside metallic or wooden frames to help it look purposeful.
Textured wall art is a simple yet effective way to introduce a personal touch and a splash of creativity to any room. It works particularly well in Japandi homes and home offices. You can buy the art premade (LINK), but it is also relatively easy to accomplish yourself.
How to Create a DIY Textured Wall Art Tutorial
Creating textured wall art requires a frame and suitable materials for the look you want to achieve. I go into each of the elements in detail.
Materials Needed for Creating DIY Textured Wall Art
Ensure you have the following materials to kickstart your DIY textured wall art project.
If you have painted artwork before, you may already have some of these materials.
1. Wood Panel or Canvas Frame
Choose whichever you prefer. If you aren’t sure which to choose, here are some benefits of each:
Wood Panel: This type of backing is the cheapest and gives you a flat surface for the most control in terms of texture. It also works well for heavily-textured art because it is strong enough to take it. And once you are done, you won’t have to worry about denting the material, unlike canvas.
Canvas: Textured canvas art is lighter than wood, which makes it easier to carry and handle. You also get a pre-defined texture if desired, and you don’t need to prime it. You can buy it prefamed or frame it, which is far cheaper.
Interested in making your own frame? It can be complicated, but you’ll feel like a true artist. This video shows you how to do it. You can also find similar videos on creating a floating frame for your textured canvas art.
2. Plaster or Drywall Joint Compound
These will be used to create the textured patterns on your canvas or wall panel. You can use it as your sole color or paint the artwork afterward. Painting over it can be tricky; a textured material with a color may be more straightforward.
Here is a breakdown of the options for each material:
Plaster or Spackle
Lightweight Spackle: Ideal for creating fine, detailed textures due to its easy-to-spread consistency. It dries quickly and is great for smaller-size art.
All-Purpose Spackle: A versatile option that works well for a full range of textures. It’s slightly denser than the lightweight variant, providing a robust base for your art.
Vinyl Spackle: Known for its durability and resistance to shrinking and cracking, it’s excellent for larger wall art projects.
3. Drywall Joint Compound (aka Drywall Mud)
Pre-Mixed Joint Compound: Convenient and ready to use, this material is perfect for beginners. It offers a smooth consistency, making it easy to create various textures.
Setting-Type Joint Compound: Comes in a powdered form that needs to be mixed with water. It dries harder than pre-mixed types, making it suitable for creating more pronounced textures.
Lightweight Joint Compound: Easier to sand and manipulate, this type is ideal for creating delicate textures and intricate designs.
Primer is a paint-like material used as a base coat on canvas or wood. It helps protect the texture material from rotting and helps you create a smooth surface area so that your plaster sits on top of the surface instead of sinking in. You’ll benefit from choosing a white color or one that matches the color of your plaster.
If you plan to use wood panels, apply two coats of sealer onto the wood first. This will help protect the wood. Then, follow this up with a primer. It will also help the paint material adhere to the wood.
Gesso works well for both canvases and wood panels.
You can paint your artwork once the texture is applied. If that’s your plan, choose any paint color you love. You can use oil or acrylic paint, and it doesn’t have to be fancy. House paint is fine. White acrylic paint is a common choice thanks to the drying speed and the clean look of the artwork.
6. Putty Knife
A putty knife is a tool to spread and shape the plaster or joint compound. It can be made of plastic or a blend of metal and wood, and it comes in a wide range of sizes to create different effects.
If you use a large canvas, opt for a large knife in a spatula or trowel design. If you are going smaller, you will benefit from a pointed knife style.
6. Comb or Fork
This one is optional but popular if you like creating racetrack geometric designs. It can be a regular flat comb around the house (one thickness is preferred) or a comb for creating artwork, such as a clay scraper. I have found that a fork is an effective choice for creating a narrower pattern.
7. Painter’s Tape
Use painter’s tape to outline your design and protect the edges from spills and smudges. It also works as a quick and easy way to draw lines on the artwork. It is sold as blue strips in art stores or the painting department of a hardware store. If you are a messy artist, go thick with the tape.
Sealing the plaster protects and preserves your finished artwork. It can be a clear spray paint sealant. Alternatively, you can paint over your entire dried work with your primer. Note that using a brush can be tricky if you have holes in the texture. Dry brushing will help. More on that in a bit.
9. Artists’ Brushes
Choose brushes in various sizes to create the desired texture and help you cover the area quickly. Here are some examples of brush styles and their benefits for textured wall art:
8 Steps to Making Your Textured Wall Art
Now that you know which materials to buy and have them on hand, you are ready for the most fun part of your DYI journey: making your art! Here are the steps to creating your piece.
Step 1 – Prime The Canvas or Wood Panel
Start by preparing your canvas or wood panel. (As I said before, use a sealer on any wood panels first.) Apply the primer evenly across the entire canvas using a large brush or roller.
Step 2 – Tape the Edges with Painter’s Tape
Use painter’s tape to mask the borders of your canvas or wood panel to achieve clean and crisp edges for your artwork. This step helps create a neat finish and protects the edges from accidental spills or smudges during texturing.
Step 3 – Allow Canvas to Dry
After priming, it’s crucial to let the canvas or wood panel dry completely. This step ensures the surface is ready to hold the textures without interfering with the wet primer. The drying time can vary depending on the type of primer used, but usually, it takes a few hours. Be sure it is completely dry to touch before proceeding to the next step.
Step 4 – Apply Your Plaster or Drywall Joint Compound
Now comes the exciting part: creating the textured look. Use a putty knife to apply the joint compound onto the canvas or wood panel. You can create various textures by manipulating the mixture in different ways. Use broad, sweeping strokes for a smooth finish, or dab the compound to create a more textured, rough surface. Feel free to experiment with different tools and techniques to achieve your desired texture!
Step 6 – Let it Dry
Now, let your masterpiece dry completely. The materials will settle, and the textures will firm up, preparing the canvas for painting (if that is your plan.) The drying time can vary depending on the materials used, but it’s generally recommended to leave it overnight to ensure complete drying.
Step 7 – Doing a Final Paint (Optional)
If you add color to your artwork, you can get into all those cracks and crevices by watering the paint first. Once that is done, apply paint directly from the tube onto a dry brush and paint the top edges of the texture. This dry painting technique ensures you have very little paint on the brush.
Step 8 – Seal Your Art
Once you are satisfied with your creation, it’s time to seal the artwork. Sealing helps in protecting the texture and maintaining the vibrancy of the colors. You can choose from finishes like matte, satin, or glossy.
DIY Textured Wall Art: An Easy Project For Instant Beauty
Having artwork you make yourself is a fantastic way to add richness to spaces. It is, in fact, almost a part of you since your hands created the texture, and your artistic ability and personality show through in the movement. The viewing experience can be so immersive that it can become a conversation piece.
The minimal cost and artistic requirements make it an ideal way to tiptoe into your creative skills and do affordable room makeovers. Once you have your final piece, you will see how it changes a space’s look and feel.