Last Updated on November 15, 2023 by lindseymahoney
Unique artwork throughout a home has the opportunity to tell a story and turn a house into a home. If I could buy custom paintings and hang them throughout my home I would, unfortunately, not have the budget to fill my walls with original artwork all at once. As I continue to slowly collect original art, I am excited to share this easy and affordable DIY to make art prints look painted with a simple technique.
Where can I find vintage art prints?
There are lots of great places to find art prints that will look great with the faux oil painting technique. I usually head to Etsy where you can find pretty much any type of art print available that costs less than $10 to purchase a digital download.
Here are a few of my favorite digital downloads for the Christmas season:
Online print shops like Juniper Print Shop, frequently offer new art print options from artists who submit their work. These digital downloads tend to be more expensive than vintage art prints on Etsy.
For free digital downloads, check out museum websites that offer free digital downloads on many pieces of art. I have tried looking for artwork in these databases before, but it is a little too time-consuming for me. I would much rather enter a search term into Etsy and pay $3 to save myself some time.
Here are some places I recommend looking for art prints.
Earlier this year I updated my brother’s retro kitchen and purchased this vintage picture via Etsy as a digital download and popped it into a vintage frame.
I didn’t create the faux painting technique since it is a photograph, but I did create one-of-a-kind artwork using digital art and a vintage frame.
Where can I get vintage frames for printed art?
My favorite place to find cool, vintage picture frames is at estate sales!
I ALWAYS see vintage frames with missing art and they are perfect for this faux oil painting DIY! You will usually get the best deal when buying picture frames secondhand, but new frames work great as well. Facebook marketplace is another great spot to find vintage, frames.
For this project, one of my friends was cleaning out her attic and asked if I wanted to take the vintage frames that had been stored in the attic for decades. I honestly had no idea how I was going to use them, but I held on to them just in case.
How do you print your digital artwork?
If you are like me and want instant gratification with same-day printing, Walmart is my go-to photo center. If you are okay with ordering your prints via mail, Shutteryfly is a great option and they arrive within a week.
How do I make art prints look like vintage, painted artwork?
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I am so excited to make this Christmas print look like painted artwork! This artwork will fit perfectly with our traditional Christmas decor throughout the home.
Faux Oil Painting DIY Materials
- Picture Frame (vintage is my favorite)
- Digital Download Artwork – Vintage Christmas
- Mod Podge – matte finish
- Paint Brush
1 | Choose Your Frame and Determine the Picture Size
For this project, I used a large, vintage frame that my girlfriend gave me when she was clearing out her attic.
I really wasn’t sure how I would use them, since they are a smidge gawdy for my everyday design taste. Large vintage, frames are perfect, however, to display seasonal artwork for a few months out of the year!
For this project, the art print needs to be 16×20 to fit in the vintage frame.
2 | Print the Digital Artwork on a Foam Board
Once you have found and purchased the perfect digital art print, it is time to print it to size.
If you are using an old, vintage frame, they are typically made for a canvas painting and will not have a solid back like modern picture frames.
Choosing the foam board option when printing digital artwork is a great solution for these backless frames.
I ordered the board from Walmart but ran into a small issue. Although the preview of the image online didn’t show a white border, Walmart could only print the image on a 16×20 board WITH a white border.
So the board was 16×20, but the image was more like 15.5×19.5 and that would not work for my project.
Our local Walmart employees were great to work with and printed the image in a standard print free of charge.
I kept the printed board and used spray glue to attach the 16×20 photo print and this was an easy fix.
3 | Create Brush Strokes on the Art Print Using Mod Podge
Using a paintbrush and Mod Podge (matte finish), begin applying the glue to create faux brush strokes. First, I applied the glue in a swishing motion and was generous with the Mod Podge so that the strokes were visible.
Once I covered the art print in brush strokes, I added more brush detail on the sleigh and reindeer. Thicker glue contours the shapes of the deer and Santa’s sleigh.
You can see the texture on the Christmas print when the light hits the image, especially on the reindeer. This is what creates the effect of a real oil painting.
4 | Secure the Printed Foam Board to the Back of the Frame
When the glue dries on the art print, it is time to attach it to the picture frame. If you are confused by the image included, I used the poster board that was not printed correctly and glued on the 16×20 print. That is why the image is seen on the back of the frame.
I used brad nails to secure the print to the frame. Once the nails are hammered into the frame, you can manipulate the small nails to make the print fit snugly against the frame.
REVEAL | Faux Oil Painting Using a Christmas Art Print
This is one of my FAVORITE Christmas DIY projects! Honestly, I am so excited that I found a way to incorporate this vintage picture frame into our Christmas decor. This vintage Christmas image was MADE for this ornate picture frame.
Display this beautiful artwork over a fireplace or hang it on a wall during winter months for the perfect traditional Christmas decor.
While this particular project is focused on Christmas decor, this faux oil painting DIY can be applied to any art print that fits the decor of your home!
- Picture Frame
- Artwork Print
- Mod Podge (matte finish)
- Brad nails
- Choose your picture frame and the size needed for the printed artwork.
- Pick an art print and purchase the image in the required size for your picture frame.
- Order the print to size on a foam board.
- Using Mod Podge in a matte finish, create brush strokes with a paintbrush across the printed artwork to give a painted effect.
- Once the Mod Podge dries, attach the foam board to the back of the picture frame and enjoy!
Your beautiful faux-painted artwork will look great hanging on the wall, displayed on a fireplace mantle, or propped up on a shelf for everyone to enjoy! Happy crafting!
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