How to Make Your Own Expensive Looking Panel Paintings

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Panel Painting

Posted: 25 January 2018

If you’ve ever tried to find cheap panel paintings before, you know it’s quite the task.

Most of the cheap panel paintings out there sell the paintings on a thin sheet of canvas. Just canvas. But a sheet of canvas without a frame leaves you in the same place you were when you bought the painting.

Only now you have to spend extra money on a frame… if you can find one.

This is why the best way to get the perfect panel paintings for your house is to make them yourself.

Sound hard?

It’s not. And it’s also a lot cheaper than buying one anywhere else.

Take a look at this complete guide to making your own panel paintings that look just as good as expensive, store-bought ones.

First Step: Making the Frame

This can be done several ways, and the right one for you will depend on the size of your painting.

The wood for all of these frames can be bought at your local Home Depot or Ace Hardware (or any other wood store that you prefer). Home Depot is especially handy because, if you don’t have your own saw to cut the wood to the right size, most Home Depots have a cutting station set up you can use.

Even buying wood for a large frame shouldn’t cost more than a few dollars.

1. The Simple Frame

This is what you’ll use for medium to small panel paintings. It’s quick, easy to make, and doesn’t take a lot of supplies.

What You’ll Need

  • Four thin pieces of wood (cut to the proper sizes)
  • Wood glue or finish nails, or some other way to hold the wood together
  • Staple gun
  • Your painting

What to Do

Start by laying the wood into position on the floor. Then either glue or nail the pieces together.

After the frame is put together, lay the painting on the floor (the back facing up), and put the frame in the center on top. The frame should be an inch or two smaller than the painting.

Fold the sides of the painting over the frame and staple into place.

That’s It?

Yep. It’s super easier. And you use the same method for any size panel painting.

If you are making a medium to large frame, you may be better off nailing each piece of wood together because it will hold better than glue.

And remember, the bigger you go, the more support your frame will need. For example, if you’re making a big frame, you’ll want extra pieces of wood inside the frame, like rungs on a ladder.

This will make sure the frame is steady and keep it from warping.

2. The Box Frame

This type of frame is very similar to the simple frame, but it does take an extra step. It doesn’t involve much more work though, and the extra supplies will only cost a few more dollars.

What You’ll Need

  • Four thin pieces of wood (cut to the proper sizes)
  • A piece of wood (whatever wood you prefer) the same size as your frame
  • Wood glue or finish nails, or some other way to hold the wood together
  • Staple gun or glue
  • Your painting

What to Do

Put the frame together the same way you did before, but before adding your painting, glue or nail the extra piece of wood to the top of your frame.

This will give your frame a solid surface. So if you’re worried about the painting dipping inward or bending, this will keep that from happening. You can either staple the painting on like you did before or you can glue it directly to the wood.

You can also paint your own patterns directly on this kind of frame.

Second Step: The Actual Painting

Now that you have a frame, you need a piece of art to go with it. If you’re an artist, you can easily just paint whatever you want, but if you aren’t one of those magically artistic people, don’t stress.

You can create your own beautiful panel paintings without any artsy experience.

1. Masking Tape Method

If you just want some good, modern color, masking tape will be your best friend. It’s cheap and really easy to use.

What You’ll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Prefered paint

What to Do

Create a pattern on your canvas, or frame, with your masking tape. This could be something as simple as different sized panels or as complex as you want.

Once you have the pattern you want, paint everything else. When the paint has dried, you can peel back the tape and see your new design.

2. Sponge/Stamp Method

Remember sponge painting as a kid? This is kind of the same thing. Just take a sponge you have lying around (or buy a new, inexpensive one) and start going.

You can also get the same effect by using stamps, either one you already have or one you’ve custom made for painting.

What You’ll Need

  • Sponge/Stamp
  • Prefered paint

What to Do

Dip the sponge/stamp in your paint and start making your design. You can make the paint really have at the top of your picture then fade it out near the bottom or create even patterns throughout.

3. Shower Curtain Method

Okay, so this doesn’t have to be a shower curtain, but there are actually a lot of cool shower curtains out there you can turn into panel art. You can also use a fabric you like or wallpaper.

What You’ll Need

  • Shower curtain/fabric/wallpaper

What to Do

Just cut your material down to size and staple it onto your frame. It’s as easy as that. You can find some really pretty pictures or patterns out there you won’t have to create yourself.

Make Your Own Panel Paintings

If you have some blank wall space you need to fill, save yourself some money and make expensive-looking panel paintings yourself. This will keep your wallet full and let you pick a custom design for your home.

Looking for furniture that will match your new art? Take a look at this guide to finding affordable furniture.

Panel Painting

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