The Tutorialist - Painted Canvas Photography Backdrop | Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan | Verdigreen™

The Tutorialist – Painted Canvas Photography Backdrop

If you’ve visited our studio this Fall, you may have noticed our newly painted floor:

We used Chalk Paint®, a Royal Design Stencil, and Annie Sloan Lacquer to update the sad wood laminate.  When Brittany, of Little Nest Photography Studio, saw the new floor update she had a creative idea: to paint a canvas in a similar style and hang it in her studio space as a backdrop! We couldn’t resist collaborating on this project and will tell you how to DIY below:

  1. Here is a canvas blanket similar to what we purchased locally – we used a 9′ x 10′ for her space, however you can do it smaller scale if you are hanging at home or at an event space.
  2. Choose a base color. We used Old White however it was really similar to the canvas color so it’s not so easy to see here. We applied it with both a natural bristle brush and a roller for quicker coverage on the entire canvas. Then we used a spray bottle and sprayed water in areas to thin the paint out and show some of the original canvas (a method of distressing fabric.) Allow it to dry (approx. 3o minutes.)
  3. Choose an accent color. We used Pure White and applied it with a plastic pallet knife however you can use any flexible straight edge (like a credit card.) You can apply it all over in an organic way (not symmetrically) wherever you want to add some dimension. This is the fun, artistic part of the technique! Have fun and let loose. Allow it to dry (approx. 3o minutes.)
  4. Choose a stencil and a stencil paint color. We used a Graphite and Pure White mix and Paris Grey in a Royal Designs Lisboa Tile pattern. We used our natural bristle Annie Sloan brush again, dipping only the ends in paint, off-loading onto a paper towel, and stippling (a stabbing downward motion) for clean edges. When using more than one color we alternated between colors using the same brush to get a “faded” look on our stencil. Allow it to dry (approx. 3o minutes.)
  5. Using a Fine Grit Sanding Pad, lightly sand the backdrop to “weather” it.
  6. To fancy it up, we applied Gold Size (a glue specifically for leaf products) randomly to the stencil pattern and used Transfer Leaf in a Matte Gold to give it some glam. {Apply the Gold Size, allow it to get tacky (about 5 minutes or so) then rub Transfer Leaf over it to transfer the metallic.} (see video below for a visual)

Here are some snapshots of the process. {The colors change from photo to photo due to lighting at home versus the studio and night versus day. Also, once the canvas was hung, we added a little more Pure White to it in some areas to lighten it for photos.}

Painted Canvas (nighttime photo):

Stenciled Canvas (nighttime photo):

Transfer Leaf on Canvas:


Me, pretending to pass out after finishing:

Finally finished!

Painted Canvas Backdrop, completed and hung up…the gold leaf is subtle here in this photo but looks gorgeous when they take photos in front of it!:

Want to see more? Watch this video tutorial.

We loved collaborating with Brittany on this project and had so much fun dreaming up what would look the most original and beautiful as a part of her work.

We also love this project because it can be altered to suit your own needs. How cool would it be as a backdrop for a wedding, baby shower, Birthday, etc? Or what about just using it as inspired original art on a blank wall at home? Or an alternative headboard? Or a tablecloth? Endless possibilities!






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