Trendy Art Hack

Posted on by Ashley      1 Comment

I’m a sucker for trends and these tribal-inspired art patterns are super-hot. I’m in love with a wool wall hanging set I saw that costs $425. I recreated one of these expensive wall hanging designs on a canvas for my own home. I had all the paint and supplies on hand in my garage so the cost was next to nothing, except for my time.

Did you know you can paint over previously painted canvases and make your own art? It’s easy. Here’s how.





A few things to know before you get started:

Painting before makeover

New canvases at the art store can be spendy, so it makes sense to reuse an old canvas vs buying new. For a few bucks, Thrift Town has many great frames and paintings that would be good candidates for a project like this. Find a canvas with a painting you don’t like. With that said, before you paint it up, make sure it’s not a treasure. Google the artist’s signature if there is one. You never know, you may have become a very rich person if the painting is a long-lost masterpiece. I heard a story of a person who bought a painting at Thrift Town for about eight bucks on the color tag sale and it was worth about $7,000! Score! Happy Dance!

If the original paint was water based, you can paint any old water based paint on top. If it is an oil, you’ll need to prime with an oil based primer or chalk paint first. Then you can paint any water based paint on top.

Be patient with yourself. Don’t take your art projects too seriously. Part of the fun is getting dirty and being creative. This tribal art project was like a puzzle and was super fun to figure it out, mistakes and all.

How to tribal art hack:

  1. Get all your paints and tools together so you have everything before you start: Navy paint, cream paint, grey paint, painter’s tape, pencil, ruler, scissors, cotton swabs and paint brushes.
  2. Paint a solid cream base coat and let dry completely.
  3. Create a template for design.
  4. Mark design on canvas with light pencil.
  5. Tape off the design with painter’s tape (I like the green Frog Tape) to help stop bleeding. Some bleeding will most likely happen, but don’t sweat it. You can fix it.
  6. Paint navy blue and let dry.
  7. Remove tape.
  8. Paint lower half of design in grey. I made mine a little streaky and blotchy. I could have retaped, but I was careful.
  9. Add tape stripes and mix paints so they graduate darker on the bottom and lighter on the top. Note, I made a mistake here. I should have taped off my stripes before painting the navy. I made a little more work for myself, but it all worked out in the end. Paint is forgiving.
  10. Let dry and remove tape.
  11. Touch up any boo boos. I used cotton swabs, but small art brushes would have been even better.
  12. Enjoy!
  13. Repaint when the next trend strikes my fancy…


I am the art director and marketing manager for Thrift Town. I have worked for Thrift Town for just about twenty years and I'm passionate about thrift, decorating, entertaining, crafting and, of course Thrift Town.

1 Comment

  1. Love this and everything you create Ashley!!