Textured Canvas Painting with DIY Gesso Paste


You are not the artist you wish you were? Here’s a painting project you can easily do and impress even the harshest critics, all with the ingredients that you most likely have lying around. I call this Textured Painting.

I needed a painting to go over my couch in my new living room. I saw a stunning canvas at Winners, but did not want to dish out the 150$ it would have cost me. So I asked myself (which I often do), how hard can it be to duplicate it?

I purchased 4 large canvases at the dollar store (16” x 20” each), for 4$ each. I already had white liquid school glue (lots of it), and picked up some acrylic paints at 1$ each.

Total cost ~ under 30$.

I took on this project last summer while vacationing up north, chalet get-away. I brought my canvases with me, acrylic paints, and white school glue. However, it did not turn out the way I pictured it in my head. The canvas would soak up all the school glue. So after much much much searching on line, I found out that I needed something called Gesso. Gesso is very similar to white acrylic paint, only thinner. It dries hard, and gives your surface that stiff texture you want.

You can find a 4oz jar of Gesso on line at Amazon for about 7$. But me being me, how can I make this Gesso instead of buying it? I mean… it is a DIY post.

Presto! Found it.


¼ cup of Baking Soda or Talcum Powder

1 Tablespoon of white glue

1 Tablespoon of white acrylic paint

DIY Gesso Paste

You can play with the consistency, depending on what you want to do with your painting, and how much texture you want. If you find it too thick, add some more paint.

I decided to host a DIY Paint night with family and friends and the kids. And of course, some Wine. We set up in the basement, had our Wine, cake, fruit, our Canvases, Paints, and our music and we were ready to go.

diy with paresa and wine

Here are the canvases that we all made with our DIY Gesso recipe. If you are doing an abstract, you can just go with the flow. If you are doing a portrait (yeah, good luck with that one), then maybe outline with a pencil first.

canvas with paste

After a few hours, or if you wish overnight, you can paint your canvas.

We used acrylic paints from the Dollar Store. I also mixed some colors on the palette (is that what that plate with a thumb hole in it called)? All I know, is that you can’t go wrong with a painting. You can literally close your eyes and splatter paint on it, and call it art.

Here is everyone’s finished art. They all look amazing, and we all had a blast.

Here is my finished work of art. I am totally IN LOVE with my paintings. And my living room is finally ready. Now I need new pillows, as these paintings make my pillows look washed out.

So what do you think? Do you like them? Try this technique yourself and let me know how it went.

“How bad can it be?”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s