Big ass art using an Ikea print

You may remember a couple large Ikea prints that lived in our apartment above our desks. At one time or another, each of these made their way onto our dining room built-ins. You can see them both in the photo below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA For a while after we moved into the house this one hung out in our dining room:

IMG_3271 And by the time we swapped out our light fixture, we had swapped the big paintings too.

IMG_6100 We loved the size of those things but we were getting tired of the prints themselves. When you’re getting tired of something SO BIG, it’s very frustrating because it’s not like you can just pretend you don’t see it.

We originally thought about getting rid of them, but then we realized hey- if you can’t beat em, paint em! After all, at $49.99 and 55″x39″ it would be way more expensive to go out and buy a frame and blank canvas of that size.

I mocked up a few photoshop color schemes to see what we would look good before we committed with actual paint. There was already a lot going on on our shelves, and with such a large canvas, it could get crazy and overbearing fast, so we wanted something more abstract and sublte.

Evan first started by taping off the frame and painting a layer of white over the whole canvas. Well, except not in that order, because it wasn’t til after he started painting that we realized taping the frame off would be a good idea. Ooops!

Big ass art by painting over an IKEA canvas print - Painting something so big can be a little daunting. Unless you’re my husband, who did this whole thing in about an hour flat! Look at him go!


One reason he was able to do it in one sitting is because we mixed a slow-dry medium with the paint that kept it workable for longer. So he never had to worry about the paint drying out too fast.

Big ass art by painting over an IKEA canvas print - Big ass art by painting over an IKEA canvas print - We used acrylic paint, which adhered well to the sorta fakey-canvas (it wasn’t actually a true canvas material, but it was close enough). Something like watercolor for example may not have stuck as well. We are super happy with how it turned out!

Big ass art by painting over an IKEA canvas print - Big ass art by painting over an IKEA canvas print - After looking at the photo above we realized a lot has changed on our built-ins since we actually took this picture, and especially since the last time they were featured on the blog. Crazy how much of a difference little changes here and there can make over the course of a few years! Here are the built ins (with the big art) now!

Big ass art by painting over an IKEA canvas print - The large piece is perfect for layering with other art, which is great because art is something we have a LOT of in this house. Also before you ask, yes, that is a tiny 3D printed octopus sitting on the frame.

Big ass art by painting over an IKEA canvas print - And here’s a fun little side by side. The shelves look so empty in the beginning (the far left).

Big ass art by painting over an IKEA canvas print - After seeing the finished product we started thinking that we might even go buy MORE of these cheap Ikea prints simply to have a huge frame and canvas to paint on at a low price. But before we buy more ourselves, we have a second big ass Ikea print to take care of… and I’m gonna attempt to paint that one, so wish me luck!

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2 Responses to Big ass art using an Ikea print

  1. Veronica March 23, 2016 at 8:27 am #

    How exactly did Evan paint the design on the canvas? It looks like he maybe mixed colors together befote he painted…maybe? It’s so perfect! I have several canvases I would love to do this to but I am so not artistically inclined.

    Also, I am so glad you are posting more again :) My boyfriend and I just bought a house and I’m so inspired by you guys!

    • Katelyn Sheline March 25, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

      He actually mixed the colors on the canvas as he went. With the slow dry medium it makes it a lot easier to do that and really work the colors together. Acrylic paint is really forgiving (easy to paint over) so go for it! Paint is cheap! :) We are really happy to be posting again as well. About to type a post as we speak (now that my hands aren’t covered in caulk anymore- it’s been a busy morning!)

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