How to Make Stamped Canvas Artwork with a Drywall Masher

You'd never know this modern framed artwork was handmade. See how we used hardware store supplies to make this one-of-a-kind piece.

living room close-up of pictures on shelves picture ledge
Photo: Jason Donnelly
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 1 day
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

Forget the home decor department—you can make your own DIY artwork from items found at your local hardware store. This modern stamped canvas is simple to make and delightfully easy on the budget. Pick up a canvas and a drywall mud masher, and you're all set for a quick living room refresh. We used moody gray paint that was leftover from other home projects to make it even more budget-friendly. Check out the steps below to see how we did it. Since it's mostly stamping, you don't need an artist's touch to create a beautiful work of art.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Paintbrush
  • Paint tray
  • Paint sticks
  • Drywall mud masher
  • Table saw
  • Nail gun


  • Canvas
  • White paint
  • 3 Paint, in various colors
  • 1X1-1/2X96-inch board
  • Stain
  • 1-1/2-inch nails


  1. Paint Canvas

    The best way to start a canvas art project is by making sure the canvas you're working with is a white, clean slate. Paint the entire canvas white using a paintbrush. Make sure the paint is applied evenly and reaches down the edges. Let dry completely.

  2. Mix Paint

    As the white paint dries, mix the paint you will use to make the pattern. In one paint tray, pour a little bit of your lightest color. (We used a range of grays.) Next to that combination, pour the next darkest shade. Swirl the edges of the two colors together to create a marble effect. Repeat this paint mixing process in the second paint tray with the medium hue and the darkest hue.

  3. Stamp Pattern

    Now it's time to stamp the pattern. Consider doing a dry run of the stamping technique on a sample piece of fabric or cardboard. This will help you master the technique and determine the number of stamps you'll need to fill the canvas.

    Dip the drywall mud masher in the lighter paint tray. Make sure you get a good variety of hues on the masher. Place masher over the canvas and stamp in the upper left corner. Continue stamping across the first row, picking up more paint, if necessary.

    When you move on to the second row, use the darker paint. As you continue stamping the canvas, alternate light and dark colors in each row. Let paint dry.

  4. living room close-up of top artwork in frame
    Jason Donnelly

    Add Trim

    Finally, line your canvas with wood trim. You might want to stain or paint the trim first—we made ours a classic black. Cut the trim pieces to size, leaving room for butt joints. Line the trim up to the edges of the canvas, and use a nail gun to set in place, nailing into the canvas frame. The trim will offer a more finished look to your work.

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