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How to Frame a Canvas Painting (Low-Cost & Easy!)

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Learn how to frame a canvas painting or print with simple materials and only a few tools! This DIY trick will make your canvas art looks expensive and stylish without braking the bank!


I’m not gonna to lie, I’m a sucker for large wall art when I have a big wall to fill… And one of my favorite types of art is abstract art.

I recently made some DIY abstract art on stretched canvas for above the bed in our master bedroom (tutorial coming soon!) and to make it a bit more stylish and expensive-looking, we decided to frame it with wood!

I’m always amazed at how much nicer canvas paintings and prints look when they’re trimmed out in wood. It’s one of those finishing touches that aren’t a lot of work but have a HUGE impact.

In today’s post, I’m going to show you how easy framing canvas prints is so you can frame your favorite canvas art!

This post is also a part of our monthly DIY project challenges, so be sure to scroll to the bottom and check out all the other fabulous DIY projects from my fellow bloggers!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you enjoy this canvas frame DIY tutorial!


Before we get started, let’s review a few canvas framing FAQ.

DIY Frame for Canvas Art FAQ

Should I frame my canvas painting?

The first, and most obvious question is whether or not you should even frame your canvas print. I’d say, in most cases, YES!

There aren’t many reasons NOT to frame your canvas painting!

Not only does it add style (by creating a defined border and more depth) but it also protects your canvas.

How much does it cost to frame canvas?

It depends on the size of your canvas, but we framed each of our 24″x18″ canvas paintings with one six-foot 1×2 common board which costs just under $3.50! Talk about cheap!!

I haven’t tried anything other than wood for framing canvas art, but I’m not sure there’s anything else so cheap with such big impact either! I’ll stick to the wood frames. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Can you mix canvas and framed art?

Even if you don’t add a DIY frame to your canvas, I think it’s totally acceptable to mix canvas art and framed art in a gallery.

Now, having a FRAMED canvas would likely look more cohesive but either way it can still look great!

See my simple process for hanging a gallery wall here.

Ok, let’s get to the building, shall we? ๐Ÿ™‚

How to Frame a Canvas Painting

For a printable copy of the materials and instructions, scroll down.

Materials Needed:

Tools Needed:


STEP 1: Measure Your Canvas

Before you get started, measure the outside dimensions of your canvas painting and jot them down on a piece of paper.

STEP 2: Cut your boards

Next, set your chop saw to a 45 degree miter cut and use the dimensions of your canvas to measure and cut all four sides for your frame.

We chose to build our frame using the 1x2s on edge so the frame ended up being deeper and narrower around the painting.

Hands cutting wood in a chop saw in a tutorial for framing a chalkboard.


STEP 3: Glue and Nail the Frame Together

The next step in framing painted canvas is to assemble your frame WITHOUT the canvas print inside of it. Do this by placing wood glue on each mitered corner and nailing the boards together with a nail gun.

STEP 4: Stain and Seal

After the wood glue has dried, stain your frame with the stain of your choice.

We decided not to stain ours because I wanted the light wood tone in our new master bedroom design.

Let the stain dry for 24 hours and then seal it with polyurethane.

While sealing isn’t ABSOLUTELY necessary, it’s a good way to make sure the stain doesn’t get on your walls or furniture and it helps the wood last better over time.

STEP 5: Install Your Canvas

Choose the depth of reveal you want around the canvas (we did about 1/4″) and find something to use as a spacer.

As you can see, we used Spider Man post-its. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hold your spacer in the corner on the front of your painting and on the other side apply hot glue to each of the backside corners of the canvas. We went about 3″ from the corner in both directions.

Lastly, hang up your art and enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚ Super easy, right? And adds wonderful style.

Here’s how ours look in the master bedroom!

As promised, here are the printable instructions:

Yield: 1 Frame

How to Frame a Canvas Painting

How to Frame a Canvas Painting

Frame a canvas for under $5 the easy way!

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $5


  1. Measure your canvas painting's dimensions and write them down.
  2. Cut your frame out of the 1x2 using the canvas dimensions and a 45 degree miter cut in each corner.
  3. Glue and nail your frame together WITHOUT the canvas print inside.
  4. Stain and seal your frame.
  5. Install the canvas print by applying hot glue to the back corners of the print inside the frame.


Staining and sealing are optional.

Don’t forget to check out all the other fun #diyprojectchallenge posts from my friends below!

Emory Farm – DIY Wooly Sheep Toy

Sand Dollar Lane – DIY Dog Leash Holder

1905 Farmhouse – DIY Poster Frame for Vintage Prints

The DIY Nuts – DIY Word Canvas Art

Kippi at Home – DIY Solar Lanterns

As always, let me know if you have any questions!



14 thoughts on “How to Frame a Canvas Painting (Low-Cost & Easy!)”

  1. Hi Laura,

    We needed a 1x2x8ft board for each of our canvases because of their size. You’ll want to measure the edges of your canvas, add them up, and be sure to get enough 1×2 material to do yours specifically. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope this helps!


  2. I love how these turned out! I also love gallery framed canvases because you can paint the edges. I may have to make some frames now for some of my other pieces!

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