Non-Traditional Canvas Alternatives for Painting

Michael Daly
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Thrift Shop Finds

While one needs to be careful with paints, coffee cans are actually perfect for painting. An average sized coffee can allows you to both store and transport your artwork when you’re finished.

Nesting Bowls

Bowls are great for painting too, you can even mix colors into one bowl before adding it to your painting. There are some small bowls available that do not take up valuable space in your home … perfect if you are limited on space.

Luncheon Plates

Plates are especially nice for small projects, as they do not waste as much paint and the paint can easily be obtained by mixing colors in one bowl. They are also easy to transport, although the surface may be a little harder to work on for some paints.

Small Trays

Small trays are great for paint mixing and can also be used when mixing paint colors. It is also worth noting that a small tray would be easier to mix individual paint colors than if you were to use bowls.

Large Housewares Container

A large container is especially nice for painting large projects as well as storing big canvases. If you are inclined to painting big, this would be especially useful for you as you do not need to constantly be repainting.

Garage/Yard Sales Are Goldmines For Painting Surfaces

Have you ever wondered where artists get their canvases and stretchers from? If you pais your attention, you will see that most artists don’t rely on art or craft stores.

They use things you would never see coming from an art store, yet they make perfect canvases. You can also find the same old canvases at your local canvas sale.

Artists’ Corners, recycle centers, thrift stores, and garage sales are artist material goldmines. Their large stock of free and nearly free canvases are just waiting for an old bike or whatever object/object with a solid surface that can be converted into a canvas.

Collecting old canvases on the streets or abroad when they have long lost their purpose (e.g. when they’re thrown out) is something I love to do. They have interesting designs, cool colors, and very personal stories, they’re full of history.

Hardware / Home Improvement Store

Some hardware stores have really nice canvas sheet cloths. It's a material designed for painting. Its woven texture is tight enough to do tiny detail work so it will work for that purpose.

They can be pricey but often you can find them on sale at deep discounts. They're in a roll, usually about 50" wide, and you cut a piece off the roll.

Lowes and Home Depot both carry them.

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