Hi guys. Today, I’ve got a quick and easy project for you all. This is how I build a pretty and simple Wood Frame for Canvas Art out of 1×2 dimensional lumber.
The clean lines of this wood canvas frame means this frame looks beautiful in any home. And, it’s such an easy frame to build, that you can easily have it done in a day. Yay!
I used Select Pine for this frame, but you can use the Oak, Poplar, Cedar or even Common Pine 1×2’s from your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.
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Changing up the type of lumber and stain color you use can give you a unique, custom look for your canvas art. OK, let’s get to this DIY Wooden Frame for Canvas Art build.
Table of contents
- DIY Wood Frame for Canvas Build Video
- What Wood Is Used To Make A DIY Canvas Frame?
- How To Build A DIY Canvas Frame
- Finishing My DIY Frame For Canvas Art
DIY Wood Frame for Canvas Build Video
Seeing someone do something always helps me understand the steps better. Watch this video to get a better look at each of the written steps.
What Wood Is Used To Make A DIY Canvas Frame?
What is the best wood to make a canvas frame?? Most dimensional lumber can be used for framing canvas art, as long as you follow general woodworking guidelines for picking boards.
So, pick straight, knot-free boards when you’re making a wood frame for canvas art.
For this DIY wood frame for canvases, I like to use the Select Pine, Cedar, or Poplar Dimensional Lumber available at most big box hardware stores, like Lowe’s and Home Depot.
The Oak 1×2’s would look beautiful as a frame too.
Just be sure to finish the frame with at least a Top Coat to seal the wood. That will protect the wood from the art medium on the canvas AND it will protect the canvas from the wood oils.
How To Build A DIY Canvas Frame
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to make a DIY frame for canvases, especially if you’re already comfortable with power tools or know someone who is.
And, this DIY Wood Frame for Canvas art is actually a pretty quick and low cost build. Here’s what you’ll need, followed by the steps.
- Sander & Sandpaper – I used 80 and 150-grit on Select Pine
- Other types of wood may require other grits for the best result
- 1×2 Dimensional Lumber, I used Select Pine from Lowe’s or Home Depot
- Wood Glue
- Miter Saw
- Angle Strap Clamp (I use this one)
- Wood Filler
- Finish – I used Watco Danish Oil in Medium Walnut
Step One – Measure And Cut Lumber
Using a Miter Saw, cut the inside of your frame to be 1/8″ to 3/16″ larger than the canvas size. Use 45-degree cuts on the corners.
I like to use the 1st cut piece for one side to mark the cuts for the opposite side. Getting clean 45-degree corners is really easy if the opposite sides are exactly the same size.
Step Two – Attach Back Stops
Next, attach scrap wood or trim molding to the 4 corners (on just the top and bottom boards) with brad nails and wood glue to act as a stop for the back of the canvas.
I used scrap 3/4″x 1/2″ molding pieces to stop my 3/4″ depth canvas flush with the wood. You can also use 1″ or 1/2″ or 1/4″ trim pieces to change the look or to work with a canvas with more depth.
Step Three – Glue And Nail Frame
Layout the 4 sides of your DIY Wood Frame for Canvas on a flat surface. Use Wood Glue and clamps to hold the corners tight and straight while the glue dries.
I love using my Bessey Strap Angle Clamp for frames. It makes building wood frames so much easier. You can see it in the video above. 🙂
If you don’t have corner clamps of some sort, use brad nails with the glue to assemble the DIY wooden canvas frame. If possible, use nails only on the top and bottom sides of the frame, so they’ll be less visible.
Step Four – Sand And Apply Finish
Let the glue dry for a few hours before removing the clamps. The joints should be pretty tight, but a little bit of wood filler along the front and corners of the canvas frame will make them look even neater.
If you used a brad nailer on the exterior of the frame, use wood filler on those holes too.
Let the wood filler dry, then sand the frame to prep for stain. I used Danish Oil, so I only needed to prep with 1 sanding of 150-grit sandpaper.
Other types of stain may require higher levels of sanding. Be sure to follow the directions on the stain to get the best results.
That’s it for the build steps. Keep scrolling to see the full steps for how I finished my canvas frames.
Finishing My DIY Frame For Canvas Art
Step One – Prep For Finish
Once the wood filler dries, sand the extra wood filler off and smooth the whole frame with 100-grit sandpaper. Then switch to 150-grit to get Select Pine ready for finish.
For different types of wood or finishes, you may need to use different grits to get the best finish.
Step Two – Apply Danish Oil
Next, dust off the DIY Wood Frame for Canvas with a clean rag. Then apply your finish. I used Danish Oil in Medium Walnut.
It’s one of my go to finishes, lately. It wipes on easily and dries pretty fast. Plus, it hardens the wood a bit and doesn’t require a top coat. So, it’s super easy.
Step Three – Attach A Sawtooth Hanger
After the finish dries, you can nail a small sawtooth hanger to the back of the frame. Then flip the frame over and gently push the canvas into place.
Building the frame just an 1/8″ or 3/16″ larger than the canvas should give you a tight enough fit to hold the canvas in without extra help.
If not, painters tape, sticky putty, or a few drops of hot glue on the back can hold the canvas where you want it.
And now you’re ready to hang your beautiful new wall art. Check out this post about my Easy DIY Coffered Ceiling to see more of my Dining Room.
That’s it for this DIY Wood Frame for Canvas tutorial. Here’s a few more tutorials you might like. Thanks for stopping by!
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Want to see more DIY wall art ideas? Check out how I make scrap wood wall art here.
Or, this pretty DIY Chevron Wood Art.
I love this easy DIY Wood Drawer Front. The beautiful routed edge gives it so much style.
Feeling inspired? Now that you’ve seen how to build a frame for a canvas you can too.
Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.
Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, updating & building furniture, and working on DIY home maintenance and cleaning tips for over 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. And, her DIY YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools. All of the cleaning tips on this website have been tested in her home.