DIY Canvas Backdrop

My first time painting a canvas backdrop was completely experimental and turns out pretty fun since there was no need to be precise, my kind of painting! 🙂


*a quick raw snap of me from my ever so supportive hubby, no make-up, no problems 😉 


This post will help to explain the supplies you will need as well as the process to replicate the canvas seen photographed below.

This is perfect for startups like me… Starting a photography business isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap. It requires a lot of time, patience, constant learning, money, manual labor and well a whole lot of love to keep going. This is just one tiny beautiful piece to a big puzzle, hope you love it as much as I do.

This requires ZERO experience.

Supplies Needed:

  • 6×9 canvas backdrop
  • paint pan and liner for easy clean up
  • cheapest roller brush
  • roller stick (to save your back, you will thank me)
  • paint: (1 quart each of flat or matte toffee crunch, flagstone grey, and white)
  • water bottle, extra water
  • sponge cut up
  • plastic drop cloth to save your painting surface
  • fabric softener



The Process:

  • wash canvas with fabric softener
  • throughout each coat of paint spray canvas with water
  • with it still damp from washer begin to paint the following:
  • first roll the whole canvas with toffee paint mixed with a cup of water
  • next mix the rest of the toffee paint with white paint (1/2 and 1/2) and water
  • then roll it on only the center, not using a lot of paint on the edges so it blends
  • pour a little bit of gray in a separate tray to dip sponge in just on the surface
  • then lightly begin to dap the canvas on the outer edges first
  • smudge it here and there with the back dry side of the sponge
  • as the paint starts to wear off start to work your in towards the middle
  • repeat until all the way around
  • end with rolling whats left on the toffee/white roller you set aside on the whole canvas, should only be a damp roller at this point, used for a final blend


* in this iPhone photo it is still wet and looks lighter than it actually is and dries. 


Here is a professional portrait I photographed using this very DIY backdrop to show its awesome potential! A new professional backdrop may cost you around $200. Maybe initially you will spend $100 on supplies but you will have some of it to utilize again to keep creating more of your own. These backdrops may not be quite as beautiful as those professionally hand painted ones are but they come pretty close. They keep you on that very tight start up budget and they are hand made with love for your craft. I hope this inspires someone to get crafty and create one of your own. Thank you for following me on photography journey, it’s been a blast so far!

Studio Session-231-Edit-Edit

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