How to turn a Regular Photo to Canvas in 5 minutes!

Feb 20th, 2013

Hi there All Things Thrifty readers!!! I hope you had a great Valentine’s day!! I have to admit, this time of year is so much fun for me! We had a candle lit dinner and I’m never going to complain about getting flowers! We even made sugar cookies, and of course I ate waaaay too many of those. We are busy painting our house. HA, did ya catch that!?!? Yep, we are PAINTING a few things, and I cannot wait to show you. So, stay tuned! 
In the mean time, I’d love to share a quick “thrifty” trick that will help your regular photos look great! 

If you are like us, we have photos of our family and kiddos strewn about the house. And since I’m super cheap, I print my photos at Costco, after all who can beat $5.99 for a 16X20!?!? I chose the “lustre” option, but they are still super duper shiny! My kids’ photos that are in our family room were really reflective in the light, and it drove me crazy! Plus, I’m a thrift store shopper so I tend to buy a lot of picture frames and when you buy picture frames this way, most the time they don’t come with glass. 
So, how do you prevent shiny, reflective photos, you ask!?!?
Texture cream is the best kept secret I can think of when it comes to decorating with  photos.  I’ve used texture cream on craft projects before, and I was super nervous to try texture cream on the photos at first because I didn’t want them to get ruined. But, I figured that the prints were only $5.99, so it was worth the risk.

decorating with portraits gallery wall

I am soooo happy with the results and it takes literally 5 minutes! ! BEST. NEWS. EVER! 
With this tiny product, your plain printed photos look like expensive canvas! It’s amazing!
The hardest part of the entire project is finding the texture cream! The product that I use is from Gluefast and it’s the 520 semi-gloss quart product.
All you need to do is plop a little spoonful onto the picture. 
texture cream for photos Decorating with pictures Decorating with pictures
Next, take a foam roller and spread the texture cream around until it’s even. Seriously…! You just need to let the cream dry…
Decorating with pictures Decorating with pictures
….and your inexpensive prints now look like canvas!
Hopefully decorating with pictures just got a tiny bit easier with this fun inexpensive trick!

decorating with photos

The texture cream even prevents finger prints on the photos, and now you won’t see the reflective imperfections in your photos! I’ve heard there are other products that work for this too, but this is the only one that I have tried first hand. If you have any tips and tricks, feel free to leave them in the comments!

P.S. You only have 1 more day to enter Creating with the Stars, I was asked to be one of the stars this year. I’m really excited to participate in this fun contest!!


  1. Thanks for the tip Brooke! I actually have some texture cream, but never would have known to try this. Awesome!

  2. So cool! Does the cream make the picture edges curl up?

  3. love this – thank you !!!

  4. Brooke, I went to the site you recommended to order the texture cream, but upon checkout found that shipping was almost as much as the product itself! Did you find a way around that? Any help would be appreciated! :)

  5. I never would have thought of this! I am definitely going to give it a try!

  6. Thank you for sharing!!! I love this!! By the way, your Twitter link above does not take you to your twitter account…I wasn't sure if you were aware of this. Just wanted to share…

  7. Brooke @ says:

    Kara, I was desperate! My kids' photos were driving me crazy!! I could see every little ripple in the print by the reflection of light. I figured it was worth the risk! Thanks for your commment! xoxo!

  8. Brooke @ says:

    Mimi, nope it doesn't. Be careful not to put too much texture cream on though. I would say a small spoonful does a 16X20 print. If it got too wet it may start to curl.

  9. Nichole Gaertner says:

    Such a great idea! Where did you find the texture cream? Just a reg. hardware store? Or a craft store?

  10. Brooke @ says:

    Thanks LuAnn!!

  11. Great idea and super easy solution! I'll be pinning this, thank you!
    Debbie :)

  12. Brooke @ says:

    Nichole, I couldn't find it anywhere local, but if you live in a big city, you may have better luck. I would try an art supply store if you have access to one. Our local craft stores didn't have it. So, I actually bought mine directly from the website:;_id=33 If you find it at a store, please report back so I can help others find it too!

  13. Brooke @ says:

    Nicki! I know!! I was shocked too, but I haven't found it anywhere else. I should have warned you, but I totally forgot! The bottle will last for a long time, and you could definitely share it with someone too!

  14. I love this idea! Oh and I tried the link at the top of the page for your twitter account and it didn't work for me either….

  15. Brooke @ says:

    The one up in my menu bar? I just tried it and it worked for me. If you get this message can you confirm that's where it was giving you trouble? Thank you so much for the heads up.

  16. For those of you unable to find the texture cream, you can also get the same effect from Mod Podge. I used the puzzle saver one and it came out amazing! Be aware it is white when you paint it on , but it dries clear with just the right amount of canvas looking texture.

  17. Brooke @ says:

    Thank you! I wonder what's going on! I'll figure it out!!

  18. great idea Brooke! way easier then transferring an image onto a canvas. can't wait to see who makes the cut for CWTS. Selfishily I am so hoping to make it! I'd love to be partnered with any of you lovely STARS!

  19. I've tried mod pigeons before but it curled the photo. Boo!

  20. Haha! "Mod pigeons". Spell check! I meant "mod podge"

  21. Pinning this! We are getting professional pictures of our family next month and I would love to do this with them!

  22. What other uses are there for the texture cream? I would hate to buy the whole container and only use a small amount of it.

  23. Brooke @ says:

    Thank you Lori! I bet most of us have Mod Podge already! I will try it and report back if it gives the exact same affect or not. Thanks again for the heads up!

  24. Brooke @ says:

    Thanks Debbie!

  25. If you live in Salt Lake, they used to sell it at The Wood Connection craft store. Not sure if they still do, but I would think so.

  26. I have a friend who does this all of the time with Mod Podge. Another idea she has done, is cute a piece of wood the size of her picture and then coat the picture (while it is on the wood) and the edges of the wood with Mod Podge. It.was.awesome. I am totally doing it for Mother's Day gifts this year for the Grandma's. Oh, and it totally looks like a canvas. So Mod Podge might be easier to find for some and will give the same effect! :)

  27. I love the idea because I have a lot of photos that I would like to hang on my wall!!! Thank you, Brooke!!!!!!

  28. The Yoder's Four says:

    I've never heard of that product before, how cool! Canvas prints are ridiculously overpriced!!

  29. Brooke @ says:

    Wunda!!! I was cracking up at your "mod pigeons." HA!!! xoxo

  30. Brooke @ says:

    It's a perfect option! Good luck!

  31. Brooke @ says:

    Good luck on CWTS!! There are a TON of talented projects this year! xoxo

  32. Brooke @ says:

    I have only used it to add texture on crafts until now. I'm sure there are other uses, but this is all I've done with it.

  33. Brooke @ says:

    Melissa! Thank you for posting this! No I don't live in SLC, but I will update the post. I live in St. George. :)

  34. Brooke @ says:

    Cute idea!

  35. Brooke @ says:

    Thanks for your cute comment. It made a huge difference for me. Now I don't get bugged at every little imperfection in the picture reflection!

  36. Brooke @ says:

    I know! My canvas a few years ago was almost $100! This is a much better option!

  37. Brooke – that is a fantastic idea. I know that canvas prints can be a bit of an investment. I know because I work for Canvas Press and that is what we specialize in. But we also love the ingenuity and creativity that people have and that's why I am writing. Great job. Let me know if there is anything I can ever help you out with. – Eric –

  38. Such a cute idea! We just bought a really nice camera and have taken some gorgeous pics, but I've been hesitant to order the nice canvas prints because of the price so this is so exciting for me! I see you have those adorable blue frames around your pictures. How did you do those? Just cut and paint pieces of wood? That might be a stupid question but I'm a total virgin to this DIY stuff!

  39. Rachel and B says:

    You are so talented! I love your picture wall. What is the brand and color of the paint on the wall behind the pictures? I need a good neutral color and yours is beautiful!

  40. Brooke @ says:

    The color behind the photos is Sherwin Williams Nomadic Desert. Thank you!

  41. Brooke @ says:

    I actually bought all of those frames and just painted them. Now that I look at the frame again I can totally see what you mean. But, all the frames were bought or given to me from friends and then just painted. If you want to see that post, here it is:

  42. I’ve researched this glu-fast product before. I went to Reuel’s (an art store in SLC) asking what texture creme is and told them about the glu-fast product. They assured me that it is actually similar to or IS Matte Medium that is sold in any craft store in the art section. Liquitex and Golden are 2 brands that I’ve tried and they work amazingly. Super easy to find in any city, not to mention highly affordable (especially since most places offer a 40% coupon). You can brush it on or I prefer rolling with a foam roller to give it that perfect, light textured feeling. One is slightly thicker than the other but both work great!

  43. That is great.

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