Redoing My Acrylic Canvas Painting


I wasn’t sure if you can paint over an acrylic canvas so I did some research.

I was thrilled when I found out that YOU CAN!

Some people use a gesso medium and cover the entire canvas to have a blank slate again. Others, turn their canvases upside down to not get confused with the old painting. In my case, I just used it as it is. I kind of wanted to use my old painting as a base anyway of where I wanted my new and improved horizon to be. After 2 days of letting the original painting sit in our room, I decided I was ready to change it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I can pull it off, but I know if I retouch it I have to commit to finishing it. And so I used our dining area as my studio. I don’t own an easel since I have not painted on a canvas before. When I sketch on my sketch pad I just use whatever table is available. Hahaha.

So this is what I came up with…


I used our music stand as my easel and prepped my canvas there. I had to create a lip to make sure the canvas won’t fall off easily after my baby knocked it over when she bumped into the music stand. So I used a cereal box for this, folded it over and taped it to the music stand. It worked wonders! And then I set up my Walmart bought brushes and some Dollar store acrylic paints at our dining table. I was too cheap to get my hands on some good acrylic paints so I just used the ones we have been using for our Sunday school class. The weird thing about cheap acrylic paints is that they are not viscous. These Dollar store paints are very runny so I needed to apply several coats to cover the original painting.

We might get better quality acrylic paints now that I can prove to myself that I can actually paint. LOL. My husband thinks I should paint and sell them. Hahaha. Too much faith on his wife’s skills I say.

I really enjoyed mixing different colours and layering them. So I think I will consider painting some more…

Here’s the original painting. You can see it’s very one dimensional. In other words, it looks flat.


Here’s how I transformed this original painting…

STEP ONE: Covering my purple sky with several coats of blue all the way down to my white horizon. And then adding a thick streak of black on the top left and gradually moving it down. I also put a smear of violet underneath it. A light streak of light blue on top of the black was added as well (not sure if you can see it, but it’s there). Then, covering my yellow and orange sky (sun included) with a coat of a more subdued yellow, and then some red streak on the right. Last part was marking where my “new horizon” should start. I realized then that the only white paint I have available was pearl white. So I stuck with it. Which actually worked for me as it gives it a shimmering look up close, like when the water glistens.


STEP TWO: Making the black streak longer and covering a portion of it with purple. Adding some pale blue and pale violet in the sky and making my red streak run all the way to the the end of the canvas, with a coat of violet sitting on top of it, and a streak of tangerine on top of that.


STEP THREE: Here I’m still working on my sky. Just layering up different colours.

STEP FOUR: Adding several coats of blue on top of my dark purple water, and then finishing it up with some lightly brush stokes of pearl white.

STEP FIVE: Extending my sun’s reflection on the water. I find this one of the trickiest part of this entire process. Since my water is now blue, adding yellow on top of it can easily make the sun’s reflection green. As we know, blue and yellow are primary colours and when mixed you’ll get green!Because the paint that I’m using was very runny, this part of the painting was the most time consuming. I ended up leaving the house for an hour so I won’t be tempted to touch it up again until it’s ready.

STEP SIX: Redoing my boat. This was not part of my plan, I was actually quite happy with my original shaggy looking boat. But after adding depth and colours into my now realistically looking sky and water, I just can’t pass the opportunity of making my boat better. And since I don’t have the same white paint from the original painting (and wasn’t planning on spending to buy one), I couldn’t just retouch my boat to make it better. I had to completely overhaul it. And because my new boat extends to my beach, I had to retouch my sand as well. But in the end, I’m actually glad that I did. They now have a more uniformed and realistic look I think.

STEP SEVEN: Signing my painting, which means I’m done! Almost done anyway! (The very final step would be sealing it, which I plan to do soon). 


Any suggestions as to what I can use to seal an acrylic painting? Will Modpodge work? Or the Krylon Clear Spray Paint? So far those are the only options I have.

I hope this inspires you to get creative and use those old acrylic canvases to create something that’s originally YOURS!

Happy painting!

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