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Stenciled Canvas Wall Art

Showcase bold, urban graphics in your home with this easy wall hanging that begins with a free downloadable stencil, paint, and a canvas drop cloth.

Stenciled city scene wall art

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

Few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Measuring tape
  • Straightedge
  • 2" foam brush
  • 1" artist's brush
  • Computer printouts
  • Crafts knife
  • Hammer
  • Masking tape


  • 4' x 5' 8-ounce canvas drop cloth, #197749
  • Shelf liner, #58932
  • Super 77 multipurpose spray adhesive, #41209
  • Grommet kit, #309772

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Paint the Canvas

Step 1

Wash, dry, and iron a canvas drop cloth. Anchor the perimeter of the canvas to a large work surface such as a kitchen table using masking tape.

Step 2

Measure 16" up from the bottom of the canvas and mark the measurement in two or three locations across the width of the canvas using a pencil. Use the pencil and a straightedge to join the marks, drawing a line that extends the width of the canvas.

Step 3

Download and print out copies of the cityscape stencil with patterns for the individual buildings. Using spray adhesive, attach the stencil printouts to shelf liner and cut out the shapes for only the gray buildings.

Good to Know

If some of the building shapes seem a bit odd, that's because you'll cover the gray shapes with black building shapes that include windows. The shape of the gray buildings accommodates the window openings.

Step 4

Beginning with the gray buildings, peel away the backing on the stencil and apply it to the canvas with the bottom opening even with the pencil line. Dip the artist's brush into the gray paint, and gently paint from the outside edges of the stencil toward the center of the image to prevent paint from bleeding beneath the stencil edges. Remove the stencil; let dry.

Step 5

For the black buildings, place an uncut stencil on a safe cutting surface and use a crafts or utility knife to first cut out the window openings. Save all of the cut-outs. Then cut out the shape of the building and set that aside. Peel off the shelf-liner backing, attach the building outline stencil to the canvas, and insert the building and window cutouts until you reassemble the stencil on the canvas. Remove the building shape stencil -- leaving the windows in place -- and apply black paint to the canvas.

Step 6

After the paint dries, remove the window shapes and use the building outline stencil to position the building shape stencil. Then paint the window colors in the building shape stencil openings. Repeat for the remaining black building shapes, making sure the bottom edges of the stenciled shapes are flush with the pencil line.

Step 7

After the paint dries overnight, apply masking tape along the length of the pencil line just above it. Use your fingernail to firmly press the bottom edge of the tape to the canvas so paint won't bleed under the tape. Using a foam brush, paint the area below the line black; let dry.

Install Grommets

Step 1

Grommet being installed on canvas fabric

Flip the canvas over so the dry, painted side of the canvas is facing down. Use a pencil to mark locations for seven evenly spaced grommets across the top of the canvas. Then hammer the grommets in place.

Step 2

With a helper, hold the wall art in place on the wall while you mark the grommet locations with a pencil. Check that they're level using a straightedge; then hammer nails into the wall to hang your art.