DIY Abstract Art

Have you ever seen an abstract painting and thought “They want how much for that?!?! I could totally paint that myself”? I have too…which led to this DIY abstract art project. 

I’m not a huge art buff, but I do like Michelle Armas’ abstract paintings.


But y’all know I’m cheap, so there’s no way I was going to pay $300-$400 for a piece of art. I knew I wouldn’t be able to paint exactly like her (plus I don’t want to completely rip-off her work), but I figured I could paint something inspired by her use of color and ideas.

I bought this canvas at a yard sale a couple years ago for around $10-$15. I liked the picture and 
it was a great price for a canvas that size (it’s originally from IKEA). BUT, I never loved the picture – the colors are too muted against the navy table and the picture blends into the wall color too much. I’d always planned to paint over the picture, but could never work up the courage to actually do it. I have no artistic ability whatsoever, so I was worried my painting would look horrible.

Finally last weekend I got a wild hair up my ass and decided I didn’t care if I ruined the daisy picture. I was sick of seeing it and ready to try something new. I took the picture off the wall and covered it with two coats of primer before I could change my mind.  

No turning back now! At this point I was unsure where to start, so I used Kimberly from Swoon Worthy’s short brushstroke method and just started painting. My original plan was to start at the bottom with the darkest color and work my way up to the lightest color. For the paint, I just used some craft acrylic paint that I already had on hand (navy, robin’s egg blue, tropical orange, and yellow) and sample pots of Valspar Pale Jade and Behr White Truffle.

I knew lots of layers would look the best, so I just started painting, waiting for the paint to dry a bit, and then added another layer. I worked up to about four layers before I decided I didn’t like how light the top was turning out. I tried to add some random navy, but I hated it, so I primed over that corner and decided to start over. 

I let everything dry over night and then started on my blank corner the next morning. I decided to change my plan and decided to go from dark to light to dark, so I started with the navy paint. 

Multiple layers later, I was done! 

I don’t think I’ll quit my day job and become a professional painter, but I actually really like how it turned out.

I think it looks so much better with the navy coffee table and light wall color. I’m debating adding another section of navy on the middle right because it seems kinda blah right there, but I think I’ll live with it a bit before I decide.  

If you decide to try this yourself, my advice would be to just go for it! Pick the colors you want to use and start painting! Yes, it’s actually harder than it looks, but it was actually kind of fun and now I have a custom piece of art that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. Actually, I already had everything on hand, so this update was free! Even if you count the price that I originally paid for the canvas and paint, it still was only about a $20 project. Can’t beat that!

Have you tried your hand at abstract art? If you have, send me a link. I’d love to see!



  1. Love it! It totally looks professional, like you paid a lot of money for it! I love how the color really makes that space pop.

  2. Looks absolutely fantastic Sam!!!!! I must try this one day!!!! Love it!

  3. Thay turned out great! Good job Sam!

  4. I love this! Pinning it so I can do something similar.

  5. It looks amazing! Yay! Love the colours you chose and thanks so much for the little shout out :-D xxx


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