How to make Shabby Chic Wall Art (+ Age Paper without Coffee or Tea)

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own! Read more about my disclaimer here!

Do you love shabby chic, rustic or vintage home decor? Learn how to achieve that distressed, antique look on new items to make it look shabby chic or rustic with this one simple technique on aging paper or canvas with fake coffee stain!

For this DIY project, I will be making a floral shabby chic wall art on a horizontal canvas board. It’s a super simple process, so read on! 

What I Used

  1. A horizontal canvas board

    Mounted over a wooden board, so it’s ready to be hung anytime. I got mine from a local store.

  2. Acrylic Paint

  3. Clear Spray Sealant

  4. Calligraphic Black marker

  5. Metal decorative edges


  1. Search for shabby chic inspiration as a reference! I first searched for a picture reference on Google, specifically looking for a ‘cloth hung on pole’ design.

  2. Sketch out the design in pencil.

    Here’s some shabby chic photos that sparked inspiration for me:

vintage shabby chic decor
shabby chic rose wallpaper
shabby chic rose frame


The most important technique to give that antique look is learning how to age paper or canvas to give that weathered, aged, vintage look! Check out how i aged the canvas WITHOUT coffee or tea. I dislike wastage of food and drinks so I came up with this method on painting fake coffee stains to give that aged paper look! All the popular tutorials on making paper look old always use actual coffee or tea. If not, they would use a fancy dye or stain.

Honestly, all you need is brown acrylic paint and water and it totally works for me to give a washed off, faded, antique look to new items! I’ll show you how to age paper or paint fake coffee stain in the next step!


Give a touch of that shabby chic, rustic look with a washed-out, ‘coffee stain’ design!

  1. You will need to paint the background of the canvas first with fake coffee stain before adding any other design on it.

  2. For that ‘coffee stain’ look, I diluted brown acrylic paint to give that ‘coffee stain’ look. If you are not sure how diluted it should be, test on plain paper first.

  3. Start with a VERY diluted brown paint to give a barely visible brown shade and use a broad, fanned out brush and paint the canvas in large strokes. This will be the base and the first layer.

  4. After the first layer has dried, build it up from there but cover LESS area each time. You can be as messy as you want as it’s supposed to look ‘stained’.

    Brown Coffee Stain

  5. If the brown is still too light in the subsequent layers, add more brown paint to the diluted solution.

    Pro Tip: It’s better to be safe and use a light, diluted paint than a thick one as you cannot fix it if you paint too thickly. And ALWAYS wait for each layer to dry before painting the next layer.

  6. The last layer should be the least diluted one and should not be too watery. I like to use the dry brush technique for the last layer.

  7. Dry your brush thoroughly and dip it sparingly into least diluted brown paint. Now, gently swipe the brush across the canvas as though you are trying to glaze it.

    Remember, the edges of the canvas should have the darker stains while the middle part should have the least.

  8. After you are happy with the coffee stain background, let it dry and you can start painting the design you have picked out!

    Shabby Chic floral design for your home decor

    I picked out a floral banner design so that i can customise it with names!

    Have fun with this! I went a bit crazy with the gold. I mean leaves with gold veins, can you imagine?!

  9. Glue on the metal decorative edges on all four corner. This really brought my design together and made it look totally chic!

I LOVE this decor hack. Look at how the decorative metal edges transformed the whole look!
  1. Lastly, write out the desired names in a calligraphic font.

    I’m no calligrapher, so my cheat method is to write it on Microsoft Word first. Then I would write it out on the canvas using pencil and trace it with the calligraphic marker afterwards.

  2. Finish the piece by spraying it with clear sealant!

  3. My canvas came with the hook already set in.

    If your canvas is bare, you can manually nail a hook firmly to the back of the canvas! Take a look at this nifty Youtube tutorial on how to hang your canvas.

I covered the names for privacy sake, but you get the idea!

I’m quite happy with how this shabby chic wall art turned out. I’m having a lot of fun incorporating these decorative pieces like these metal edges to the canvas. Such an awesome DIY home decor hack that I learnt while doing this! Also, how authentic does that fake coffee stain look?! All these achieved with a simple brown acrylic paint and water. You can use this simple technique for practically any rustic or shabby chic home decor! I live for simple and cheap DIY projects!

Check out my other DIY Home Decor projects where I gave new life to an old clockrevamped my old furniture in cottage and farmhouse style and when I revamped my boring dresser under $50! At this point, I can say I’m a DIY-aholic!

How to make shabby chic wall art and age paper without coffee or tea

Spread the Love 


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Me