Making a Hot Mess

A hot mess canvas is a technique where you paint a pattern of colors on a canvas, then reverse stencil an image on the pattern. After you lay your pattern on the painted canvas, you can use acrylic (or in my case, spray paint) to cover the whole canvas before peeling up your vinyl to reveal a multi-colored image.

I was intrigued to try this since it seemed like a fun project, and I am definitely going to get my kids involved in one of these soon. I happened to have a flat canvas laying around, so I painted a random pattern of blues, greens, teal, red, yellow, and black. Once it was fully dry, I chose to spray a clear gloss on the canvas so my vinyl would stick better. I laid my design with Oracle 651, and peeled the transfer tape at a very tight angle so the image would stick down (canvas can be tricky). I finished it off with two coats of matte white spray paint.

It isn’t perfect, I could have pressed my vinyl a bit more before spraying the white. Using a hairdryer for some heat can help ensure it sticks best and doesn’t run. I will say, the uneven strokes of paint under the white give it a more rustic look, and a little paint run adds the right kind of character I wanted this piece to have.

Finished product:

Before:

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