Quick DIY – Update That Artwork!

So here is a fast DIY project. If you are like me and you like instant gratification, this is a project for you!

If you have been in your home for awhile, say 10 years or more, you may have some out-dated artwork. At the time the  colors and style were on trend and you loved the painting. Or maybe you purchased something because it was the correct scale for the room, but you were never really in love with the item. Or maybe you have no IDEA what you were thinking (ummmm, yep don’t even ask what the heck the “before” art was). All you know is that you can’t look at the art work you have any longer, but your bank account says that piece of work is staying right there on your wall! So here is the deal. With most chain store art, the expensive part of your purchase is the frame and matting. Not the poster that looks like art. With that being said, let’s change up that image into something you will be happy looking at!

You will need:

  • Outdated artwork in frames with matting
  • Peel and stick wall paper – I got mine from Target ($29.99)
  • Exacto or utility knife (sharp blade)
  • Paint – (free!!! I used the paint my builder gave me for touch ups on my baseboard and trim!)
  • Pliers
  • Painters tape

Gather your materials and we will get started!

You will need an ugly piece of art, check!


First you need to remove the paper backing found on most framed artwork. I used my utility knife to cut away the paper. Next I used my pliers to carefully remove staples and bend back metal tabs holding the art in the frame.

Once that is finished carefully remove the art and matting from the frame. If you are lucky they are two separate pieces. In my case, these were one item. The printed art was a part of the matting and the only option I had was to cover it. Here comes the beauty of the peel and stick wall paper I bought from Target. There are many different patterns to choose from. Lots of stores carry a self adhesive wallpaper too. It was cheap and I didn’t use much, about 1/3 of the roll, and I was able to use the wallpaper for other projects too- bonus!

I cut the wallpaper slightly bigger than area to cover the outdated art. I very carefully starting at the bottom removed some of the backing from the wallpaper and smoothed it down over the image I wanted to cover. I was careful not to allow bubbles to form,  or  if they did, smooth them out before I peeled away more wallpaper backing and continued.

Once the wallpaper was in place I used my utility knife to cut very close to the matting and black plastic outline near the art. This was the hardest part and took the most patience. I had to cut slow and really watch what I was doing.

All the hard stuff is complete. I used the small can of touch up paint given to me by my builder and covered up the faux marbled cream matting. I didn’t think that color and style worked well with my new greige color scheme and more “transitional” style. Here is what my project looked like after 2 coats of paint.


After it dried I placed my new updated decor back in its frame. I pushed back all the metal tabs that I could and added a layer of painters tape around the seam to make sure it will stay in place. Whoo hoo – updated artwork just like that! I did the same treatment to a second picture identical to the 1st and two smaller pictures that had very similar frames and matting. Four pieces of wall decor updated for about $12.00 (1/3 of my wallpaper roll)!

art before after

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