How to Make Textured Art with Caulking

How to Make Textured Art with Caulking

If you’re an artist on social media, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen the trend of making textured art pieces online. Yet, it can be hard to figure out exactly what they’re using to create that effect. And while some creators will share their secret, I've found it comes at a cost through their paid course they have linked in their bio. 

But what a lot of artists might be using to get this textured look is something called textured modelling paste. However, upon looking it up, it's decently pricey to just try out and also mainly comes in huge containers.

Now I like a deal, especially when experimenting, and heard from my cousin that you could get a similar outcome with caulking. So, I decided to try it out and show you how it turned out in this blog!

Down below, I’ve listed all the steps that I learned while making my first textured piece of art with caulking, and I hope this helps you when creating your next masterpiece! 

Step 1: Learn How to Use Caulking

I am an artist and like to do artsy things, but I do not like to do home improvements. So, to save you the hassle of the Googling and DIY videos I had to watch, here’s how to use caulking. If you already know how to use it, feel free to skip to Step 2!

For those of you staying, the first thing you want to do is ensure you buy the right type of caulking. Make sure it's made with acrylic, like this one I used, so you get the textured effect that will adhere to your paint and dry properly. 

Afterwards, grab the tube and the appropriate caulking gun. On the gun, you’ll find a little hole near the handle. You can place the tip of your tube of caulking in this hole at a 45-degree angle and pull the handle, which will cut open your tube.

Then, find the little needle-like piece on the bottom of your caulking gun. Swing this part out and put it on your caulking tube to puncture the seal. After that – you’re ready to go!

Step by step how to use caulking for art

And don't worry if you don't use all your caulking at once. I also discovered that you could reseal your caulking through this helpful video

Step 2: Start Your Piece

For this piece I made, I used caulking straight on the canvas, as I thought it would adhere better that way. Additionally, I used a gallery canvas as they’re thicker than regular canvases. I wasn’t sure how much I’d be putting on, and I wanted it to hold up and not dent the canvas.

For someone simply wanting to experiment with textured art, I’d suggest purchasing some materials from the Dollar Store, such as their wooden items or canvases, so you can practice what works for you without breaking the bank. 

Because the caulking I used dries relatively quickly, I’d also suggest that you lay out your design beforehand or do a practice one. Once it’s on your canvas, it’s easy to move around but difficult to remove completely from the spot you placed, as it’s gripping to the canvas texture. 

I was wearing gloves while working on this and found it quite sticky to work with, so that’s something to keep in mind. I think using ridging tools would help with giving you more control if that’s the style you’re going for. 

Step 3: Start Painting!

The caulking that I used said it dries in 30 minutes. But, because I’m using this for an art piece, I layered on quite a thick coat, so I let it dry for about 5 hours before using it. It definitely has a bit of a bounce to it even when completely dry, but if you’re being cautious, I’d say letting it dry overnight would be the safest bet. 

After that, you can start painting! For my first piece, I had a light pink background, then went over with some metallic paint on the textured area. Afterwards, I did a bit of back and forth to clean up all the edges, signed it, and it was complete! 

It wasn’t very hard to paint on the caulking, but I would recommend rotating your canvas while you paint to ensure you get all areas of texture. 

Step 4: Varnish Your Piece

And now it’s time to varnish your masterpiece! Because the acrylic paint is over the caulking, you can use any acrylic varnish. For my piece, I used Liquitex Matte Varnish. Again, I would suggest rotating your canvas as you varnish to ensure you get every nook and cranny of your piece. As well, make sure your varnish is properly mixed before applying to ensure if gives you your desired finish. 

My Final Thoughts

Caulking seems like a very affordable option to use for textured art. Overall, it’s something I’d recommend trying, and if you don’t like it, it’s not a huge deal at the end of the day. 

However, I did find it quite sticky to work with, and it did take a lot of time to dry, which you’ll need to account for. Again, I think using some sort of ridging tool or spatula to add texture would help give you more control over the outcome. While I do see people using caulking with their hands, the brand I was using said not to let it touch your skin, so I was using gloves while making the texture.

I’m sure I’ll be using caulking in the future to create more textured art and might try some textured modelling paste to compare their outcomes. Stay tuned for more art blogs, and if you want to see more of what I’m up to, click here to check out some of my current pieces or follow me on Instagram for progress updates.
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