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How to Paint a Canvas Tent

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you are looking to paint a circus tent or looking to give your outdoor canvas tent a medieval feel, painting your canvas tent is a great way to give it a unique look. True, the process is one that can be easily messed up. However, by being careful in your methods you can ensure your results are as you imagined.

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  1. Set up your tent as if you were using it.

  2. Apply seam sealer to all seams on your tent to prevent water from seeping in, which could lead to uncomfortable conditions and tent damage. Let the sealant dry.

  3. Spray the entire exterior and interior of your tent with the lightest colour you will be using. Allow to dry.

  4. Apply with tape stencils or other coverings that are shaped in the desired pattern (fabric or roll paper taped in place both work) over any areas that will remain the lightest colour. Spray the paint over the tent again and let dry.

  5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4, progressing from lighter to darker colours. It is not necessary to change the covering with each new colour. Instead, simply add to what is already in place. Let the paint dry between each layer.

  6. Remove the covering to see your final product once all colours are completely dry.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paint gun
  • Medium viscosity acrylic paint, thinned with a paint gun thinning agent
  • Seam sealer
  • Stencil or other method of covering canvas (optional, for multicoloured tents)
  • Heavy-duty tape to keep stencils in place

About the Author

Robert Preston
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