Create the look of aged faux fresco!

This vintage coffee art for your kitchen project was inspired by the timeworn look of frescos and antique advertising art.  The project features a free printable of a design that combines a vintage Lion Coffee ad with a coffee grinder illustration from an antique book.   It lends itself to the character of the faux fresco, but you can use a print of your choice!

Fresco is the art of painting on a plaster surface so the colors penetrate the plaster as it dries. This faux fresco canvas technique is easy to do and a great way to mimic the timeless look of an aged fresco surface.

The materials I used are pretty simple and you may have joint compound available from previous home projects. It doesn’t take much!

Lion-Coffee-clipDownload and print the coffee design at the end of this post.  A laser print will achieve better results and won’t smear when brushed with tinted Mod Podge sealer.  Laser printers are available at most copy and mail centers.

If you’re using an inkjet print, make sure it is dry and test an area by brushing the printed area lightly with the Mod Podge.  If it smears, lightly spray the print with a clear acrylic matte spray to seal the print before applying the Mod Podge.


I printed the copy shown on a parchment paper stock using a laser printer.  Tear the paper around the printed image-giving it a rough edge.


Set the print aside. On a workable surface mix a small amount of joint compound with ivory acrylic paint until you have your desired color.

I tinted the mixture a color that was similar to the parchment paper stock I used, so the shades would blend and appear natural.




It’s best to leave the center area of the canvas without much added texture so you won’t have ridges under your print.  If you prefer to hang your canvas unframed, spread a little of the plaster mixture onto the sides of the canvas for a continuous textured surface.


Allow the mixture on the canvas to dry completely before continuing.  When dry, glue the torn coffee print to the canvas using Mod Podge.


When the print is dry, add a drop of umber or a brown shade you like to Mod Podge matte to achieve a coffee stained sealer.  Test a little of the color to see if you like it first.  Then brush it over the entire canvas-it will act as a sealer for your print and the torn paper edge will stain for an antiqued look.

Blot with a cloth or sponge brush, as an uneven appearance is more natural looking than a solid overall color stain.  Additional layers of color tints can be applied to the edges as desired, giving your faux fresco canvas a lovely patina of age.

If you like the faux fresco technique, try experimenting with different prints and color tints.  Using acrylics, I painted a set of botanical flowers directly on the faux fresco canvases and they have withstood the test of time without fading or cracking.   I love the aged look and soft colors.

Your coffee canvas is ready to hang as is or with a frame.  Enjoy


The printable is for personal use only.  Print quality will depend on your printer and laser printers will produce the best results in color and detail.  Laser printers are available at FedEx Office centers, and your local copy centers and office supply stores.


Leave a Reply

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