How to Write on Canvas

When it comes to writing on canvas boards, there are a few different methods that you can choose from. These include using stencils and transfer paper. 

After reading through our post below, you’ll be left with a better idea about how to incorporate these methods to improve how your writing looks on canvas boards. 

Writing on Canvas


Stencils are one of the best methods for writing on canvas due to how it helps you create a consistent font across all words. You may also find stencils useful when creating more complex designs on canvas, as the letters look clean and precise. 

There are also plenty of fonts for you to choose from, so your creativity isn’t limited. 

Make sure you have the following items:

  • Water
  • Ruler
  • Paper towel to wipe excess paint
  • Solid stencils 
  • Paint marker

Now to start drawing!

  • Start by painting the canvas to create a background color. 
  • Once it has dried completely, use your stencils to measure up where you want each letter and word to be. 
  • Be sure to keep the stencil in place and paint over it, ensuring that the paint isn’t too wet. 
  • Remove the stencil and use paper towels to clean it. 
  • Let the first letter dry before moving on and doing the next. 
  • You can then leave the canvas to dry completely over a few hours. 

Paper Transfer

The paper transfer letters method is less time-consuming than the stencil technique. However, you need to be more precise and steady to prevent the paint from smudging on the canvas. 

Here are the items you’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Printer
  • Computer
  • Carbon paper transfer for transferring writing
  • Paintbrush/ paint pen
  • Ballpoint pen 

Once you have all of these items, you’re ready to start.

  • Paint the canvas with your chosen background color and let it dry completely.
  • Find your desired font on your computer. You can search for these on Google and download them for free.
  • Type the words out and alter the size of the letters according to the size of your canvas. 
  • Print the words. You may need to cut letters individually for resizing purposes.
  • Put the carbon paper underneath the letters and use your tape to keep both pieces of paper together. Place it on top of your canvas. 
  • Use your pen to trace each letter making sure not to apply too much pressure. 
  • Paint the traced letters on the canvas and stay within the lines as much as possible with a steady hand.

Vinyl Letter Stickers

  • Use a small paint brush to create a simple background color.
  • Once it has dried, put your chosen vinyl letters onto the page.
  • Use a ruler to measure the distance between each of the letter stickers to ensure that it fits.
  • Add your color on top of the stickers making sure not to apply the paint too thick.
  • Allow the paint letters to dry a little before gently removing the stickers.

Also read: How to Paint Watercolor on Canvas


So, that concludes our post on some of the best ways to write on canvas. After reading through the steps above, we hope that you’re feeling more confident about giving it a shot for yourself! 


Can you use a spray finish to seal lettering art on canvases?

Once your canvas has completely dried, you can add a finishing spray. Varnish sprays are a popular option, and there are different finishes available, including satin, matte, and gloss. These can be found at your local craft store.

Can you use acrylic paint pens on canvases?

Yes, acrylic paint is one of the most popular options when it comes to painting letters on canvases.

Can you use spray paint on a canvas?

Yes, spray paint can be used instead of paint pens and paint brushes to add background color contrasts. You may need to apply two coats or more to ensure that the painted background is solid.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.