Copycat Print Project


In Get Inspired, Surface Techniques, Tutorials by gene howard


My vintage painting—is it real, or is it a “Copycat”?

I want unveil a groundbreaking product that’s about to make your wildest DIY dreams come true! Have you ever wanted to transfer an image onto a surface, and get that distressed, hand-painted look, like in the photo above? I am introducing an innovative new product, and I wanted you, my friends, to be the first to see the eye-popping results. Amy Howard at Home® Copycat™ is an inexpensive and playful way to create wall art! As you’ll see in the following post, you can print off a simple picture from your ink-jet printer, use Copycat™ to make the picture look like an antique canvas painting, looking blessed with the deep color and texture of age. Believe it or not, this project can be done on wood, fabric, even glass. One of our team members is even applying a map to an over sized canvas to make it grand, antique world map! Today, I want to show you how to apply a simple ink-jet printer picture, transformed into a gorgeous antique painting!




1. Pour Copycat into a small cup. *For this tutorial, we stored an early sample in this Milk Binder bottle.


2. Use the sponge brush to apply a generous and consistent layer of Copycat over your canvas’ surface.


3. Next, use the sponge brush to apply a generous and consistent layer of Copycat over the printed side of your papers’ surface, as well. This application of Copycat will allow a printed paper picture to adhere to your canvas.

4. This next step, you will apply your picture face-down to the area where the Copycat was applied. Keep in mind that the picture will appear in reverse. This really matters if you have text. 

5. Using a plastic putty knife, evenly burnish the paper onto the canvas’ surface to secure adhesion. Allow to dry 2 hours (up to 24 hours). The longer the dry time, the more clearly your image will appear on the canvas.


6. Use a damp t-shirt rag to buff, in a circular motion, over the entire area. It is best to start from the outside and work your way in. As you rub the rag over the surface, paper will begin to wear away, with the image remaining on the surface. 

7. Once entire image is exposed, allow to dry for 30 minutes. 

8. If your paper is larger than your canvas, you may peel away the edges of your paper at this time.

9. The surface will feel rough, so use 400-grit sandpaper to soften. You can then continue with a variety of finishes and seals!

10. Using a china bristle brush and Amy Howard at Home® Light Antique Wax™, dip the tips of the brush bristles into the wax, then use the cardboard palette to offload some wax from the brush. *Always off-load — you should never go directly from the wax to your piece. 

11. Apply wax with 100% coverage. Get deep into the crevices and crannies. Allow to come to tack. Should take 15-25 minutes depending how heavy the wax was applied. 

12. Apply the Amy Howard at Home® Dark Antique Wax™, using a separate brush. Load brush with Dark Wax. Offload onto cardboard palette. 

13. In a feathering motion, lightly antique piece. It is important not to have 100% coverage. The Dark Antique Wax is intended to emulate natural wear, so add no more than 20% coverage. It varies with amount of wax applied, but should come to tack within 15-25 minutes.

14. Apply Amy Howard at Home® Dust of Ages™ with a clean china bristle brush. Apply liberally. There should be 100% coverage with the Dust of Ages™. 

15. Don't brush so hard as you brush the Dust off completely, as you want some of the dust to sit. Any excess can be brushed back into can to be reused. Let sit for approx. 10 min.

16. Come back and use a lint-free t-shirt rag to buff your piece like you would buff a shoe (hit-drag motion) to get that beautiful patina shine.

17. Once you have buffed, you are finished!


18. Pair with a fab frame, and you get to Enjoy the Bragging Rights™!