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How To Make Water Resistant Artwork From A Free Printable Graphic

Remember a while back I showed you a free printable from Simple As That that I wanted to use as artwork over my kitchen sink?  Well it’s finally finished!  Here’s how it turned out…

artwork made from free printable graphic 7

I made it using some of the scrap MDF that’s piled in my office (and that I refuse to throw away), and some moulding, wood glue, spray adhesive, the free printable (printed on matte photo paper) and some clear spray.

artwork made from free printable graphic 1

Now if you’re wondering why I didn’t just print the artwork and put it in a frame, the answer is simple.  You see, this is going over my kitchen sink, and the last thing I want over my sink is a frame…with glass…and little cracks where glass meets frame and water can seep in and make a mess.

artwork made from free printable graphic 6

So to prevent any potential mess, I created a piece with no cracks, no glass, no little areas where water can seep in, make a mess, and destroy anything.  Nope, this is sealed tight, top to bottom, side to side.  Water may get onto it, but it won’t “seep” anywhere, and everything is easily cleanable.

artwork made from free printable graphic 3

Now very sadly, I finished it last night at around 10:30, and then realized that I hadn’t purchased any Command Picture Hanging Strips when I was at Home Depot.  So I still haven’t been able to see what my new artwork will actually look like over my kitchen sink.  As soon as I get it hung, I’ll share it with you!

So let me show you how I made this.

First, I printed out the free printable graphic onto matte photo paper (just because that’s what I had).


I then gave the printed graphic a couple of light coats of clear spray (on front and back) so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting the paper dirty or wet.


And then I trimmed the printed graphic to the size I wanted.  It turned out to be 8” x 10”.


Then I placed the graphic onto my 1/2” MDF to determine how large I wanted the “frame” to be.  I decided on three inches (mostly because that would only require one cut).  I marked my cut line, and I also placed little pencil marks around each corner of the printed graphic for easy placement later on.


Using my jigsaw and a straight edge held by clamps, I cut along the marked cut line.


Then using painters tape, I taped around the area where the graphic would be adhered, using the corner marks I made as a guide.


And then I sprayed inside the area with spray adhesive.  (Note:  I used spray adhesive instead of something water-based like Mod Podge because photo paper has wording printed on the back, and in the past, I’ve had trouble with water-based adhesives causing anything printed on the back of the paper showing through to the front.  If you use Mod Podge, be sure to print your graphic out on cardstock rather than photo paper.)


And then I adhered the graphic to the center.


With the tape removed, I was left with a perfectly centered graphic.


Next I was ready to cut the moulding that would create the frame.  I used a 1 1/2” moulding for the outer edges, cut with my miter saw.


I adhered the pieces with a thin bead of wood glue.


I thought I might have to use clamps, but as it turned out, the moulding adhered very well with just the wood glue.


Next I cut pieces of very thin moulding to go right around the edges of the graphic.  These were also adhered with wood glue, but they were a little more stubborn, so I had to use weighted items to hold them down until the glue set.


Then the edges needed some attention.  I didn’t want the MDF to remain exposed.


So I cut strips of lattice and adhered them to the edges to cover the MDF.  I actually ended up using my nail gun on these pieces so that the process would go much faster.  I don’t like having to wait for glue to dry, and I could only find three clamps.


And when all of the moulding was cut and adhered, it looked like this.


Using painters tape, I taped the edges of the graphic, and then applied one coat of primer.  (I used latex primer on this just because it’s what I had on hand.)


And then I followed up with two coats of latex paint.


Then after two coats of water-based sealer over the entire thing, this piece is ready to hang over my kitchen sink!  Water will be no match for this artwork.  It has no cracks to seep into, no glass to creep under.  It’ll just sit on top, where I can easily wipe it away.

artwork made from free printable graphic 2

I’ll show you what it looks like over my kitchen sink as soon as I have a chance to get some Command Picture Hanging Strips.  Have you used those?  They’re awesome!!!  It’s the only thing I’ll use on tile (or mirror).



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  1. You are so amazingly clever. One problem I always have is buying the wrong size frame. This is a GREAT idea!

  2. I LOVE command strips!  They're all I use, since I'm just a renter (and I try to avoid making holes in walls when I hang a zillion things).

    Did you know they (3M) make water-proof (or resistant/safe) strips?  Those might be a good choice if you're concerned about water.

  3. I just discovered your blog, love it!  I envy your talent.

    This is a great idea!  One thing I'm fearful of is miter cuts. Do you have any tips?

  4. Yes!  The best tip I can give you is to purchase a miter saw with a laser guide.  My old miter saw broke, and I recently purchased a new one (not an expensive one…it was about $100 from Home Depot), and I LOVE it.  That laser makes all the difference in the world!!

  5. Nice DIY project Kristi PLUS you help save the environment by recycling the materials you found in your office. I greatly admire you for that. We should not throw things we have better use of.

    I can't wait to see this artwork frame on your kitchen sink. I'm very sure it will look good.

    I've used the Command Picture Hanging Strips before. Yes, they're awesome and practical.

  6. Kristi great job!!This turned out really super.

    Art by Karena

    Do Come and enter my Great Giveaway from Serena & Lily! Ends tomorrow the 25th at 12 am EST

    You will love it!

  7. Awesome! thanks for sharing how you built this, the message and design are oth really nice and inspirational.

  8. This turned out GREAT….. I now have an idea for some art on my "Spaqua" color walls in my temporary bedroom. :o) Command picture hanging strips huh???? not sure what they are but I plan to check it out.