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Paint Swatch Art on a Budget That Anyone Can Make

Have any leftover paint chips from a projects – and scrapbook paper too? Use Mod Podge to decoupage this unique paint swatch art. So easy!

Skills Required: Beginner. If you can use a punch and a paintbrush, you can do this project. It’s pretty perfect for beginning Mod Podgers.

Polka Dot Paint Swatch Art

We at Hammer Like A Girl have always been inspired by the art you see nowadays in Pinterest-land where people use (free) paint swatches. (We’ve often wondered if the paint suppliers mind this upcycle trend.)

We came up with an idea using paint swatches, paper, and large hole punches to create polka dot DIY wall art. It is a simple project that you can easily customize with your own color palette and favorite patterns.

Paint Sample Art

You will need:

  • Wood panel substrate (we used a 14″ x 14″ wooden painting panel)
  • Paint swatches in your favorite colors
  • Decorated papers, optional
  • Large hole punches (we used 1.75″ and 1″)
  • Mod Podge Satin
  • 1″ Brush
  • 2″ or so foam brush
  • Brayer

Selecting the size of your canvas board:

If you want your polka dots to end exactly at the edge of the canvas, you have to do some math (my daughter had to help with this part!). For us, we were using 1.75″ polka dots – so we found a 14″ x 14″ canvas board that was a multiple of that.

Elephant Board

To start: gather paint swatches in your favorite color palette.

pile of paint chips

We thought it would be fun to throw in some patterned polka dots as well. We used old magazines, greeting cards, and printed file folders.

Pile of scrapbook papers

Punch out several polka dots from the papers and swatches.

Paint chips punched into circles using punches

Arrange the dots on the board.

Paint chip circles arranged onto the wood elephant board
Paint chips layered on top of a wood canvas

Transfer circles from the canvas board to a working surface (a cell phone pic can come in handy here too in case something spills).

Dots moved to the side of the board

Tip – Before you start Mod Podging the dots to the board:

We had trouble with the paint swatch polka dots curling when we Mod Podged them onto the board. To work around this problem, before you start, coat the back of the dots with Mod Podge first.

They will curl when you do this, but as they dry, they flatten out. After the dots are flat and dry, you are ready to start Mod Podging them onto the board.

Applying Mod Podge to the back of the paint chips

Ready to Decoupage:

Begin by spreading Mod Podge onto the board and to the back of the polka dots. Working with one dot at at a time, place a dot onto the board, and use the brayer to decoupage down the dot.

The dots do slide around, especially on the first row, use your finger to hold the dot in place while braying.

Applying Mod Podge to the wood canvas
Applying Mod Podge to the paint chips
Rolling a brayer over the paint chips

Continue working dot by dot, row by row until the entire canvas board is covered with dots.

Adding paint chips to the wood canvas using Mod Podge

Let dry for two or more hours, then use a foam brush to coat the entire surface with a generous layer of Mod Podge Satin.

Mod Podging over the top of the paint chips with a foam brush
Wet Mod Podge on top of paint chips

We wanted a “stippled” texture instead of brushstrokes. To achieve this, after the surface is coated with Mod Podge, gently roll the brayer over the wet Mod Podge. Be careful to not press hard or roll over one area more than once, the paper may start to peel up. And who wants that? 🙂

Brayer rolling over the top of wet Mod Podge

Let it dry and that’s it – polka dot paint swatch art. It’s original, and it was easy to make. For more project ideas that are original and easy to make, visit our votive candle holders!

Polka dot DIY wall art from paint swatches
easy paint chip art
Yield: 1 piece

Paint Swatch Art

Polka dot DIY wall art from paint swatches

Learn how to make DIY wall art using paint samples and a wood canvas! This is very easy and inexpensive home decor.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy


  • Wood canvas - 14" square
  • Paint swatches in your favorite colors
  • Decorative papers, optional
  • Mod Podge Satin


  • Large punches (1.75" and 1")
  • Paintbrushes
  • Brayer


  1. Punch out several polka dots from the papers and swatches.
  2. Arrange the dots on the wood canvas board and take a pic using your cell phone (so you can remember where things go).
  3. Transfer the circles to a separate surface.
  4. Mod Podge the dots on the back and then press onto the board. Continue until the board is covered and let dry for 15 - 20 minutes.
  5. Add the second layer of dots with Mod Podge (for those you want to apply a second layer) and let dry.
  6. Cover the entire wood canvas with decoupage medium and let dry completely.

Did You Make This Project?

Please leave a rating or share a photo on Pinterest!

What do you think about this paint swatch art? Would you make it? Let me know in the comments! I’d also love for you to check out these other ideas:

Wall Art

Friday 30th of May 2014

Interesting idea, thanks

Cheryl @ Artzzle

Thursday 29th of May 2014

Hi. I found you over at The Graphics Fairy. Love the sites . . . her's and yours! Looks like I'm adding more to my following list. Thanks. Cheryl B.

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