Adding a Border to your Work

Today is just a brief note on how to enhance our paintings by using a border.  Borders can be made from all sorts of different materials; last month I showed you how to use Gold leaf and how that can add glitz and glamour to your painting and today I would like to look at other ways of making a border for your paintings.

How to make a simple plain white border.

To add a very pleasing simple plain white border you can make use of masking.  Simply stick your masking tape round the edges of you canvas, making sure it is stuck really well.  The inner edges are the most important so you need to make sure they are stuck down really well. Then we can start to paint your picture in the middle of the canvas, being careful not to lift the edge of the tape. After you have finished your paint, simply remove  the masking tape very carefully and slowly and this will leave quite a pleasant white border.  Simple!

borderlearn to paint in rotherby

Adding a Coloured Border

Another way to add a nice border to your painting is by painting your canvas using an acrylic paint. As an example we will use a blue colour. Apply the acrylic colour of your choice, then add your masking tape around the edge in the same way as before.  Then begin to paint your picture using warm colours to work well with the blue border you have chosen: reds, pinks, and yellows etc will work well with blue.   When you have finished your painting remove the masking tape as before and the border will remain blue. Your painting subject will gel beautifully with the border in terms of colours because they are all complimentary colours.

Borders using Stencils and Paste.

Here I have made a 2” border inside which I can place my stencil work.


Alternatively, if you create your border using masking tape as before, for a bit of fun you can make all sorts of designs in your border using a stencil and some modelling paste. Once you have made your border and your paste is dry you can then stencil using different coloured paint. This will certainly add to the effect of your painting.

Below are some examples that I did earlier:

Inner white border                     Outer white  border                                      Black border with contrasting coloured interior.

candles   Borders                                        Poinsettias

There are all sorts of ways to make a border – just experiment and have fun and let me know how you get on.

Happy painting



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