How to Paint on Tar Paper

Tar paper can be used in construction and by artists alike.
Tar paper can be used in construction and by artists alike. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Tar paper is also known as roofing felt. In roof installation, this type of paper is installed between the surface and the roof tiles to create a waterproof barrier to protect the home or structure. However, tar paper can also be used for other things, such as art projects. The slightly textured surface and unique appearance can help you create a painting that is truly original. Plus, since it comes in rolls, your painting can be as large or as small as you like.

Things You'll Need

  • Tar paper
  • Heavy objects
  • Artist’s paintbrush
  • Acrylic paints

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Purchase the tar paper. You will likely need to go to a lumberyard or talk to a local roofing contractor.

Unroll the tar paper until it’s the size you want for your painting. Cut across with scissors.

Flatten out the tar paper with the unlined side facing upward. Place heavy objects on either end to keep it from rolling back up.

Use an artists’ paintbrush and acrylic paints to paint on the tar paper. Be sure to keep the edges flat as you paint toward them.

Remove the heavy objects on either end once the paint starts to dry. The paint should prevent the tar paper from rolling up.

Continue painting to the edge of the tar paper. Allow the paint to dry and the tar paper will be ready for framing or displaying.


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