How To Stretch A Canvas Painting
Learn Canvas Print

How To Stretch A Canvas Painting Effectively

If you are interested in painting, you must know that the canvas is an excellent piece of artwork. As the cost of the canvas is quite expensive, people are going to use rolled canvas paintings instead and stretch them on their own.

For this reason, if you want to be a painter, it is necessary to learn the way of how to stretch a canvas painting.

Well, lucky for you. The process is simple enough for you as long as you follow the instruction. I will give you some useful information in this article.

What to prepare?

  • Canvas frames or stretcher bars.
  • Canvas painting. Remember to purchase enough canvas, which depends on how wide the frame is.
  • A spray bottle. Make sure to fill it with plain water to moisten the backside of your stretched canvas. It can help the canvas to tighten more after drying.
  • A primer to treat the stretched canvas. People often use a white paint mixture called Gesso, which is made of chalk, gypsum, and other substances. You can buy this primer on every art supply store.
  • Canvas pliers.
  • Staple, staple gun, and a hammer.
  • Pencil and tape measure.

A Step-by-step Guide On How To Stretch A Canvas Painting Effectively

Step 1: Cut the canvas into the right size.

Make sure to cut it wider than the dimensions of your canvas frames or stretcher bars, especially pay attention to the width. Extra canvas will help you find it easier to pull and stretch the canvas painting.

It is highly recommended if the border of the canvas is larger than 2” so that it is great to work with.

First, use a sharp knife to cut one edge of the canvas along a straight line. Then, tear it along the fixed line to make an accurate cut.

Step 2: Center the frame on your canvas painting.

After cutting the canvas, lay it down on a flat surface. Remember to clean up the canvas to ensure that it is clean and smooth enough before working with it. Then, center the frame on the top of that canvas painting.

Notably, you must pay attention to placing the edge of the canvas straight with the frame.

Step 3: Start stretching all sides.

Let’s get started with the longest sides of your canvas painting. You have to use your strength to pull it tight and fold over the frame.

Then, insert three or more staples in the center of the side you are working with. Remember to insert from the middle to the corner of the stretcher bar so that the canvas will not be loosened or make the frame pooch out.

Repeat the process with the other side by rotating both the frame and the canvas painting or moving to the opposite side.

Now, move to the short sides. The process is similar to stretching the long sides. However, two staples are sufficient for this situation.

Step 4: Moisten the canvas gently with water after having fixed each side of the frame

In case you are trying to stretch an untreated canvas, dampening your canvas will assist in stretching more tightened when it dries.

Step 5: Stretch the corners.

From the center staples to the corner, let’s pull, stretch it down, and insert a staple. Continue the process slowly but firmly around the edges of the canvas painting.

Then, fold one side of the corners on and pull it firmly. Especially, remember to make a straight line along the edges and corners of your canvas painting.

This step is significant as it is almost the final step that decides whether your canvas painting is stretched well or not.

Step 6: Use a hammer to pound all the staples on the frame to make everything flush enough.

It is not good to see any rough staples left on the frame.

Step 7: Check to see if the canvas painting is tight enough.

Let’s flip all the frame of the canvas painting over and tap it. If it feels taut like a drum, you are successful. On the contrary, your effort will fail if you see any creasing pulling. Of course, a loose canvas painting is prone to sag, which impacts severely on painting.

Besides, in some cases, it is recommended to insert wood wedges or shims into the corner for better stretching. It is not mandatory, but it will enhance the tightness of your canvas painting effectively.


Final Words

Do you find it easier to stretch a canvas painting after reading our article? Have you found out any useful tips yet?

If you have some new ideas or different ways to stretch a canvas painting effectively, share it with us!

Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *