Paint canvas stretched on a stretcher


Before painting on a canvas, the question arises as to whether it is to be processed loosely or in a state mounted on a stretcher. The stretched canvas facilitates the application of paint and reduces the risk of subsequent damage during clamping. The painting becomes challenging due to the elastic background.

Trailer frame or imitation

In craft shops stretcher frames are available with ready-mounted screens in all sizes. The alternative is the acquisition of loose canvas cloth by the meter, which itself is stretched or suspended without stretcher.

Stretcher bars have a crucial feature that should be checked at a purchase with covering necessarily. The retaining wedges inserted at right angles at the corners also serve to tension the canvas. For many finished products this function is not possible. Strictly speaking, the frames are imitations of real stretcher frames.

Retightening is important for painting

Small prefabricated frames with side dimensions of at most thirty centimeters can be painted with good covering even without retightening. In the case of larger keel frames, the canvas gives way during painting by the application of paint and the brush pressure and should be re-tensioned. External circumstances additionally influence the tension of the canvas:

  • Cool (below ten degrees Celsius) temperatures
  • Very warm temperatures (over thirty degrees)
  • High humidity (over seventy percent)
  • Support of the frame on uneven and slippery ground

Colorings and primers

Water-based colors are unsuitable for painting and overpainting a canvas. As color types are eligible:

  • acrylic paint
  • oil paint
  • Pastel

So you paint a canvas on a stretcher

  • colour
  • water
  • Little hammer
  • Short bristle brush
  • cloth

1. Priming

Depending on the color of wear according to the manufacturer a primer on the canvas.

2. Test voltage

If you do not create any "bumps" when pressing with the brush, the canvas tension is sufficient for the painting. Otherwise, gently tap on corner wedges with a small hammer around.

3. Keep the brush clean

Dab the brush on a wet cloth before each new stroke and dunk it in the paint each time.

Tips & Tricks

If the canvas is stretched over the side edges of the stretcher and attached to the back, you can extend the painting to the sides. Instead of a monochrome "frame" you can also drag the picture motif "around the corner".

Artikelbild: ShotPrime Studio / Shutterstock


Video Board: How to make a Canvas Stretcher & Re Stretch a Painting