How to Stretch a Canvas

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How to Stretch a Modern Art Canvas

Stretching a canvas on a wooden frame (also known as a Gallery Wrap) may be easier said than done! It takes some practice, especially if you are re-stretching a canvas that has already been painted. If not stretched properly your canvas will have ripples and waves in it, which leaves the painting looking sloppy and amateur.

The primary techniques you need to keep in mind is precision and balanced rotation. Precision in reference to the situation of the canvas on the frame (to make sure it is not crooked or lopsided) and Balanced Rotation in reference to the pattern you follow when stretching and stapling the canvas. See this video on Stretching Fine Art Canvas for an example.

When Would You Stretch Your Own Canvas?

Take the modern paintings at for example. The artist will stretch your canvas initially in order to paint the painting, however in some cases (when shipping internationally, for example) they may need to remove the canvas prior to shipping. This allows the artist to roll the canvas and ship it in a tube at a greatly reduced rate.

Why Would You Re-Stretch a Canvas?

Other common reasons for re-stretching a canvas would be to repair or replace a broken frame. Sometimes in moving (or even just an unfortunate accident from mishandling the art) a wooden frame can get tweaked or broken and may require a framer to remove and replace the wooden frame.

Whatever the reason may be, grab your stretcher board, stapler, canvas, and canvas pliers and follow these instructions to stretch your modern art canvas today!

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