How To Stretch a Canvas

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Stretching canvases by hand is a great way to save money on supplies. It’s a valuable skill that all artists should learn. Not all art supply stores sell raw canvas by the yard, but many carry prepackaged rolls. My preferred raw canvas is heavyweight cotton duck. Check out Jerry’s Artarama for guidance with choosing the perfect canvas.

Note that folding the corners is the trickiest part of this process. The key is to adjust your folds so that no excess material tapers from the edge of the stretcher, while also keeping the creases neat and tight.

Materials:

4 stretcher bars
hammer
heavy-duty staple gun
staples for the staple gun
raw canvas
artist-grade gesso
bucket
gesso brush
water

 

The perfect corner fold.

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