How To Keep Canvas From Curling

Canvas is an excellent tool for creating art, with its surface and ability to absorb both acrylic and oil paints. Yet, a frequent problem for artists is the curling of the canvas. This can be quite vexing, particularly after spending hours on a masterpiece, only to have it ruined by a curled canvas. In this blog post, we will discuss different methods for avoiding canvas curling.

1. Stretching the Canvas

The most common way to prevent canvas from curling is by correctly stretching it. Canvas, being a fabric, is likely to shrink or expand depending upon the humidity conditions.

Start by making sure the wooden frame on which the canvas is stretched is perfectly square. You can check this using a T-square or a carpenter’s square. Once you’re sure the frame is square, secure the canvas to it using canvas pliers and staple gun. Always start from the middle and work your way out to the edges, alternating between each side.

2. Preparing the Canvas

Another way to keep canvas from curling is by preparing it with a good quality gesso. This not only provides a smoother surface to paint on, but also stiffens the canvas and prevents it from warping.

Use a wide, flat brush to apply the gesso in a thin, even layer across the entire surface of the canvas. Let it dry completely before applying a second coat. If possible, apply the second coat in a direction perpendicular to the first to ensure an even coverage.

3. Using a Heavier Canvas

Lightweight canvases are more prone to curling. If you find that your canvases are often curling, it might be worth investing in a heavier weight canvas. These are typically more robust and less likely to warp or curl.

4. Storing Paintings Properly

Once you’ve finished your painting, storing it correctly is crucial in preventing the canvas from curling. Store your painting in a cool, dry place and avoid stacking them on top of each other. If space allows, store them upright and not leaning against anything.

In conclusion, with a little bit of preparation and care, you can ensure your canvas stays flat and curl-free. The key is to stretch the canvas properly, prepare it with a good quality gesso, opt for a heavier canvas if necessary, and store your finished artwork carefully.