How To Prevent Canvas From Warping

Canvas warping is a frequent issue that artists encounter when using canvas for their paintings. It can be extremely aggravating to see your painstaking effort become distorted due to the warping of the canvas. In this blog post, we will explore several strategies that can assist you in preventing canvas warping.

Understanding Canvas Warping

Warping refers to the distortion of the canvas surface often caused by the changes in the tension of the fabric due to moisture absorption or drying. Due to this, the canvas may become loose or tight, leading to its warping or buckling.

Steps to Prevent Canvas from Warping

Choosing the Right Canvas

One of the key factors in preventing canvas warping is choosing the right canvas. Stretched canvases come in a variety of qualities. Those of lesser quality tend to be more prone to warping. Opt for a canvas with a thicker frame and a high-quality fabric to minimize the chances of warping.

Proper Priming

Priming your canvas properly can also help prevent warping. Priming seals the canvas fabric, making it less susceptible to changes in moisture levels. You can prime your canvas with gesso using a brush.

Here’s a simple way to prime your canvas:

1. Lay your canvas horizontally on a flat surface.
2. Use a large brush to apply a coat of gesso on the canvas.
3. Let it dry completely.
4. Apply a second coat if necessary.

Remember, you should always prime your canvas following the weave of the canvas to maintain its original tension.

Controlled Environment

Keeping your canvas in a controlled environment can also prevent warping. Extreme temperatures and humidity can cause the canvas to expand and contract, leading to warping. Therefore, keep your canvas in a place with consistent temperature and humidity levels.

Proper Storing

When not in use, canvases should be stored vertically with adequate spacing between them to allow air circulation. They should not be stacked against each other as it may lead to warping.

Back Stapling

Back stapling as opposed to side stapling can also help in preventing canvas warping. Side staples can cause the canvas to loosen over time, while back staples help maintain the tension of the canvas.


By following the above-mentioned steps, you can significantly reduce the chances of your canvas warping. Remember, it’s always better to take preventative measures than trying to fix a warped canvas. Happy painting!