View Full Version : Help: Painting on alternative materials (canvas, sailcloth, etc)

03-19-2015, 09:42 PM
I'm interested in painting on alternative durable cloths. I have read that some are using sailcloth and polyester successfully.

I have a penchant for painting large-format and have found that shipping something 60" x 47" is a nightmare, if created on masonite (wood cradling). So I thought about trying an alternative surface, that I don't normally like: cloth/canvas.

My thinking is I could paint something large-format and take it off the stretchers when dry, ship it rolled up, then someone at the site can re-stretch on to the stretchers. Anyone ever do this?

Since I paint large, and depending on cost and availability of size, I need some good sources for the above materials. What would you prime these with, regular gesso spray? Is stretching a nightmare? :-)

I also ask the above because I imagine this must be done elsewhere - lots of people paint large, but there has to be a realistic means of shipping, otherwise it just wouldn't work out well.

Thank you in advance....

03-19-2015, 10:28 PM
I stretch my own and buy canvas here: www.bigduckcanvas.com .
I would go with 10 or 12 oz. denim if you want heavy sail weight. Or paint drop cloths from Lowes.
I've never shipped any larger the 24"x 36".
But here on WC, I have read various shipping/packing solutions, do a search. Also search here for stretching threads.

03-19-2015, 10:44 PM
I have no prior experience with these cloths -- would be nice to "feel" some first. But, what do you use to prime yours with?

The large painting I want to do is probably 9' x 5' or something large-ish like that. I don't know if cloth comes that wide, though, so my choices might be limited.

I would stretch it, prime/paint/dry, then take it off the stretchers and gently roll it up into a container, with some protective cover in between; ship, then reassemble in CA.

Anyhow, I'm typically used to really smooth surfaces. I had been using masonite, but recently discovered Dibond. Cloth can be textured, depending on the weave.

What particular material are you using (forgive my ignorance); you mentioned denim, but their page has so many items. I'm looking at the synthetics "coated polyester and nylon denier fabrics", for example.

Thank you!

03-19-2015, 10:49 PM
I filled out their request for free samples.

03-20-2015, 01:00 AM
go to youtube and type in this on search "stretching and painting on large size canvas"
you can also search about shipping large paintings also.

03-20-2015, 01:04 AM
here one
it is re stretching the painting here and installing a 7x20 painting

03-20-2015, 01:08 AM
Thanks for the references :-)

I wonder how to do this in a way that the stretchers could be disassembled and reassembled easily. There must be some novel way to do this, without destroying the fabric/canvas you use. I've seen, over time, artists that show really large works -- there has to be a practical way to get those items around, otherwise it wouldn't work well.


03-20-2015, 01:21 AM
I took a small one off that is store bought and sent it to S. Africa. it was an 18x24 and i was just going to sent the canvas but he wish to have the canvas frame also. He say he have some one there to do it. I took the frame apart. and put it in the mailing tube with the painting
Also he say not to mail it there as the mail was bad. lot of crime. He had someone going to S. Africa so i put it in a mailing tube and cut the tube so the person can carry it on the plane easy. it did get there safe.
anyway i saw in the future I need to number the boards and even put up and down on the faces.
if it going to be big like the 7x20 footer lol. I would also need to stretch my own canvas and leave lot of the canvas on the back so it can be re stretched. easy. store bought canvas do not leave much canvas

03-21-2015, 07:33 AM
Check the web site for "Big Daddy Canvas"

Jon Bradley
03-23-2015, 11:51 PM
Second the notion of drop cloth. There are some really well made ones to be had at a local hardware store for little coin.