View Full Version : Help, Some ‘canvas questions’
10-22-2001, 07:26 AM
Hi. i just bought a 50-meter-‘canvas cloth’ that was folded into a small square. i’ve never mounted my own canvas before, is it safe to iron the canvas to get rid of the fold marks? this might be stupid but which side should i use? both sides look exactly the same to me… can i use any side? also, i’ve heard of adhering the canvas to a cardboard instead of using frames.. is that advisable? is there any harm in doing that?
and lastly—what’s the best way to store finished paintings? (besides hanging them) is there any harm in rolling them up and storing them in boxes or cabinets or whatever? Thanks.
10-22-2001, 10:41 AM
Hello there Turps and Welcome to WetCanvas!
Yes, you can iron the canvas. Do it on the side you don't intend to paint on just as a precaution as ironing can "shine" the surface and you don't want anything to inhibit your ground sticking to and absorbing into the canvas. As for glueing the canvas to a board (not cardboard IMO) you definately can do that. I recommend masonite as the support and acrylic polymer or PVA as the glue.
As for your preference of painting on a ridgid surface or a stretched canvas, it all depends on the flexibility of your paint. I use a medium that dries fairly brittle, so I don't generally paint on stretched canvas if I can help it.
And lastly, although I know many people do it, I would not ever recommend rolling up a painting. You risk severe stress cracks in the surface.
Hope that helps! :)
10-22-2001, 11:54 AM
If the 50 meters of canvas is raw-not primed, it is best to wash it in the washing machine. If you need to cut it up into smaller pieces first, then do that.
Washing it gets out the sizing and the fold marks.
Put it in the dryer and then iron. Then you can prime, etc.
10-23-2001, 05:12 AM
thank you Verdaccio and Scott. now i know what to do with my canvas. i'll get right to it.
about storing finished paintings- most of my paintings already have small cracks (since i'm very fond of the good old impasto technique). i guess i better not roll them up then. hmm.. what to do....
okay. thanks again. appreciate the help.
10-28-2001, 01:36 PM
Just an FYI...if you do decide to use Masonite (or similar hardboard product), you need to be sure to purchase untempered board. Unless you specifically ask for untempered, you'll probably wind up with tempered board and the problem with that is one of longevity. Tempered board contains an oil preparation which will eventually bleed through grounds, primer, KILZ, etc. Grumbacher has some very fine technical forums on this subject which I'd highly recommend if you're considering mounting canvas to hardboard or using it as a painting surface.
By the way, regarding rolling canvas: I recently moved from the Midwest to Alaska and space restrictions forced me to consider rolling several canvases. All of them are very nearly ruined due to cracks that were created where the canvas wasn't rolled tightly enough and got pinched. I've been told that rolling can be successful for short term transportation provided the canvas is rolled tight...which mine, apparently were not! However, I personally will be very leary about rolling canvas in the future.
11-03-2001, 06:26 PM
thanks for the info zorch. i'll check out the grumbacher forums (if i find them).
yikes! sorry to hear about your paintings. hope you were able to restore them.
11-03-2001, 07:13 PM
There is soooo much controversy about tempered vs. un lately that I would like to see what is being said as well. I actually prefer the "feel" of the untempered, but it chips so easily. I have read that they are processing masonite differently now and that there is little or no oil in the tempered masonite. Tried to find the Grumbacher forum but kept getting a gambling site. Do you have the site address by any chance?
11-06-2001, 12:08 PM
That forum is located at:
You'll need to scroll down about halfway to see my own thread on hardboard substitutes, but there are numerous other discussions relating to hardboard in earlier threads, all of which are extremely helpful. In addition, the vast majority of the Grumbacher discussion threads are an invaluable resource to working professional artists or to anyone looking for technical assistance and advice relating to painting and supports.
Hope this helps.
11-06-2001, 01:16 PM
Thanks! Appreciate it. Will spend some time there later today.
11-07-2001, 10:14 AM
Indeed the debate goes on for tempered vs untempered. As you probably know tempered is a much stronger and more durable board than untempered. It is more resistent to water. Masonite is now called Duron I believe and comes in both finishes. The American Hardboard Association defines
Tempered Grade as "impregnated with siccative (drying) material, stabilized by heat or processed
with special additives, to impart substantially improved properties of stiffness, strength, hardness
and resistance to water and abrasion, as compared with Standard (untempered)."
The amount of oil used in tempering is significantly less than it was 15 to 20 years ago (before Duron) and there seems to be little, as yet, meaninful evidence to support the archival quality of untempered over tempered. The untempered substrate is more likely to disintegrate before the oil paint does. I would, personally, accept the assertion of an organization that monitors the quality of hardboard manufacturers (AHA) than an organization that doesn't (Grumbacher). This is, of course, a purely personal observation.
11-07-2001, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by berkking
The amount of oil used in tempering is significantly less than it was 15 to 20 years ago (before Duron) and there seems to be little, as yet, meaninful evidence to support the archival quality of untempered over tempered. The untempered substrate is more likely to disintegrate before the oil paint does. I would, personally, accept the assertion of an organization that monitors the quality of hardboard manufacturers (AHA) than an organization that doesn't (Grumbacher).
I second that motion! Duron is excellent and is superior to untempered. :oL
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