View Full Version : Question on prepared canvas

07-07-2005, 05:23 PM
This probably sounds like a dumb question from a dumb artist but--I just purchased some prepared canvas. Now, I've been mostly a graphite and watercolor artist, just starting to do acrylic. I have never painted on canvas so this is a new experience for me. My question deals with the little wedges that came with the stretched canvas. I know that the wedges help stretch the canvas, but why did they come wth the already stretched canvas. Leads me to think they might need restretching. Am I correct or what?

and of course how do you use them? Sort of see how, but maybe a hint or two would help.



07-07-2005, 06:17 PM
What brand/type of canvas are you using? I have gone through many pre-stretched canvases from different brands and I haven't noticed the wedges you are talking about. To answer your question, if the canvas is pre-stretched, chances are there is no need to restretch.


07-07-2005, 06:26 PM
I got my canvas from Dick Blick and they also have the wedges. I am not sure what they are for either...I use them when I ship my final pieces to help stablize the canvas during shipping. I'm waiting patiently for the answer to this as well...what are they really for???
(Another dumb artists :) ... Chaz, you aren't alone here :confused: ) Krysta

07-07-2005, 06:30 PM
Hi Chuck,
i always have those wedge things too...they just have to be tapped in ...i think it must be for extra strength....was there a little paper with them in the packet?
telling you how to use them? you just tap in the bottom one first then the top one...and repeat for the four corners....they only fit the one way...hope this helps...

07-07-2005, 06:34 PM
They're used to tighten a sagging canvas. You insert each in the corner slot, with the longer side against the wood. You'll have two in each corner. Carefully and equally increase pressure until the canvas is tight again. What you're doing is pushing both bars out to increase the size of the corner. It must be done evenly all around, or your canvas will be out of square.

If you can avoid using the wedges, do so! I use them only in the most extreme cases, and only when the sagging is due to a heavy paint application. It's normal for canvas and wood to expand and contract with changes in humidity, usually at different rates. (The canvas reacts faster than the wood.) During the course of a year, the canvas might be a little loose or a little tight at times, and that's okay. If you add wedges when the canvas is loose due to moisture, it might tear when the humidity changes and the canvas gets tighter.


Wayne Gaudon
07-07-2005, 07:02 PM
I know you don't need the whole article but the pictures are there and help show you the use of the little corner supports.


07-07-2005, 10:37 PM
Thanks Guys. I got the picture (no pun intended) I took closer look and with the help from you folks I figured it out.

thanks for the link Wayne. I bookmarked it for future reference.

Dave, the canvases were cheapie from hobbylobby. got a gift cert from my granddaughter and thought I'd try them.

and there was no little paper tucked in there.

thanks tami , krysta and 3chaway9. with all you're help, I'm good to go and give it a try.


07-08-2005, 04:57 AM
Yep, they're for tightening the canvas. :) The cheapest stretched canvases usually are stretchers that don't allow for retightening and don't come with wedges. I've only ever used them on larger canvases, where my hard brushwork and using water has made the canvas loosen a bit.

Because they come with all my canvases I literally have a bucketload of wedges!


07-08-2005, 01:24 PM
Thanks for the comback Tina. I hope you are well after all the misfortune for you city yesterday. My prayers are for you and those close to you.

As for the wedges, I feel that I too will end up with, if not a bucket, but perhaps a flowerpot of wedges. Were they cheese!