View Full Version : spray paint on canvas, anyone with advice?

03-31-2007, 01:49 PM
I am getting ready to start working on a piece that will be 15'x6'. Its a custom made banner for a festival, which is why its so large. I have done large paintings before, but this one will be a little different,(and a little larger) and i was wondering if anyone had any experience with spray paint on canvas. I am planning on using "spanish montana hardcore" with an assortmant of caps for control of my lines. I'll use acrylic paint with a fine brush for detail, layered over the spray paint. For canvas I will be using 10oz canvas dropcloth, which has given me good success in the past, and much cheaper then rolled or prestretched canvas.More durable as well, which is needed since the thing will be flapping in the wind. The last time i used Gesso to prime my canvas, it cracked when i got it from storage, so i was just going to use a thin coat of white spray paint over the entire canvas to limit bleeding.
What do i use to stretch this *******?? was thinking about doing it in the woods and hanging it from two trees...any help would be appreciated. If you see me heading down the wrong path with this thing let me know.



Hippie Mike
02-07-2008, 05:10 PM
You can paint flat white latex paint on the canvas The kind use on the walls that will help cracking You put the canvas on a flat suffuse the floor or table use a big brush to apply paint to the canvas as many coats as it take I know that is the best way to get most out out of canvas it take about a day or two dry but will have a flat surface then use your spay on your canvas I can show you some blue jean that did the same way

12-23-2015, 11:18 AM
You can spray paint on canvas, but you need to know how to prepare the canvas first. If you just spray on unprepared canvas, it will just sink in and you won't be able to manipulate the paint at all. This is because the canvas is very absorbent. It may also have a texture. It really works better to create a smooth canvas to spray paint on for most applications. To do this you will want to have some artists gesso plus some acrylic sealer and acrylic paint. You can get away without the sealer if you use more paint. The outcome will be less glossy this way. Mix the gesso with the sealer and paint and apply it in thin layers to your canvas. It should dry completely in between coats. It can take an hour or so for a coat to dry if it's thin enough. You want them thin so it never has any texture. When you have built up the surface enough that it's sealed and smooth, give it a final sanding. Then you are ready to spray paint on it.

12-23-2015, 11:34 AM
I'm interested in what kind of gesso you used that cracked when you got it from storage? I've never had gesso crack, and I've used it thick and thin on canvas. Perhaps it was how it was stored?

The reason I am asking these questions is that as mentioned above, a thin layer of spray paint directly on canvas probably won't provide you the coverage you want for a ground to paint upon.

06-28-2017, 07:13 AM
This is a little off-topic, but I wasn't sure where to put it. I was looking at the work of artist Erick Sandlin, who says he uses spray paint on canvas and just "sprays the paint on canvas" in his backyard and let's "the paint do what it's going to do." The thing is, I think he's being deliberately obfuscatory about his process, as I know how different types of paint behave on surfaces and there is no way he gets the effects he does by simply spraying the paint on. There is much evidence of heavy blotting and lifting of wet paint, as well as layering of colors over each other, masking and stenciling, scratching and scraping and wiping, etc. He even has a couple of paintings that are in a series and the two paintings are identical in every respect except the colors, so it looks like he's either photographed or scanned the first painting and then digitally altered the colors for the second version, both of which are offered as prints.

So, my question is, if he's using acrylic spray paint on canvas, how would he have time to do all that blotting and lifting before the paint dries? Even spray acrylic dries very rapidly and if he's doing all this in his backyard (in hot, humid Houston, no less), I don't see how he's got the time to work the paint before it dries.