View Full Version : stretching and varnish after painting

10-29-2010, 10:10 AM
I have finished my painting finally and it's on unstretched canvas. I am going to stretch it soon and I believe I have to wet the back of the painting first?

Should I use my varnish before I stretch or will it be easier after?
Does it make a difference?

10-29-2010, 11:03 AM
Never worked on unstretched canvas before, so not sure how it will be when stretched, I'd be afraid it would crack if pulled too tightly.
Wetting the back will make it tighter, which would be best after its been attached to the frame.
I always thought it was best to stretch the canvas first and then paint.
Hopefully someone else who knows more will come along and comment.

10-29-2010, 02:49 PM
If your stretching procedure is good you might not need to dampen the back of the canvas but if it needs the help go for it.

I'd varnish after it's stretched.


10-30-2010, 05:58 AM
Ditto. I've never used water to stretch, but if it helps then that's fine. Have used it to tighten afterwards, along with the little corner triangles you get with the canvas. I don't do this often, but have done it with large paintings painted somewhere other than my studio.

Varnish afterwards. Varnish is more brittle than acrylic paint so stretching could damage it. (even if you don't see the damage yet)


11-02-2010, 09:29 AM
thanks for your comments. I have decided to get it professionally stretched. Ill varnish it when I get it back