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View Full Version : Gluing canvas to a board


s mckee
05-06-2000, 04:51 AM
I've gotten really lazy lately - too lazy to cut and glue stretcher bars (and too cheap to buy the pre-made ones), so I'm just painting on canvas draped over my table.

I've started to wonder how I should go about framing these things.

I thought maybe I could stretch them over a thin sheet of masonite before squishing them into a frame. I can't tack them, obviously, because I wouldn't have a surface thick enough to tack them onto. I'm sure tacking them directly onto the frame is a no-no for about a hundred reasons.

Should I glue the canvas to the masonite? What sort of glue? Should I slobber the glue all over the board, or should I just run a line across the top? Or should I wrap the canvas over the board and then glue the ends down on the other side? What about that 2-sided carpet tape?

Any help would be most humbly appreciated.

- Stevie

kelly
05-06-2000, 10:21 AM
Yeah, Im curious about this also. I have been contemplating nailing or glueing to a large piece of plywood. Does anyone know what happens to nails that are not galvanized when the react to oil paint?

llis
05-06-2000, 11:51 AM
Now....I know I am going to get laughed right off the screen on this one but....when I was 16 and that has been many many many years ago, I painted a pineapple on canvas that I had attached to a piece of thin plywood. I attached the canvas with with plaster of paris. All I did was spread the plaster all over the wood and then layed the canvas over the plaster and smoothed it out, but I did take carpet tacks and tacked them around the edges of the canvas/plywood project while the plaster was still wet.

When the plaster was dry, I painted my pineapple with oil based house paints. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif At the time, It was the only thing I had. Now some 35+ years later the painting looks just like it did when I finished it except that the tacks did rust. Fortunately for me, the tacks are covered by the frame and do not show. Don't know what will happen in years to come, but at least it proves that my surface and house paints can live 35+ years. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

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Phy...llis
Sounds like Lizz.
P.S.
Visit the Virtual Cafe Guerbois Today! (http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/cafe)

bruin70
05-06-2000, 02:16 PM
well, i've never done it but howz about this....use white elmer's glue, brush it on(the canvas or board),,,then use one of those rollers that artists use to print linoleum cuts, to squeeze out the glue and bubbles. then trim the whole board or overlapping canvas. but mckee,,,,see how much effort you're putting into preparation when you should put all your effort into painting. ....milt

Old Florida
05-06-2000, 09:55 PM
Don't glue the canvas. Take any standard size (i.e. 12x16) high quality hardboard like Ampersand, sand one side, apply a coat of acrylic gesso, cut your canvas (cotton or linen) an inch oversize, lay the unsized side of the cloth on top of the wet gesso and pat it down firmly, then flip the board and canvas sandwich over and let it dry. Then take a very sharp utility knife and trim off the excess cloth while it is still face down and voila! You have firmly mounted, dimensionaly stable canvas on hardboard.
Cheers Old Florida

[This message has been edited by Old Florida (edited May 06, 2000).]

s mckee
05-07-2000, 03:44 AM
Phyllis, I've got a 50 year old painting, salvaged from my sister's cottage, that was painted on unprimed particle board; a real amateur job that I'll assume was painted with el-cheapo paints - I can't say for certain what it looked like 50 years ago, but the colours today are healthy and bright (too bad the picture is awful.)

Milt, believe me, the fewer paintings I produce, the better for everybody. Any activity that distracts me from painting is a blessing on mankind.

Sandi, I like the rolling pin idea. A rolling pin I've got... but I don't have a briar - or, then again, maybe I do - I don't know what a briar is.

Old Florida, I like the idea of gluing with gesso. But what might be a problem is that the canvas I'll be fastening down will have already been painted and quite possibly have a slightly raised surface. If I flip it over and press on it I might squash the topography. Come to think of it, this is a problem with glue as well as with gesso.

Hey! Kelly and I have got the exact same number of posts. I want a recount!

- Stevie

bruin70
05-07-2000, 04:54 AM
stevie,,,,,,god bless you.....milt

bruin70
05-07-2000, 04:56 AM
sandi,,,i think you would want a rubber type roller to get an even roll

sasha
05-07-2000, 09:32 AM
you can use a clay based wallpaper paste and roll the canvas flat over it with a very small paint roller. A framer told me about doing this and she said it was even archival (removable)

s mckee
05-08-2000, 04:05 AM
If wallpaper paste works, I'm all for it. I love buying fine arts materials at the hardware store - makes me feel like Jackson Pollack. You can't beat those 4-litre tubs of Mineral Spirits for thinning and cleaning. I'm sure it isn't archival, but the stuff is just so CHEAP. I'm only human.

What about this: the canvas (with a 2" overlap on all sides) is laid face down. The board is placed over the canvas. The canvas overlap is pulled over the back of the board (bunched a bit in the corners) and held down with some strong tape: duct tape, say. The canvas/board is then pushed into the frame and braced tightly in place with glazier points, brads, whatever... wouldn't that do the trick? If it ever started to sag, you'd just have to remove it and tighten it.

Yes? No? Quit bothering us?

bruin70
05-08-2000, 04:25 AM
stevie,,,uneven surface. you need to squeegee all the excess glue. you'll get pockets of glue and air. and rolling from the backside won't help either....milt

s mckee
05-08-2000, 04:56 AM
Oh, I should have been clearer - what I meant was, using NO glue at all. Basically, just sandwiching the dry, loose canvas between the inside of the frame notch and the sheet of hardboard. Even the tape would just be to hold the canvas until it was pinched into place. Sort of the same idea as those round frames that cross-stitchers use.

Wait... Milt, it's not even 5 am on the east coast. You seem to do a lot of posting in the wee hours. Do you have a really disciplined regimen, or, like me, do you get up early to watch The Little Rascals?

kelly
05-09-2000, 02:08 PM
Keep in my perfection of a stretched canvas is not important to me. What Im curious about is laying canvas on masonite or plywood using gesso as the adhesive. All the little imperfections that go with that are good with me. What I am interested in is the adhesion. Will it stick and will there be any other practical issues.

LarrySeiler
05-11-2000, 03:21 PM
I talk about this in length in a few of my Wetcanvas how-to's...

I use acrylic medium which does not dry as unevenly as regular glue. Elmer's often causes some buckling and edge tugging.

I apply medium to the board...lay the canvas on top and rub well so that the medium soaks in. The canvas turns a wet look so you can tell areas that are drier by comparison. I use a sponge applicator brush and add more medium onto of the canvas where drier and continue to rub.

It dries rather quickly...such that in about an hour you can take an exacto knife and trim the canvas off all around the edge of the board. Now...some like to leave about an inch all the way around to fold over on the back in case it needs to be stretched later...and I did too. Don't bother with that any longer.

Many artists such as Kevin MacPherson adhere the canvas to gatorboard, which is very light.

Needn't really worry about the support because the canvas can always be transferred to a different support later if need be. In fact Phyllis, if you want to take light canvases to Giverny you could adhere them to Gatorboard.

I would stretch the canvas on a stretcher, coat with medium and let dry. Then gesso (I add black to my gesso to get a midvalue gray). Then...you could remove the stapling after all dry, put on another canvas..apply medium, gesso, take off...again and again. In that way...you could have a stack of prepared canvases all primed and ready to go. Then in Giverny...you could take one canvas at a time and tack it or staple it to a board or single stretcher frame to paint.

If you use acrylics...you have no problem stacking and hauling back home. If oils, you'll have to add drier such as cobalt drier or Liquin, but such driers do in about five years begin to yellow your stand oil and paint finish.

I saw your post on Painting on Location Phyllis and would also encourage you to take a couple small black matt boards with rectangles cut out of the center to act as viewers. Hold them up to get a sense of composition and help you avoid the bombardment of aesthetic information. Then...squint your eyes, block in the masses and go for color and light drama. Again...rag in the masses or block in as I do. have fun.... http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif

Larry

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"Art attacks can skill!"

llis
10-18-2000, 08:59 PM
one more great thread....hope this helps, Jim. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

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colinbarclay
10-19-2000, 04:28 AM
I also have had much better luck with acrylic gel medium than with pva glue or acrylic gesso - carpenters glue left pockets and bubbled the canvas, and acrylic gesso just wasnt sticky enough . If you are gluing it down after you've painted on the canvas, you can keep the impasto from being squished by laying it face down on a soft towel with the weights on the back of the board .

Jim
10-19-2000, 01:59 PM
Wow,I never knew that such a simple sounding procedure could be so intense.
There've been several different ways to adhere canvas material to board explained.
There have been a few types of board mentioned that are canvas friendly.If I try all of the aforementioned techniques I'm bound to find one,or several ways to use my canvas material without having to put it on stretcher bars,which is another thing I haven't tried yet either(Maybe someday)
Any way there's a wealth of info above that answers my "How do you attach Canvas to Board" question.
I asked this question yesterday,and wow,the information just piled in in no time!
Thanks to everyone for posting their methods,and again,I'm sure to make an enjoyable mess of experimenting with them all,but in the end I'm sure to find one or two ways of doing it that suit my needs/wants just fine.
This place is great,what a fantastic group of human beings...really!
You're all works of Gods art http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
Keep spreading his gifts to you around!
Talk to ya'll later http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

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<center> Cloud Ten Graphics *Artwork by Jim* (http://www.artistnation.com/members/lofts/jim/titlepage.htm) </center>

[This message has been edited by Jim (edited October 19, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Jim (edited October 19, 2000).]

pixelscapes
10-19-2000, 08:01 PM
Originally posted by s mckee:
A rolling pin I've got... but I don't have a briar - or, then again, maybe I do - I don't know what a briar is.

That's "brayer". It's the small, hard-rubber roller that you would usually use to roll the ink across the surface of a carved linoleum or wood block, to make a relief print.

Originally posted by s mckee:

Hey! Kelly and I have got the exact same number of posts. I want a recount!

Hmmm. Coincidence? I THINK NOT! Stevie and Kelly are secretly the same person!! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

-=- Jen "I am the evil twin" de la Cruz
http://www.BewareOfArt.com and http://www.Pixelscapes.com

357 Mag
10-20-2000, 12:14 AM
Take the time to glue your canvas to the board before painting. I've used Elmers and Weldwood contact cement. Elmers is better though as it doesn't bond so fast allowing you to get rid of bubbles. The only problem I've experienced is at the edges sometimes you don't get a bond, but rather a bubble with no glue underneath.

bk7251
10-23-2000, 11:27 AM
PVA (Poly Vinyl Acetate) glue is supposed to be the best thing for adhering canvas to a panal. It's PH neutral, so it's archival. Beware of products without known archival properties.

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Barry Katz

bk7251
10-23-2000, 10:24 PM
Another idea, which I use occasionally, is to paint on unstretched canvas which I staple to a lightweight drawing board. Before starting the painting, I draw a border on the canvas with a pencil, leaving about 1-1/2" - 2" on all sides. I can store the finished paintings in a flat file, and the border makes it possible to staple the finished canvas to a stretcher should I later decide it's worth displaying. When drawing the borders, just measure out a size for which there are standard size stretcher strips.

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Barry Katz

tom ryan
10-23-2003, 07:43 AM
[using acylic medium as an adhesive might work, I guess. Problem is that there are tons of acrylic mediums out there with all sorts of differences. Could you be specific and name a brand/type which has known success.

QUOTE]Originally posted by LarrySeiler
I talk about this in length in a few of my Wetcanvas how-to's...

I use acrylic medium which does not dry as unevenly as regular glue. Elmer's often causes some buckling and edge tugging.

I apply medium to the board...lay the canvas on top and rub well so that the medium soaks in. The canvas turns a wet look so you can tell areas that are drier by comparison. I use a sponge applicator brush and add more medium onto of the canvas where drier and continue to rub.

It dries rather quickly...such that in about an hour you can take an exacto knife and trim the canvas off all around the edge of the board. Now...some like to leave about an inch all the way around to fold over on the back in case it needs to be stretched later...and I did too. Don't bother with that any longer.

Many artists such as Kevin MacPherson adhere the canvas to gatorboard, which is very light.

Needn't really worry about the support because the canvas can always be transferred to a different support later if need be. In fact Phyllis, if you want to take light canvases to Giverny you could adhere them to Gatorboard.

I would stretch the canvas on a stretcher, coat with medium and let dry. Then gesso (I add black to my gesso to get a midvalue gray). Then...you could remove the stapling after all dry, put on another canvas..apply medium, gesso, take off...again and again. In that way...you could have a stack of prepared canvases all primed and ready to go. Then in Giverny...you could take one canvas at a time and tack it or staple it to a board or single stretcher frame to paint.

If you use acrylics...you have no problem stacking and hauling back home. If oils, you'll have to add drier such as cobalt drier or Liquin, but such driers do in about five years begin to yellow your stand oil and paint finish.

I saw your post on Painting on Location Phyllis and would also encourage you to take a couple small black matt boards with rectangles cut out of the center to act as viewers. Hold them up to get a sense of composition and help you avoid the bombardment of aesthetic information. Then...squint your eyes, block in the masses and go for color and light drama. Again...rag in the masses or block in as I do. have fun.... http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif

Larry

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"Art attacks can skill!"
[/QUOTE]