View Full Version : Large Canvas Support

Bill Brinkman
11-24-2011, 09:38 AM
I have recently taken on a large project; 11' x 6' canvas. To get started I need to build a support and I am thinking canvas would be good, lightweight and durable vs. a masonite panel(s). I have a couple of questions; 1) Is there a difference between unprimed canvas that you would buy from an art supply vendor and heavy cotton duck canvas available from a fabric store? There doesn't appear to be one in this looks/touch areas. What about Linen? 2) When size dictates joining more than one peice of canvas or linen, what is the best sewn joint for strength and in-visibility?

Thank you for your feedback on this! This is my first post.

11-25-2011, 12:29 PM
all good questions, bill

Welcome to WC! and i'll await good answers along side ya = )

i do know you can google how to build a good, sturdy, big stretcher backing for canvas ... agree canvas is much better than masonite ... would suggest considering two separate canvases/supports vs sewing canvas together tho, not sure how you could possible hide a seam completely ... and for convenience of moving it - 11' is pretty big to get in/out of houses/galleries ... all depending of course on the subject matter you have planned.

yeah, waiting for wiser than i on the matter ...


11-25-2011, 01:00 PM
you will not be able to hide completely a sewn seam but for best strength and invisability a (very straight) french seam would be the best IMHO. First lay wrong sides together and sew nice straight seam, trim to within a quarter to a half inch from stitching. Next fold so right sides are together and sew another seam, enclosing the first seam within the second one. You might want to steam before stretching but I don't think it would be necessary. If you don't understand my instructions, Google an image of a french seam and you should be able to see what I mean. A flat felled seam is also very strong but would be very visible on the canvas.

11-26-2011, 02:01 AM
I don't see why an 11'x6' canvas would dictate stitching two canvases together. I would simply buy 3 yards of canvas 7' in width. Wider canvas is more expensive, but worth it in terms of the labor stitching 2 pieces together and the fact that the seam will almost certainly show. Moving into something on a serious scale such as you are speaking you should avoid short cuts and crappy materials. You are probably going to be investing a good degree of time and effort to a canvas this scale, so do it right from the start.:wave:

Clive Green
11-26-2011, 02:16 AM
I'm with David. I build a frame against my studio wall and power staple a large canvas over it. Others I know working on large projects attach the canvas directly on to the wall.

Prime it yourself, use at least three coats scrubbed well in.

loft artist
11-27-2011, 06:55 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Nov-2011/83579-GEDC0007.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Nov-2011/83579-GEDC0001.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Nov-2011/83579-GEDC0005.jpg Decorators calico cotton Dustsheets are good enough for me and reasonably priced too , they come in numerous sizes 8'x11' , 9'x12' stapled onto a wooden frame of your chosen size your good to go
I prefer a box style wooden frame with cross members and corner stiffeners , I also put a polythene sheet [also available from the DIY store]between the canvas and wood , this is to stop the primered canvass bonding with the timber making it impossible to seperate easily if you want to dismantle to get it out of your studio/workplace . a thing you should take inrto consideration before you plan a big canvas as most door spaces are 6'6" high .

regards Loft

11-27-2011, 05:03 PM
Je-sus, and I thought I painted big.
Where do you put such huge paintings? Where do you have room to even create them? Fascinating. Lets see the actual painting when you are done.

11-29-2011, 10:41 AM
Nobody flog me, but have you considered buying a canvas drop cloth to paint on? They're huge pieces of canvas, pretty affordable, and usually in one piece (no seams). You'd have to seal it with gesso, but you would probably have to with most canvas you buy elsewhere.

Bill Brinkman
12-04-2011, 07:12 PM
Thank you all for the good advice. Not a clinker in the bunch. I should probably only ask one or two questions at a time...lesson learned. Not to pester but what is the difference between fabric shop heavy duck canvas and art material supplier canvas. I suppose it is too late because I have used fabric shop canvas for years because a) it is less expensive and I can just run out an get some.
Thanks - Bill

loft artist
12-05-2011, 10:22 AM
Hi Bill
Cotton and Duck Two sides of the same coin . I get the thickest canvas thats available and couldnt care less what its called ;)


regards loft