Framing a canvas, more commonly known as stretching a canvas can be a costly and time-consuming process if you get it done professionally. And while some paintings are too precious to be treated with anything but the utmost care, you can easily stretch and frame your own paint by numbers canvas at home with the wooden frames we sell along with the painting kits.
Traditionally, paintings do not come with a canvas frame, and it can be quite confusing to figure out the right dimensions of the frame to buy or get made. Lucky for you, this is not an issue if you buy one of our paint by number kits that come with a complementary frame in the right size. All you have to do is stretch the canvas and you’re good to go.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how to stretch a canvas the right way. It’s a fairly simple process that won’t even take the time equivalent to painting a quarter of the painting but will elevate its presentation by leaps.
The first thing to do is figure out when to frame the canvas that is before or after painting on it. While it is ideal to frame the canvas before painting, it is absolutely fine to do so afterwards as long as the painting has dried down completely.
Best (40x50CM) Paint by Number Kits Picked For You
So, let’s discuss the materials. You are provided with four wooden stretcher bars and thumbtacks to fix the canvas onto the back of the frame. But we would advise you to use a staple gun for larger canvases to ensure a taut and evenly stretches canvas.
Now that you know what you need before stretching the canvas, let’s get to the actual work.
STRETCHING THE CANVAS PRE-PAINTING
- If you have decided to frame the canvas prior to painting on it, you should start with spreading the canvas (the numbered side facing down) on a covered, flat surface.
- Join the stretcher bars together in the correct way to make a frame.
- Place the frame on top of the canvas, front side facing down.
- Make sure the sides of the frame match the grain of the canvas, or the canvas will keep moving even after being stapled into place. Also, make sure that you have around 1 ½” of material left on each side of the frame, otherwise your canvas may not be as taut as you want it to be.
- Once you have made sure of the measurements of the canvas and placed the frame on the grain, place one of the longer sides of the frame (and canvas) in front of you. Stretch the canvas as much as you can (but make sure to stay on grain!) and fold it over the frame.
- Once it is evenly folded, use either the thumbtacks or the staple gun to fix the canvas onto the frame. At this stage, only fix the middle part of the canvas and leave the sides alone.
- Move to the opposite side of the frame, and this time stretch the canvas as much as you can without ruining the print on the canvas. Fold it similarly over the frame, and again fix the middle of the canvas onto the frame.
- Turn over to one of the smaller sides, and stretch and fold in a similar manner. Fold the corners of the canvas to tuck one corner under the other, while making sure to stretch evenly, and staple the corners too.
- Repeat this on the other side, and touch the front to see if your canvas is nice and taut.
- Add a few more thumbtacks if needed.
- Staple the thumbtacks in place to make sure they’re tight.
- Trim off any excess canvas that may look unsavory and ruin the look of the canvas.
- This part is completely optional but will add an extra oomph to your paintings. Apply Gesso (or any primer of your choice) onto the canvas to tighten it a bit more. Trust us, you’ll feel the difference.
- And voila! Your canvas is framed and ready to be painted on. No one could tell the difference between a pre-stretched canvas and yours if you did it right.
Now you can start painting by numbers on your framed canvas. Here is a guide to get you started with paint by numbers and don't miss the tips. We have the best best 19 paint by number tips for you.
Remember: Do not spray your canvas with water to help tighten it as that may mess up the printed numbers on the canvas.
STRETCHING THE CANVAS POST-PAINTING
If for any reason, you did not stretch your canvas before painting on it, don’t worry, it is still possible. Although, if you cut off the excess canvas after painting on it, you may have to sacrifice the outer edges of the painting to the corners of the frame.
Stretching the canvas post-painting is a similar process, with the minor difference of making sure that your painting is completely dry. Once you are sure of it, simply follow the steps given above and you’ll have a stretched canvas painting ready to hang.
ATTACHING THE HOOKS TO THE FRAME
Once your painting and stretching are done, it is time to hang the painting in a place where you can admire it and others can also appreciate it regularly. We provide hanging hooks and screws with all our paintings so all you have to do is use a corresponding size of the screwdriver to screw the hooks onto the frame.
Screw the hooks a few inches away from the corners, making sure there’s equal distance between them. Screw them in such a way that they cannot be seen once the painting is hung up.
Once you have screwed the hooks in tightly, all you have to do is find the right home for your painting.
Good luck with your own DIY canvas stretching. Tell us how it goes and send us pictures of your work on ----.
Valuable Responses from Customers
I think you'd sell a lot more if you offered the option to have the paintings framed prior to shipping. I'd certainly pay extra for this option and would purchase all my paint-by-numbers from you.
Sandra Hayward Mar 3, 2020
I agree with prior comment, I would appreciate purchasing a pre-stretched and framed canvas direct from you than trying to do this myself. It would be worth the extra cost to me.
Mary Ann Hinz Apr 6, 2020
I second Sandra, if they were pre-framed I'd be more incline to buy.
Krystal Burger Apr 30, 2020
I would definitely pay extra if the painting comes framed.
Anne Mattson May 6, 2020
I agree with the others. I would pay extra for it to be framed prior to shipping. As it's not easy to frame yourself.
Wendy Gray Jul 7, 2020
I agree with prior comments. I would pay extra for painting to come already framed. As its not easy to do it yourself.
Wendy Gray Jul 7, 2020