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Preparing a large wood panel for painting

Q1 -  I want to paint a large wood panel  (7'-6" x 4'-0") . 
Would you attach the canvas over the panel, gesso and paint? 
Would you give the wood panel (no canvas) an acrylic coating with gesso on top and paint?

Q2 -  I have seen artists hang large loose canvas on a wall. Finish a painting and then stretch the painted canvas over a frame when completed.  Would this not cause the paint on the canvas to crack?? 


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