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Problem with diy canvas!

I 've been making my own stretched canvases and enjoy it a lot.  I also can make them for about half price.  I ran into a problem with three canvases that I made the other day, though and need some advice.

The three canvases have lost their tightness.  They are still smooth and look good, just not as tight as they were.  

I made them using an unprimed 10 ounce cotton duck canvas and Dick Blick Standard stretcher bars.  No keys installed yet.  When I first made them, they were nice and tight and gave a pleasing drum-like ring when I thumped them.  

What I did differently from the past was that after stretching, I wet them thoroughly before priming them and let them air dry.  I was thinking that this would tighten them a bit more.  It didn't!  After drying, they had lost the tightness. Obviously wetting them was a mistake. 

I know I can put keys in to re-tighten them, but is there another way to re-tighten them?  


  • Mstrick96

    Keys are the standard method, but a spray with plain water over the back also works.

    Failing these tricks unstaple and restretch.


  • I've seen in previous comments that some artists believe that priming the canvas before stretching it will prevent slack or at least prolong tightness. I don't know if the water trick would work if you stretched the canvas while it was wet but it's worth a try. It has worked before for forum artists.
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