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Geneva Canvas Stain Challenge

When using Geneva canvas, which I like a lot,  I find that the canvas has loosened after the stain has tried, even though I strechted it "tight as a drum" before staining it.  How can I prevent that from happening and what is the best way to tighten the canvas when the "loosening" happens? 


  • edited October 2018
    Wooden keys inserted into the corners of the stretcher. Just tap these in gently until you've reached the right tension. You will need 4 keys, for an even stretch all around.
  • Good advice.  Sorry, but I failed to mention I have tried that with various degree of success.  Do you know of anyway to prevent this from happening?  Thanks again, Forgiveness.  
  • Slosh some water on the back of the canvas, usually does the trick
  • Rtaeger

    Best switch to wood panels or aluminium composite.

    Here is a short and authoritative paper, from the Ottawa Symposium on Conservation of Contemporary Art National Gallery Canada) July 1980, sets out the case for Polyester fabrics.

    This is about 40 years old now. Aluminium composites, PVC, Mylar and Polypropylene, copper and aluminium plate would likely change the emphasis on polyester fabric. Nonetheless it sets out some of the deficiencies in linen and cotton as a painting support.


  • edited October 2018
    I don't know how to prevent this with canvas, it's most often a challenge. A number of us have switched to dibond aluminum panels, or you may mount canvas to it, also wood panels.
  • Some prefer to paint on the canvas/linen first then stretch it when is about  halfway dry or fully dry. The water trick usually works well. Don't forget to sponge up any excess water once the cloth tightens up.
  • Thanks everyone.  I switched to Claessens linen rolls based on the example of Mark using them.  But do not think water will work on the Claessens canvas because they have glue on the back.  
    So what I did was to take all the staples off except for 2-3 in the middle of each side and simply restrechted the canvas.  I really did not want to do that but fortunately I left the excess side canvas on during the staining.  By removing the staples I was also able to remove the staples in the stretcher joints which were covered up by the canvas.  In the future I will not place "staples" on that side, then I can use the wooden keys mentioned by "Forgiveness".  Dencal I will go to your link.  Thanks.  
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