Question about canvas pegs?

I have a gallery wrapped canvas that has the corners stapled.  
The canvas is already taught enough.  But I am getting ready to send it to a show.  
My question is…Should I put canvas pegs into the corners and remove the staples or not?  
Is it better to leave it as is, especially if it is getting shipped?
If I do add pegs should I tap them in and then remove the staples  or remove remove the staples first?
And if the canvas is already tight should I skip spritzing the back of the canvas with water?


  • edited September 2021
    GTO, if the canvas is taut enough why not just leave it as it is. You don't want to risk destabilizing everything before it gets shipped. I don't know why they put staples across the 45% angle join like that. It would make adjusting the keys difficult. They look as though they are there to hold the stretcher bars together so I wouldn't be removing them. And if you don't need to adjust the tautness then there's no need to remove them. I guess you could lightly tap the keys into place to make it look well finished but if you try to use them to adjust tautness the staples will bend unless you remove them. But, as mentioned, I don't think that's a good idea. You don't want to risk the whole thing falling apart or going out of square - especially not now that it's framed.
  • Thanks @tassieguy that makes sense.  I would also have to remove the painting from the frame before keying it and then redux it to the frame.  They would be a lot of work.  I will leave it as is.
  • Don't use canvas, but do do a lot of cabinetmaking.  If the keys are not in the corner where there is an opening, then the canvas would hold one side and the staples the other.  Those staples are surface mounted, not driven hard home so it may be that you remove them and insert the keys when they are required.  I hear artists say they have boxes full of the keys, so how many people are actively driving them home is an open question.  We live in a world where my father in law sends his cello out for tuning, and a lot of people send their knives back to the factory to be sharpened.  I don't see a lot of people whacking home wedges into painting after they buy them.

    In other words:  "what Tassie said".
  • Thanks @TamDeal. I’m going to leave it as is.
  • I always use the keys. If the canvas gets a bit droopy from working on it I'll tap them in. But you have to be careful to tap all of them in equally or you'll throw the canvas out of square. I give each one two light taps with a small hammer and that's usually enough. They're a bitch to get out if you hammer them in too far.  I haven't tried the water treatment except to get a dent out of a canvas. It worked a treat.  :) 

    I guess the problem of tightening a droopy canvas could be avoided by using aluminium or wood panels instead. On the other hand,  the water treatment won't get a dent out of aluminium or wood.  :)
  • If one is having a lot of trouble with droop, either hemp or linen might be in order.  If one is selling, pass on the cost, they are the ones who will benefit.  Just tell them to do a search.
  • I prefer cotton to linen. It's cheaper and easier to stretch although not as durable/archival.  I'm researching hemp. I mentioned in another thread that I have a shirt made of hemp and it seems indestructible - I've had it for at least 20 years and goodness knows how many wash/dry cycles it's been through. Apart from light fading it's as good as the day I bought it. So hemp canvas really interests me. 
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