Tips on How to Store an Artist Canvas

A perfectly pre-primed Canvas Lot piece, ready to take paint.
A perfectly pre-primed Canvas Lot piece, ready to take paint.

Canvas is a fabric usually made of cotton, linen, or a combination of both. It is available primed or unprimed, stretched or pre-stretched. You can buy a canvas in art supply stores or online, such as in Canvas Lot. Whatever the type of canvas you are using, you have to protect this essential material in your painting.

Unused canvas fabric
If you bought canvas on wholesale and you have some unused canvas left, here are ways on how to take care of your canvas:

  • Roll the canvas loosely around a firm center and cover it to protect it from collecting dust.
  • Store canvas away from direct sunlight or exposed to moisture or humidity.

Stretched and unused canvas
Here are the ways on how to properly store a stretched and unused canvas:

  • Store canvas vertically, standing along one edge. If you have several canvases, stack it face-to-face or back-to-back. The front side should always touch the front side of another canvas. Don’t stack canvas on top of another since it will lead to warping and cause it to sag.
  • Don’t store it in a garage, attic, or any room where you can’t control the temperature and where there is no good ventilation.

Stretched and used canvas
After you’re finished with your painting, here are tips on how you can store your painting as you await for its buyer:

  • Wrap the finished artwork in clean wrapping paper to protect it from dust and other pollutants.
  • Stack the painted canvas vertically against a wall, facing one direction.
  • Don’t store canvases face-to-face to prevent paints from sticking together.
  • Stack larger canvases near the wall and the smaller ones in front. Alternate the orientation of how the canvases are stacked.
  • Remove any eye screws, nails, or wires at the back of the canvas. If you have to attach hooks, screw the hook at the inner side of the stretcher bar. This avoids the ugly protrusions at the back of the painting and prevents poking, impressions, stains, or accidental tearing another stored canvas.
  • Use storage blocks or foam support to protect the canvas from the wall and neighboring canvas.
  • For oil paintings waiting to fully dry, store them in a room which is lit for a few hours of the day. Allowing the paint to dry in darkness causes the paint to turn yellowish.
  • If you are storing the canvas for a long period of time, place it above a rack to let air circulate underneath the paintings.

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