How to Stretch a Canvas Print

Published: May 7, 2014 | Category: Tips

Canvas paintings and artwork are great pieces that can jazz up any ordinary dining room or any room for that matter. Canvas paintings a generally a little pricey, but stretching canvas yourself can save you quite some money. Stretching a canvas is very simple, but takes some practice. All you need is a couple of tools and 20 minutes of your time.

Here are some of the materials you will need:

  • 1” Panel Nails
  • Canvas Pliers
  • Measuring Tape
  • Mitter Box and Saw
  • Nail Punch
  • Staple Gun and ½” Staples
  • Quarter Round Molds
  • 1” x 2” x 8’ Pine Boards
  • Hammer
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Paper or Tissue Paper

First, begin by measuring the border of your canvas, which is the white space that is around the sides of your artwork. Keep in mind that a larger border will be easier to work with since you have more room for mistakes. Be sure your edges are larger than 1.5-2” to give yourself enough room to stretch your canvas. When you are done measuring your canvas, it is time to start cutting the wood. Begin cutting your wood at a 45 degree angle so that when you combine all the pieces you will have the perfect 90 degree angle.

Flip the pieces over and do the same for all four pieces until you have 8-45 degree angles. Combine the 4 pieces of wood and they should fit perfectly to form a frame. The next step is to stabilize the frame you just made by nailing it into place. Be sure that your frame is straight before nailing it stable. At this point, your frame should be complete and you are now ready to start stretching your canvas. Lay paper or tissue paper on a clean surface and then lay the painting face down. Fix the molding frame so that it is against the canvas and begin stretching.

To stretch, begin pulling one side of the canvas up and around the frame and staple in place. Use canvas pliers to stretch the canvas on the opposite side and staple in the center. If this is difficult, having a second person to help will make this process a lot easier. Flip the painting over and be sure that it lines up properly to the frame. You want to make sure your painting is straight and no white edges are showing. When painting is to your liking, start stapling about 2”-3” apart on each side, while pulling the canvas tighter. When you have done this, you may now fold the corners back and staple them down to stabilize your canvas painting. Now you are finished! It is as easy as that! Now you have a beauty canvas print to hang up in any room to add personality as well as decoration.

Get Exclusive Deals

Our latest promos right in your Inbox!


Call us M-F 9am to 5pm PST

Help Center

Find your answers here

1,034 Reviews