You Can Tighten a Loose Canvas with WATER?!?!


Hi everyone! Do you have a loose canvas painting that you
need to tighten, but it doesn’t have slots for stretcher keys? Let’s see if we can tighten a loose canvas
without them using just water! So, in the paint by numbers video from the
summer I showed you how to the canvas was a bit loose and wrinkled. It’s actually not too bad, but you can see
the shadows on the wrinkles when you’re looking at it from certain angles so I’d like to try
and tighten it a bit. The canvas also did not come with stretcher
keys and the slots for them to tighten it. So, one way to tighten the canvas would be
to remove the staples from the back and re-stretch the canvas with a staple gun. That’s probably a good idea to do before painting. But since I’ve already painted this, I’d prefer
to try something less invasive. This is an acrylic painting, by the way, and
it’s not varnished yet. If fact, it’s even finished yet. So, an option I found online and that one
of you also commented on the paint by numbers video is to spray it with water from the backside. There were mixed opinions about it as there
are with anything art supply and technique related. But some people found that this wasn’t a permanent
effect, that the canvas will get loose again over time and you need to repeat this procedure. And others thought that the water might make
the canvas moldy. So, you have been warned. Some instructions said to pour water on the
back of the canvas and some said to spray it with water but not soak it. So, I put warm water into a spray bottle and
tried to spray it evenly on the backside of the canvas. I think my spray bottle wasn’t the best for
this or maybe I was spraying too close since it doesn’t really make a mist, you can see
the actual water drops coming out and some parts of the canvas are visibly wet and soaked
and others look dry. I tried to rub the water in with my hand and
spray over the areas that look dry again to get the water in there evenly. Then you should dry the canvas in sunlight
or you can it dry faster with a hair drier which is what I tried with a low heat setting. Some parts still look wet though. But I noticed an instant difference in the
canvas. Before you could shake the canvas and hear
the fabric flopping around. After this you can’t hear anything if you
try shaking it so it’s definitely instantly tighter. I don’t know how much of that you can see
or hear on camera but in person I can tell there’s a difference. I did notice that now the edges seem to be
puckering which I don’t remember happening before the water spraying. But let’s let it dry completely and see what
the canvas is like after that. I let it lean against the wall with the painted
side towards the wall so the wet side is in the open. I checked the painting a couple of hours later,
it looked completely dry and the fabric did not flop around, it still felt tight, but
the corners were still puckering. I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t spray
the canvas evenly enough. I’m interested to see in a year or so whether
the canvas has stayed tight or if it eventually gets loose again. If you didn’t see me paint this paint by numbers,
click on the video on the screen now. I shared some tips I learned while painting
it and almost ruined the whole thing by painting outside in the wind. Thanks for watching!

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