Is it expensive to stretch a canvas?
In comparison to framing, canvas stretching is generally cheaper because there is less expense required in materials. If you stretch the canvas and then wish to apply a frame around the outside then the price will rise accordingly. If you are simply stretching a canvas, then the price is a calculation based on the size of the work and the thickness of the stretcher bars used. To help give you a general idea we created a quick quote calculator which you can find at the top of this page.
What is the biggest canvas you can stretch?
Pretty much any size of canvas can be stretched, but most works tend not to exceed 1.5 – 3m. In cases where your canvas work exceeds this kind of dimension, we can still almost certainly do it, but its best to get in touch and discuss the project with us. We offer delivery and installation services for any oversized works, but this will incur additional costs.
Should I add a frame to my stretched canvas?
Unlike many works (such as photography) stretched canvases do not generally require an external frame or acrylic/glass protection to protect them. Many clients will simply have their canvas stretched with no additional external frame. At Merlin, we also specialise in working with valuable artwork, many of which tend to be oil or acrylic on canvas. Due to the value of the artwork, many of our clients prefer to add an external frame in addition to the stretching services to give the completed work that little extra shine.
What is a stretcher bar?
The stretcher bar is basically the wood used in the construction of a frame used to mount a canvas across. They come in various levels of thickness but at Merlin, we typically use either a 1″ or 1.5″ bar. In our experience most clients tend to stick with the thinner 1″ bar as it provides more flexibility should you wish to add a frame around the outside either now or in the future. Another important element to consider for the stretcher bar thickness is the state of the canvas itself and the type of finish you want to achieve. If the canvas is heavily frayed around the edges or there is limited space between where the painting ends and the non-painted canvas begins then it will impact your options. This is why we always recommend speaking to our specialists. Don’t have time to visit an outlet? Just send us some information via email or send us the pictures via our LiveChat function.
Should I put glass or acrylic over my canvas?
In most circumstances, it is not necessary to cover a canvas work with glass or acrylic, but there are some circumstances where it is appropriate. If you do wish to cover and don’t wish to use a liner border we can put spacers on the outer edges of the glass/acrylic to prevent it from having direct contact with the artwork. Typically our clients use either Ultraviolet Filtering Acrylic (UFA) or Optium Museum Acrylic (OMA). Both protect against color fading and other pollutants such as dust, whilst acrylic won’t shatter like glass and is significantly lighter. OMA is a higher price than UFA, but offers 99% UV filtration, scuff resistance, anti-static protection, and still remains almost crystal clear vs. many other options in the market.
I purchased a painting on vacation, will there be any problem in rolling it up?
Assuming the painting is fully dry, you should be able to roll up a canvas painting without issue. Do be mindful to check for existing cracks in the paint as this could be a problem if you then roll it up. Also look out for situations where the paint has been applied very thickly as again this is more likely to crack and suffer damage if rolled up. If you are ever in doubt you can take a photo and send to us before rolling up and we will advise.
Why is getting the perfect tension important in canvas stretching?
Getting the right tension in stretching the canvas over the stretcher bars is critical. Not stretching enough will leave your work loose and flappy and over time it will get worse. The tension also needs to be appropriate in order to prevent the cross bars behind the work from touching the back of the canvas. If tension is applied incorrectly then over time you’ll start to see a line appear in your canvas.
How much space on the edge of the painting do you need to allow for stretching?
We prefer to have at least 1.5” (4cm) between where the painting ends and the edge of the canvas. This gives us enough wiggle room to ensure the canvas can be pulled back and properly secured at the right tension to ensure no wrinkles form in the work over time. If your gap is less than 4cm we recommend you pop down to one of our outlets and we can discuss options. Alternatively, you can take a photo of the work and the gap that exists and drop us an email or chat to us via our livechat. There is always a solution!
Drop us an email to discuss your options and get a quote.