Learning How To Stretch Your Own Canvas

There are many mediums on which a painter can make a painting but as per most of them, there is nothing better than painting on a canvas. Canvas makes it a lot easier for painting because a painter is able to work with full flexibility on it.

However, making a┬ápainting on a normal canvas is not a good option. A canvas needs to be stretched or primed for bringing out the best in painting. But these canvases are not everyone’s cup of tea. They are quite expensive and for a beginner who is just starting out it may become an utter waste of money because chances are in the first few attempts it will get ruined.

Even for the pro painters, it is not the best option unless and until you have heavy dough in your pocket and don’t mind spending extra bucks on it. The other option to go for here is to stretch your canvas on your own. Not only it helps you save money but it also brings a personalized concept to it as you can get the exact size canvas that you want if you stretch it by yourself.




In order to stretch your own canvas, you need to buy some supplies from the market. But you need not worry because all you need are a bunch of basic tools. Here’s the list of the tools that you will be needing to stretch your own canvas:

  1. A canvas length based on your size requirements.
  2. 2 pairs of stretchers to hold the canvas.
  3. Staples and staple gun.
  4. A hammer or a mallet.




The first and foremost step is to join the stretchers based on your canvas size. You need to make sure that they are at the right angles because we don’t want any uncertainties in the future that may ruin the whole thing and make you repeat the whole process again. On a plain surface, lay out the stretchers and join the ends using your hands and tap it gently afterward with the help of a hammer or a mallet.

Once stretchers are done its time to get the canvas up on it. Put your canvas on the stretchers and make markings on the canvas based on the size you have as per the stretchers and then make the necessary alterations. Keep the canvas a bit oversized than the stretcher because it has to be folded on the edge of the stretcher.

After doing all the necessary alterations you need to pull the pieces together and perform the finalizing steps. Roll out the altered canvas on the stretcher. Do the folds and staple it using staple gun at the back of the stretcher. Make enough staples required to attach the canvas aptly but remember the maximum you can do is approximately 3-4 staples in every 2-inch area.




  • For stapling, the canvas always starts from the middle and make sure that the canvas is fully stretched. Put one staple in the middle on every side for a smooth start.
  • You can buy either a primed canvas or an unprimed canvas but primed canvas is always a better option.
  • If you find it difficult to do the stretching using your hands then take the help of canvas pliers.
  • It’s not necessary to buy stretcher pairs of same lengths. If you want to make a rectangular canvas then go for different lengths.
  • Do proper research of the supplies before purchasing them. Chances are that you will find them at a cheap rate online.

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