Canvases & Papers

Canvases and specialty papers for your next art project.

Canvases stretched or in rolls are here at Way Up Art & Frame for your next painting. If you wish to stretch your own canvas we can help out with that too. We stock all the tools and supplies you will need to successfully stretch your own canvases. Please see below for a basic guide on how to stretch your own canvas.

Papers and canvases:

  • color & specialty papers
  • sketchbooks
  • watercolor pads
  • graphic design & drafting papers
  • printmaking papers
  • art & illustration boards
  • notebooks, journals & notepads
  • craft/kits and decorative cards
  • poster/display boards
  • stretched canvases in an assortment of sizes
  • unstretched canvas
  • stretched linen canvases
  • stretcher bars
  • gesso Boards
  • wood panels
  • canvas boards
  • canvas pliers
  • tools, canvas stretch pliers
  • canvas pads

There’s nothing like painting on canvas. Pre-stretched and pre-primed canvases are convenient, but not available in all sizes. Many painters want a specific dimension for their work. Some want to save some cash and some others enjoy stretching and preparing their own surfaces just like the great masters before them. Whatever your reason to stretch your own canvasses you will need some raw materials and tools to get the job done.

What you’ll need:

  • Unprimed or primed or primed canvas from the roll
  • Stretchers
  • Staple gun
  • Canvas pliers

Getting the job done

  1. Join the stretchers making sure each corner is at a right angle
  2. Roll out the canvas
  3. Place the frame atop and cut to size making sure you have enough canvas to lay up and over the stretchers
  4. Begin at the center on any side and staple the canvas to the stretcher using at least 2 staples 2” apart
  5. Now the stretching begins – at the opposite side of your staples pull the canvas using pliers and fold the taught canvas over the stretcher and secure with staples

    stretching canvases using canvas pliers and staples

    How to stretch and staple a painter’s canvas

  6. Repeat with the other side in the middle creating a cross within the frame
  7. Work your way around the frame pulling and securing opposing sides. The diagram below illustrates stretching steps in order.

    Diagram how to stretch a canvas

    Steps to stretching canvas evenly

  8. Continue like this until all the edges are in place. If you’re stretching a very large canvas, don’t staple all the way to the corner in one go. You’ll get better tension by doing it in sections. Also, periodically check that the corners are still at right angles.
  9. At the corners, neatly fold and staple one side atop of the other.

folding corner on painter's canvas

Stretching Canvas Corners step 2

artist canvas corner

If your canvas needs a little tightening you can tap in the frame keys. But don’t rely on these. If your tension isn’t correct remove the staples and start again.