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How to Repair a Dented or Loose Canvas

How to Repair a Dented or Loose Canvas


Hi everyone I’m Jane from Pandemonium art
gallery and today I’m going to show you how to repair a canvas that has been
dented or maybe wasn’t stretched properly. Both a brand new canvas and one
that’s already been painted on. So first I have this canvas that has
been painted and as you can see right here it’s got a little bit of a dent in
it it was leaning or had some other
canvases leaning up against it from the back here you can also tell where that
dent was. So I’m gonna show you how to repair that as well as this brand new
canvas which it’s just really loose. Can you tell how the the canvas just kind of flops around,
corners are kind of dented in there is a couple dents on the sides over here. So
I’m going to show you how to repair both types of canvases and make this a usable
one because right now it’s it’s not very usable. so first we’re going to start
with this painted one already and get rid of that dent it doesn’t matter if
that dent occurred on the front or the back you’re still going to be able to fix it.
Canvas is typically made of cotton and when it’s untreated the water can get in
there and make it shrink up. The front side it doesn’t shrink up when you paint on
the front because it’s typically been gessoed already and the water doesn’t
penetrate it as well. So what we’re going to do is take this and a little spray
bottle of water and i’m just going to spray right on that dent (spraying water) and then I’m gonna just wipe the water
into the fibers and almost immediately you can see that dent disappearing. Can you tell? You can still see it just a little bit Next we are going to fix this canvas and
it’s basically the same thing and we’re going to use water on the back of it tighten it up but if you just spray it it’s gonna take you a lot longer but
also notice right here where the corners are. Can you see how that’s kind of puckered in right there? If you just spray the water in the back
you don’t… it’s really hard to get it down inside
of these corners so that it can tighten up that canvas on the other side of wood. So we’re going to do is hold the canvas flat and you can do this under a faucet if you like. i usually do that. and i’m just going to take a
little bit of water and pour it right into the back of the canvas. I’m gonna let it roll around in there so
that it gets down into those corners. And then… just like when we sprayed it i’m
just going to lightly wipe my hand across the back of the canvas to
make sure that water is penetrating the fibers. another thing you can do to make sure
that it’s penetrating the fibers behind the frame is you can get a damp brush
and run it underneath the wood between the wood and the canvas. Or you can just
kind of press… press the canvas up to the wood but already it’s a lot…. it’s a lot tighter. So if i push on it you can see it just
kind of bounces rather than puckering in or out. So I’m gonna finish smoothing
this water across the back and then I’m gonna let it dry and I will come back
and show you how the canvases look once they’re all fixed up. Ok so my canvases are dry now and i’m
going to show you that you can’t see any dent on here there’s no dent on the back. You can’t even tell where it was dented.
So once it dries the dent is completely gone. On the canvas that was stretched
out and just not stretched properly it is a completely smooth surface now. See
how the corner here is not puckered at all? And when I push my hand on it that
canvas snaps back to its shape it doesn’t it doesn’t stay popped out. So if you get a canvas… sometimes,
when you buy like the the economy bulk packs from the craft stores and there’s
several of them in a pack depending on whether they’ve been stacked or leaned in
against each other and you know honestly the less money you spend on a canvas the more likely you are to run into those
problems. so i just always keep a spray bottle on hand and almost always before
I use one of these economy canvases I will either completely wet the back
like I showed you with this one or I’ll just give it a quick spray with
a spray bottle just to make sure that I’ve got a nice firm surface. Also if you
have watched my smokey background technique video… sometimes when doing
the technique with the round natural hair brush and I’m really putting a lot
of pressure on that brush and scrubbing on the canvas really hard, um, sometimes
after a while that will stretch the canvas out and then it’s just not as
tight as it was before I started painting. So then when I’m done I will flip it
over, wet the back, let it dry and then the surface is nice and firm again.
Thanks for watching everyone, please like, comment and subscribe and feel free to
let me know if there are any videos that i can make for you

100 thoughts on “How to Repair a Dented or Loose Canvas”

  1. HiJane. Great tips and instruction. I purchased a very large canvas at a 75% discount because it had a small tear. Could you demonstrate the best method for making this canvas useful again. Thanks, Peggy

  2. So glad I saw this… Moved and had my paintings in a box, but they shifted and one got a terrible dent in it… I hope this works!!

  3. Hi Jane, love your videos and this was a great tip…. did you paint all those hanging in the background?| I would love to learn more on those paintings and what are they painted on?

  4. Hi Jane, I just watched this video and found it very interesting. I'm wondering if I can wet the back of a loose canvas that has been painted in oils? The canvas seems to have loosened after I painted it. The paint is dry. What do you think?

  5. I'm so glad I found you Jane, it is so fascinating watching you paint and learning everything you impart. I am mostly a watercolor painter but I've been investing in acrylic paints and want to start in that medium. Your knowledge is tremendous and you make me feel that I can paint anything…thanks for your tutelage

  6. thanks Jane I have the same problem, one of my artwork has dent in the back…but not sure how to fix it…thanks to you. I can fix it now 🙂

  7. Thank you for this problem solving idea of repairing loose canvas! You saved me money by not throwing them in the trash! Hooray!

  8. Wow! I just tried this on a new canvas that had two dents and it worked like a charm. I also tightened a canvas using this method because I bought an econo multi-pack. Worked almost instantly. Thank you, Jane!

  9. I've got a canvas Batman piece, but I can see the line/edge of the wooden frame on the face of the image about 1" in. Is that something that has now permanently affected the print or can it be fixed somehow? It's probably not noticeable to most people, but I'm a little OCD. Thanks!

  10. On the backs of the type of canvas from which you have removed some defects, I noticed that you have not used the little wedges that need to be tapped in with a hammer, was this just an oversight or do you prefer not to use them. x

  11. Jane, this was so helpful!!! I sell my art and have a few with this problem. Will fix these a.s.a.p.  Question for you — I did a painting and realized at the very end that a Nail in the canvas wood is protruding out from the canvas wood right into the canvas making the piece unsellable. What can I do myself to fix this? The painting is finished/varnished. approx. 2 months old. What would you suggest??

  12. I had a painting that got dented by someone setting something in the back of it while moving and a piece of the painting chipped off…can you tell me how to put it back on?

  13. Great information Jane, I have thrown some painted baggy canvases out in the past, won’t now. Thanks again, you’re a true star! 💖

  14. Thank you, very helpful!! Very much like your work. Is there a way to repair a canvas with a hole? Actually a hole because of a rip? Hope I'm explaining myself correctly. The corner or of another canvas caused a puncture.

  15. MANY thanks!! A friend of mine gave me a painting that means a lot me. Unfortunately, this painting incurred three dents during a move. I was very upset and hurt when I noticed it. I thought that the painting was pretty much ruined. However, thanks to this video, the painting looks as good as new. Again, MANY, MANY, MANY thanks! I GREATLY appreciate it. All the best!😁

  16. Wow!! So simple, never in a million years would have guessed that it was that easy of a fix, thank you so much for the video

  17. Jane, can this be done on a 300 plus year old painting? I have an antique painting which has some wrinkles on the bottom of the painting only. I had the stretcher replaced about 4 years ago. Thanks in advance.

  18. This video saved my canvas I spent a lot of money on a huge canvas and it had so many dents from being in the trunk of my car . The water took away the dents instantly (:

  19. THANK YOU!
    I bought the cheapest paint by numbers, attached it as tight as possible to a frame and it had all sorts of bends and bumps (especially in the corners).
    I lost all hope, but your video literally just stretched it out into a brand new painting. Thank you so so much Jane.

  20. Wow, it's so easy when you know how. I have a 1950's canvas and I'm now going to get the dent out as illustrated

  21. I am really grateful for your videos. I live in a very rural area of North Georgia and no true art lessons within 1.5 to 2 hour commute of my home and even then it is basically drawn on a canvas and fill in with craft paint. While they were fun to be a part of, I wanted to learn techniques and not just "paint by filling in the blanks". I have viewed many tutorials and yours are simply the best and it fits my work routine. You are an amazing artist and teacher! Thank you!!

  22. Just found out I had a dent in my canvas, and found your video. I also looked to see what you have on your other videos. I subscribed. Thanks !

  23. Thank you for this video. I had no idea the problems that seemed insurmountable, are actually easy to fix! I am wondering if you have done or will do any painting on a birch 'canvas'. I bought one on a whim and now intend to paint your 'Summer Flowers on the Fence' on it. I will be delighted for any suggestions you may have. Thank you once again for the repair video.

  24. Thank you so much! I was so happy that it worked! I had started a painting and was so upset that another canvas leaned against it and dented it!

  25. Such a simple helpful cure for an annoying problem! Can't understand how anyone would find it otherwise. Thank you so much for the info!

  26. I saw a video where you spray the back with water then use a blow dryer on hot to shrink it. This is how I fix my economy canvases. It works great and I don’t have to wait until it dries.

  27. I'm a new subscriber & this tip is GOLD. I just started getting back into art a few months ago & did not know how to deal with my canvas that are a bit dented. (I buy them in bulk so a few are bound to not be perfect) I tried this today on a couple of dented canvas, & it WORKED!! Thank you!! 👍

    Do you have any advice how to store blank canvas until they're used? Is it best to lean them against a wall, or lay them flat? (Mine are un-opened & bundled together in groups of 5 canvas per bundle.)

    Also, I just sold my first painting last week. There was even a bidding war on it. I was SO excited! YAAAY!!! 🎉 👍

  28. Thank you for making this video!! I thought I was going to have to throw away a bunch of canvases 😭🙏✌👍

  29. Jane,
    Is this recommended for an expencive oil on canvas piece? The post office caused some nasty denting in a piece that was done by an Italian artist and I don't want to see it destroyed.

  30. OMG THE MOST HELPFUL VIDEO EVER! I took home a painting for school and my cat tipped it over and I didn’t notice it so it had a dent. You literally saved my grade because my art teacher would have freaked! Thank you!!!!

  31. oh lord im about to do this, i know your showing that it works but im so worried about ruining my painting.. eeek! ok im going to go do it now…

  32. OMGOSH!!!!! MY PAINTING was loose and had 3 large dents! i wish i would have filmed it. i am in utter shock ! its perfect again!!! thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!

  33. This seems too easy. I've had this canvas sitting with a giant dent in it (Thanks, seven kids!) for over a year, and I have basically given up on it because I didn't think it could be fixed. I normally work on boards, so this is all new to me. Crossing my fingers for success!

  34. Thanks so much for your tip. Denting happens no matter how careful you are especially when you don't have much room. What about a canvas where the framework is showing through even after painting? Please help.

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