How to Safely Roll Up a Finished Canvas Painting


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Can you roll up paintings?

Stretched canvas paintings take up a lot of space. It can be difficult to find enough storage space for all the unsold paintings. When you sell one, it is considerably cheaper to roll it up for packaging. But is it okay to roll up a canvas you've worked so hard on?

This is a common question among artists and it is not easy to answer. Generally, you can roll a finished canvas painting, however, there are a few precautions and considerations that you need to take into account first.

Is it okay to ship or store a rolled canvas?

A painting should survive rolling and shipping as long as you make sure the paint is completely dry and you don't roll it too tight. You must understand that the transfer process has associated risks.

The main concern is the possibility of paint damage when removing the canvas from your stretchers. It will also need to be restarted and that is another possibility of damage.

As for spiral paint storage, this is not an ideal long-term option. You may want to consider limiting it to your "B" grade paints if you need additional storage space. Store your best pictures on stretchers.

How dry should the paint be?

The paint must be perfectly and completely dry, not just dry to the touch on the surface. Do not be tempted to roll a painting when it is not completely dry, as many problems can arise, especially with oil paints that can be very wet below the surface.

It doesn't matter if your buyer can't wait for the paint, the paint needs to dry and you need to explain. You should have the attitude that you would rather risk losing the sale if you tell the person to wait. Better than having a disgruntled customer with a broken dashboard.

How to roll up a canvas

To minimize the risk of damage, you'll want to follow a few simple guidelines: keep the roller loose and the paint out.

Wrap the paint around the canvas on the outside. If you roll it up with the paint inside, the paint may wrinkle (especially if applied thick or highly textured).

If you're skeptical about this, take a quick test: bend a finger and pay attention to your skin. On the outer edge, it stretches slightly to face the curve, while on the inside it folds and compresses. The painting does the same, although it is not as visible.

Do not apply the paint too hard. You want it to be as loose and big as possible. If you are putting the painting in a tube for posting, purchase a larger diameter tube. Ideally, buy two tubes: one to roll up the canvas so it does not accidentally squash and another to put the rolled paint.

It is debatable whether or not you put something in the paint before driving. You want to protect the board, but you don't want something to stick, rub, or rub.

  • Something with a texture, such as a bubble wrap, can be "imprinted" on paint (called iron typing).
  • Paper can absorb moisture and mold, especially fine tissue paper.
  • Plastic that is too thin can stick to paint like cling film and be difficult to remove.
  • If you are using another canvas, make sure it is weave thin, not thick.

But again, you also don't want the rolled paint to rub against the inside of the tube, so you need to put some kind of wrap between it and the tube.

Remember: resist the urge to roll up the canvas with the paint in it to solve this problem.
Your best options are a piece of stiff plastic (such as the plastic sheet that you will cover the floor with when decorating) or a spare unpainted canvas. In any case, make sure it is dust-free and has no wrinkles or folds.

How long can a rolled painting be stored?

In an ideal world, you would store a rolled painting for the shortest time possible. If possible, keep a canvas rolled vertically instead of horizontally. This places the weight on the outer edge of the canvas and not on one side of the painting.

The best scenario for long-term storage is storing a canvas unrolled and lying down. Try to find a space to do this, but don't store too many paintings on top of each other, as the one below will eventually crush from the weight.

Very important: Unroll the paint at room temperature, not when it is cold and the paint is relatively stiff, as this can cause cracks.

How to get a canvas on stretchers

To get a painting off your stretchers, you need to take your time and be careful throughout the process. It's a risky task and you don't want to risk damaging all your hard work.

Remove the staples or nails that hold the canvas to the stretchers. Remember, you do not want to rip or tear the edges of the canvas as they will be needed when it is stretched again. Please be patient when trying to remove the staples.

If you don't have a suitable woodworking tool (for example, long nose pliers), try a flat screwdriver instead of something sharp like a pair of scissors.

Whatever you do, don't cut the stretcher canvas! This will not leave any excess to re-stretch and you will need to find an alternate plan to make it show.

How to salvage a canvas painting on new stretchers

Stretching a finished painting is the same process you would use for a blank canvas - fold the edges over the stretchers and staple it securely. Do it much more carefully and gently!

Warn a buyer expecting a rolled canvas

If you are rolling frames for shipping, it is best to advise the buyer in advance. Most people hope they can hang a painting on the wall right away and probably have no idea how to stretch a canvas again.

In most cases, they will have to entrust it to an experienced framing. Most professional copywriters should be able to do this.

Be sure to communicate all of these tips to your buyer, especially that a canvas should be unrolled at room temperature if it is shipped in winter. Please send a note on the package to remind you.

Enjoy The Video Tutorial about How to Ship a Large Painting on a Tube!

Source: Fine Art by Matt Philleo

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