How to Make Canvas Boards
Making your own canvas boards has several advantages as it allows you to choose the exact size and quality of the support. With this guide, learn how to make your own canvas panels to a standard even the professional artist would be happy with. Making canvas panels can be a fairly time consuming practice, so it is most efficient to make several boards all at the same time.
Prepare the Canvas and Panels
First cut Masonite hardboard to the desired size. Mark the board where you need to make the cuts using a pencil and large metal ruler. Use a Stanley Knife to score along the pencil mark using the metal ruler as a guide. Score the board several times until you cut all the way through.
Caution: Be very careful to keep your fingers away from the blade and NEVER make cuts by drawing the knife towards any part of your body.
Tip: Many DIY stores have cutting facilities where the boards can be accurately cut to size for a small fee.
Cut a piece if canvas material to size making sure it is about 2 centimetres wider than the board on all edges (4cm overall).
Draw an outline of the board on the back of the canvas material to mark the area where glue will be applied. It's a good idea to lay down sheets of newspaper to protect your work surface.
Applying the Glue
It is recommended using Acrylic Gel glue as it is compatible with alkyds and it has a very strong adhesive bond. Place the canvas on the work surface with the primed side down and pour some of the glue onto the back surface of the material. Working with a paintbrush, spread the glue thinly over the whole area adding more glue when necessary and making sure the adhesive is worked into the texture of the canvas. It is important the make sure the glue is applied thoroughly especially at the edges as this is where the material is most likely to curl up.
Position the Hardboard
Place the board on the glued surface of the canvas in the position previously marked. Wipe the overlaying edges with a slightly damp cloth to remove the excess glue and place the panel 'board side down' on a clean flat surface.
Place a piece of plain paper over the primed canvas surface and use a brayer roller to apply considerable pressure working from the centre outwards to remove any blisters. Take special care around the edges to make sure they are fixed securely to the board.
Trim the Excess Canvas & Stack
The canvas material will shrink in size slightly while the glue dries. so before the glue has dried, using a craft knife trim the excess canvas leaving approximately 1.5mm of excess material on all sides. Stack the canvas boards of similar sizes on top of each other and place some heavy books on top of them to apply pressure as they dry overnight.