You’ve probably heard us say it before, but good art deserves good bones! When your art spans an entire wall, those bones need a few special features to ensure they’ll remain strong, straight and sturdy over time.
A professional installer stretches a large canvas over stretcher bars.
In this time-lapse video of a large canvas being installed on a 7’ x 20’ stretcher frame, you can see a few of those special features. The frame is constructed of laminated stretcher bars, which are critical in frames over 8’ in width or height. Long pieces of solid wood tend to bend and warp over time; joining lengths of laminate together produces long bars that will stay straight over the life of your canvas.
You’ll also see that the installer places keys in the frame and gently taps them into place, applying even tension across the canvas. These will be adjusted as needed, to keep the canvas tight and your painting looking its best. Custom hardwood keys can be made to fit any type and size of stretcher.
In this video, the painting is hung with gravity bars to support the additional weight of a canvas this size. You can get gravity bars and stretcher frames not only for large canvases, but for irregularly shaped ones, as well (learn more about that here).
It took about 3 hours for the installer to complete this project, but you can see how it works in under 2 minutes. Check it out:
Pro tip: Have someone on hand to help you stand the canvas up and check the tension before hanging on your gravity bars. You’ll want to adjust your keys before securing to the wall, if needed.
Want to learn more about stretching canvas?