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Should we stretch our own canvas?

One of the most often questions asked when it comes to canvases is should you stretch your own canvas creating a stretched canvas or should you buy a ready made one. Both aspects hold their own pros and cons, however, creating your own stretched canvas is a true cost saver.

Here are the things you should consider when you weigh the pros and cons of pre-stretched canvas vs making your own.

Cost

It is usually always more cost effective to make your own stretched canvas. Since you buy the canvas in bulk at once usually means a more up front cost but over the due course of time you tend to save more. This is because you will not have to purchase canvas every single time you set out to paint on canvas.

Space

If you have a lot of storage space, then you should definitely go for making your own canvases. However, if you’re short on storage space it is recommended you stick to premade ones. The caveat requires special care and if you can’t give it space it’s best not o opt for it.

Required tools

Stretched canvas requires you to own your own tools. You will need your own staple gun, canvas pliers, fabric scissors and stretcher bars. While these tools may not cost much, the need of owning them certainly comes into play.

Ability to stretch canvas

Not everyone is cut out for stretching a perfect canvas. It requires a lot of practice to reach the desired result. It’s not that hard but it isn’t meant for everyone either. With time one can, of course, learn.

Quality

If you’re looking for a top of the line oil primed linen canvas, there are not many options when it comes to pre-stretched canvases. The ones that are available are quite pricey. When it comes to cotton, there are many pre-stretched options available but the quality varies heavily. They sag, can be puckered and will usually require tightening. However, if you make your own stretched canvases you can determine the quality of the stretch with practice. AS far as the canvas itself goes, there are many options regarding quality if you purchase by the roll.

Versatile Canvas

As mentioned above, there are more options when it comes to picking out your own rolls. You can choose from the canvas size to the types, texture, weight, quality weave and primer of the canvas that you may choose to use. Furthermore, there may be times when the surface that you want to paint is not available in ready made canvases.

Time

Time plays a major role in choosing between your own stretched canvases or buying pre-stretched ones. One should keep in mind it does require time to set up your own canvas. Does the money that you’re saving justify your time or not? It all depends on the quality of canvas that you opt for. Higher quality materials are justified in time spent on stretching them. However, if you choose to buy low grade canvas, you might be better off purchasing a pre-stretched one since it may not be worth all that labor. The more you stretch your own canvas the more likely you are to spend less time on it. Remember, practice makes perfect!

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