Mounting canvas to wood panel
Some artists choose to mount their flexible canvas or paper to rigid supports. One reason is to preserve the painting qualities of canvas or paper while gaining the advantages of painting on a panel. The other is that flexible supports are more susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity that can contribute to deterioration of the paint film over time. Mounting flexible supports like canvas, linen, or paper to an Ampersand wood panel preserves the painting qualities of the canvas or paper while gaining the archival benefits of a panel.
Claybord and Gessobord are the easiest, least labor-intensive choices in archival substrates for mounting. This is because both panels are sealed with Archiva-Seal™ and then primed with acid-free grounds. Hardbord, Unprimed Basswood, and Birch Wood Panel do require sealing (see extra step). Another time saver is to choose a pre-primed canvas or linen so you don’t have to gesso or prime after mounting the fabric to the panel.
There are many ways to mount a flexible support to a panel. The materials suggested can be mixed and matched in order to suit your purposes. For example, you may substitute paper for the canvas or the Lineco adhesive for the Golden Soft Gel Medium. You will develop your own personal preferences.
- Claybord, Gessobord, Hardbord, Unprimed Basswood, or Birch Wood Panel
- Primed or unprimed canvas or linen
- Golden® Soft Gel Gloss Medium or Lineco Neutral pH Adhesive
- Golden® GAC 100 (for sizing Hardbord, Unprimed Basswood, or Birch Wood Panel only)
- X-Acto™ knife
- 2" paint brush or trowel
- Small paint brush
- Damp cloth or paper towels
- Rubber brayer or plastic squeegee
- Large heavy board
- Water jugs or heavy weights
- Wax paper
Step 1: Begin by trimming the canvas or linen to size. Allow for a 2" overlap around the panel. Note: if you plan to wrap the canvas around the panel, you will need to seal the edges and back of the panel with GAC 100 (see extra step). Otherwise, go to step 2.
Step 2: To maximize adhesion, thin the Golden Soft Gel Medium with a little bit of water and apply it over the front of the panel (Lineco is not necessary).
Be sure to coat the sides of the panel so that the fabric adheres properly all the way to the edge. You can apply extra gel medium or glue at the four corners because they are the most vulnerable to lifting. Keep applying medium or glue until you have a fairly thick evenly wet coat. Quickly move to the next step.
Extra Step: When using Hardbord, Unprimed Basswood, or Birch Wood Panel as your substrate, follow the same instructions above, but add this important step first. It is important to correctly seal all unprimed wood substrates to prevent support-induced discoloration that can cause your paint film to yellow over time.