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How to Get a Crease Out of a Painted Canvas – Paint by Numbers FAQ

how to get a crease out of a painted canvas

So you’ve finished a paint by numbers kit and realized there’s a crease on the canvas – here’s what you can do now and what you need to do next time. Keep reading to find out how to get a crease out of a painted canvas.

One of the fascinating things about art is that we are constantly learning new things. Most often through trial and error. However, there are a few glitches most beginners come across. One of these has to do with the canvas.

How to Get a Crease Out of a Painted Canvas – Why Does This Happen?

Canvases are often made from fabrics that retain oil paints without cracking or deteriorating the quality of the colors. If they’re too absorbent, the colors would be dull and flat. And if they’re too resistant, the colors would smudge easily off the surface.

Usually, artists work with:

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • A mix of natural and synthetic fabrics.

These fabrics differ in texture, durability, and quality. However, they all share a tendency to crease and wrinkle. Pretty much the same way that your cotton shirt or jeans would if it’s folded or crumpled.

Synthetic fabrics have more flexibility, thus, when they’re mixed with cotton or linen, you’d get less wrinkling. The quality and texture of pure fabrics are far better though, so we try to manage the creases in exchange for a superb painting surface.

The canvases you get by mail from online shops or from paint by number kits usually take a few days to ship. And that could be preceded by longer amounts of time in storage. Usually, the canvas is rolled or folded inside the package. This naturally creates a few creases here and there, and it’s best to handle them right away.

Some painters miss the creases and start coloring right away. And they’d realize the ripple in the fabric once they’re done. Others might need to take their painting and move from place to place. And as you know, rolling the canvas often leaves it with a few creases around the edges.

It’s not the end of the world though, and there are some neat ways to ‘set things straight.

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How to Get a Crease Out of a Painted Canvas – 6 Easy Ways

Canvases can be viewed as wrinkled clothes that need special treatment. The methods used for pressing your outfits are quite similar to how we handle the creases in a painted canvas. The challenging part is ironing out the wrinkles without damaging the colors.

Method #1: Iron the Canvas

Most artists are wary of adding water to the canvas, neither before nor after applying the paint. This is a generally valid concern since the water tends to distort the dimensions of the canvas. Moreover, if it’s already painted the results could be quite frustrating.

That’s why we often recommend dry-ironing. Here’s how:

  1. Put a clean dry towel on the ironing board
  2. Place the canvas face down
  3. Place a thin piece of cloth on the inverted canvas
  4. Set the iron to a high temperature
  5. Turn off the steam, if you have that option
  6. Start ironing across the canvas
  7. Avoid lingering too long in the same spot

Method #2: Use a Whiff of Fabric Conditioner

Dry-ironing is often sufficient for mild creases. However, folding a canvas for a while, or placing a heavy object on top of it might cause deeper creases that don’t respond readily to regular ironing.

In that case, using a fabric conditioner could be essential.

  1. Look for a fabric conditioner that’s not too fragrant
  2. Mix 1/4 cup of fabric conditioner into 1 cup of warm water
  3. Stir well and pour the solution into a sprayer
  4. Stand back and spray a few whiffs around the back of the canvas
  5. Keep in mind that the idea is to mist and not to soak
  6. Repeat the same steps you did with the dry-ironing above
  7. If a wrinkle is still too stubborn, spray it again and redo the ironing process

Method #3: Use a Damp Cloth

If the creases are spread all across the surface of the canvas, then spraying all that area might be difficult. This is especially true for large canvases.

In these situations, using a damp cloth would be wise. The process of dry ironing remains the same with one simple variation: place a damp cloth on the inverted surface of the canvas. You just need the slightest bit of humidity, so make sure that the cloth is barely damp.

Method #4: Use a Steamer

Another variation is to use a steamer if you have one around the house. This option comes in very handy with the large canvases where ironing can be a hassle.

This is different from using the steam option in your iron, as you need to apply that hot vapor from a distance. If you’re too close to the fabric, that might increase the likelihood that it becomes damaged.

In addition, the steamer provides a more widespread mist than the thick effluence coming out of the iron.

Method #5: Stretch the Canvas on a Frame for a Few Days

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This is one of the safest ways for handling creases. There are no added risks associated with using heat treatment or using humidity. The trick is to keep the canvas taut, and as much as possible, keep that tension even across all of its surface.

The results might take a while to appear though. And if the creases are too sharp, this method might not be as effective as we wish.

Method #6: Hang the Canvas in the Sun to Dry

If you live in a warm area where it’s sunny and bright, you can take advantage of the merry weather to flatten the creased canvas.

Fabrics, in general, tend to relax and get a bit of bounce when they’re left out in the sun for a few hours. A bit of humidity in the air would be good too, and it might speed up the process. However, you can mimic that effect by applying a mist of water, or water mixed with fabric conditioner onto the canvas.

What Can You Do Next Time to Avoid Creases and Wrinkles?

Here are a few tried and true tips you can do to keep your canvas wrinkle-free. We do realize that some creases are unavoidable, but we do our best to minimize them.

The challenge of treating wrinkles on a blank paint by numbers canvas is that the ink isn’t too stable. And most treatments could smudge the markings and spoil the canvas irreversibly. It’s best then to resort to dry treatments that mostly involve handling the canvas well.

  • Inspect the shipping creases, and deal with them right away
  • The longer the canvas stays folded, the more stubborn the creases would become
  • Spread the canvas on a flat surface before working on it
  • Rolling a canvas causes creases too, so keep it to a minimum
  • If you need to store your canvas, roll it around a solid form rather than around itself
  • Avoid leaving your canvas folded
  • Make sure your canvas is never too loose on the frame

How to Get a Crease Out of a Painted Canvas – Conclusion

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A wrinkled canvas is annoying to look at and troublesome to work with. Moreover, it would be such a shame to go through all the effort of diligent painting, only to see a perfect picture spoiled by a wrinkle.

Luckily, there are several clever ways to iron these creases out. And you can now hang your paint by numbers masterpieces around the house in all their glam.

To view our complete gallery of paint by numbers kits for beginners, CLICK HERE!

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