You’ve spent hours carefully selecting a painting you want to create and pored over the details while you painted it. Once your paint by numbers masterpiece is finished though, it still needs to be properly presented to really bring out its best features. So, what to do? Frame or mount?
Learning how to mount a painting or stretch canvas in preparation for its presentation is just as important as the painting itself. Whichever option you choose for how to present it depends on what you’re comfortable doing. How the kit was assembled, and where you want to display it on your wall.
This guide can show you the steps for either method of stretching or mounting and framing, as well as proper storage solutions. After all that time and effort spent making your own masterpiece, the final stages of presentation will truly be the most important.
Frame or Mount – How to Stretch a Canvas Painting
Canvas is a very flexible material and when most people are working with it, they stretch it onto a wooden frame to hang it. With a paint by numbers piece, you might decide to stretch the canvas before you start working on it or do this when it’s finished and dry, so whatever you decide will be fine.
What You Need
- Make the frame first with the stretcher bars by laying them out and pushing the edges into each other so they fit. You can hit them with a heavy object or even a rubber mallet to ensure they’re stuck together, then staple together.
- Find a clean, flat surface and lay down the canvas, rolling it out completely. Lay the wooden frame over the top and then wrap the edges of the canvas over it being sure to pull them tightly.
- Begin with the center of the bottom bar and staple the canvas down. Make three staples of even spacing on the bottom and then move to the top bar, side, & other side to repeat.
- Fold the edges of each corner and tuck them in neatly before stapling down.
- Test how tight the canvas is and if you need it tighter, remove all staples and start again.
Frame or Mount – How to Frame a Paint By Numbers
Framing or mounting a canvas isn’t the most obvious choice but it can give you a unique finished product. To do this, you’ll need to coat the canvas to prepare it and then mount to a board before framing.
What You Need
- Gator board sized to fit the canvas
- Canvas coating (glossy or matte)
- Stanley knife or scissors
- Fabric glue
- Frame to fit the canvas
- Rubber roller
- Coat the painting with a specialized canvas coating, giving it a nice shine and finish. Let it dry completely before moving onto the next step.
- Once dry, cut your painting down to size so that it is a little larger than the frame. Use either a Stanley knife or scissors, but ensure it has been measured with a ruler.
- Place the fabric glue on the back of the gator board using a thick paintbrush so it’s even. Working quickly, line the canvas up fully rolled and on the left-hand side of the gator board ready to go.
- Use your left hand to hold down the canvas in line with the gator board and the other to roll it out and smooth it down as you go.
- Once it’s been rolled out completely and is lined up. Use your rubber roller to go over the entire piece and get rid of any marks or air bubbles.
- Let the entire piece dry and stick together fully before sliding it into the frame.
Storing Paint By Numbers and Proper Care
If you want to keep your paint by numbers masterpiece for many years, you’ll need to store it correctly. As with any piece of valuable art there are things you can do to take ensure they’ll stay in good condition, and if you’ve worked hard to create the art for yourself you’ll definitely want to take care of it.
- Keep the painting out of direct sunlight and avoid sudden changes in temperature. Choose somewhere shaded and out of the weather to keep the colors fresh.
- Regularly wipe down the canvas with a cloth and some water, but never spray water directly onto it.
- Only ever handle one painting at a time and resist the urge to stack them together as they can get easily damaged.
- Always have clean hands whenever you plan on touching or moving your canvas and remove any jewelry to avoid scratches.
- Don’t store paintings anywhere there is excess moisture like a basement, otherwise, it will form mold on the canvas.
- For long term storage, lay the canvas against acid-free paper and the wrap. Every six months, take the painting out and let it get some air for a day before wrapping again.
Frame or Mount – The Most Important Step of the Paint By Number Process
Paint by numbers became famous for letting everyday people become artists. What better way to show off your newfound skills in art than by hanging up your work. Visitors to your home will be amazed that you’ve been able to create something so spectacular. They make wonderful gifts for loved ones when fully framed or mounted.
As the most popular surface for painting, canvas artworks have a lot of benefits. However, you need to be prepared to care for and store them properly to ensure they last. Displaying your paint by numbers masterpiece is highly recommended. Displaying as a beautifully hung canvas on the wall will only enhance just how great it is.