Reverse Canvas – How To Make it Work at The End

Tips and Tricks for Making a Reverse Canvas

The other day I posted the How to Make a Reverse Canvas tutorial. Afterward, realizing that there are lots of ins-and-outs to this that you do not know at the start… Reverse Canvas – How to Make it Work at the End,  if you will. Over time many of them become common knowledge. However, when learning, any issue can be a deal-breaker.

Below is a compilation of my Tips and Tricks for Reverse Canvas.  As I learn more, I will add them in!


Let's Begin with Tips!

Tip 1

When stapling the canvas to the frame, make sure you have it pulled tight so that there is no sagging or waving in the canvas. This can be hard on your first times, but you really need to try.

You will be stapling the canvas near the end of the project.  Typically, this is when things go wrong. 

reverse canvas - how to make it work

This picture shows the best way to staple the canvas back onto the frame.  The numbers indicate the order of staples, and the arrows indicate the pull direction.

Tip 2

It is not always easy to find the hooks that you need to attach to the reverse canvas.  One thing I like to do is use ribbon.

Just get a piece of ribbon slightly longer than the top width of the canvas.  Staple onto the backside of the canvas, and presto!  

reverse canvas - how to make it work

Tip 3

If you do not like the ribbon idea above, the local dollar store will sell a set for hanging pictures.  Typically the sets contain hooks, wire, clips, and nails. 

The nice thing about these sets is that they can be used for both regular and reverse canvas projects.


Typically there are enough pieces inside there to hang 5-10 frames. 

tool kit

More Tips Coming Soon

Let's Begin with some Tricks!

Trick 1

One time, my canvas was not pulled tight enough, and I tried to pull the staples out again. My hand slipped, the screwdriver shot across the frame and ripped a hole right in the canvas.

I was about to call it quits!  Instead, I found a vinyl the same color as my paint and taped it on the back. I made sure that the hole was entirely sealed on the front. But if any spots were showing, the vinyl color would show up instead.  

A quick touch up of paint on top of the ripped area can be applied to hide any remnants of a tear. 


The Pictures on the right show the damage and the repairs.

reverse canvas - how to make it work
reverse canvas - how to make it work
reverse canvas - how to make it work

Trick 2

Often times, when you take the canvas off, there will be staples on the front of the frame, at the corners.

There are two options:

1) Leave the staple there – Typically, this is what I do. You can paint or stain over them. They do not make an impact on the look of the final design.

2) Remove the staples and glue the frame – This takes a lot of effort. You want to glue the frame with wood glue before you remove them. Let the glue dry, about 24 hours, and then remove the staples. If you remove them first, the frame will shift.  Then you will have to use clamps to keep it straight. This becomes a real pain… and I do not recommend it.


reverse canvas - how to make it work

Trick 3

Once in a while, you will be the unfortunate recipient of a broken frame.

The frame either has a crack or a chip.

Do not worry!  

Just apply some wood glue on the crack/chip and let it dry.

If the crack is significant, you may need to use clamps to hold it straight while it dries.

Once dry, run some sandpaper over it to smooth out the spot.

Apply paint/stain, and it’s ready to go!

This will increase the duration of your total project time by a day, but it will help you salvage the frame.


More Tricks Coming Soon

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If you liked this information, check out my other canvas projects here.

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