Mounted Canvas vs Stretched Canvas (A Simple Comparison: The Difference Between Mounted Canvases & Stretched Canvases, & How To Choose Between Them)

As an art enthusiast, I know the importance of choosing the right canvas for my beloved pieces.

The debate between mounted canvas and stretched canvas is a common one, and it’s crucial to make the right choice. While mounted canvas offers more flexibility, stretched canvas provides a traditional and elegant look.

In this post, I’ll compare the two so you can make a decision that enhances the beauty and longevity of your artwork.

What Is Mounted Canvas?

A mounted canvas is a unique type of canvas used for artworks that are smaller in size. Unlike stretched canvas that’s stapled to a wooden frame, mounted canvas is glued or adhered to a rigid board or panel. This makes it more rigid and stable, without the need for a frame.

Using mounted canvas has several advantages. Firstly, it’s less likely to warp or buckle compared to stretched canvas. Its solid surface prevents it from changing shape, even when exposed to varying humidity or temperature. Moreover, it’s more durable and less prone to punctures and tears due to less tension on the surface.

However, there are also some drawbacks to mounted canvas. One is that it cannot be stretched or adjusted, unlike stretched canvas. Any imperfections or wrinkles in the canvas cannot be corrected once it’s mounted. Additionally, the process of mounting canvas is more complicated and time-consuming than stretching canvas, which can increase costs.

All in all, mounted canvas is a great option if you’re looking for a stable and durable surface for your artwork. It’s perfect for smaller pieces, but make sure to consider the potential drawbacks before choosing this option. Consulting with a professional can help you make an informed decision that meets your specific needs.

What Is Stretched Canvas?

As an artist, I often use stretched canvas for my paintings. This type of canvas is tightly stretched over a wooden frame and stapled to the back, providing a stable and versatile surface for my artwork. Stretched canvas comes in various sizes and depths, making it easy to find the perfect fit for any project.

One of the best things about stretched canvas is its versatility. The wooden frame provides support and stability, allowing me to stretch the canvas evenly and tightly. This ensures a smooth and consistent surface for my brushstrokes, and the painting retains its shape over time. I can even re-stretch the canvas if necessary, adjusting the tension and smoothing out any imperfections.

However, there are some downsides to using stretched canvas. The wooden frame can cause the canvas to warp or buckle if exposed to changes in temperature or humidity. Additionally, the tension on the surface can weaken the canvas over time, making it more susceptible to punctures and tears.

Despite these potential drawbacks, stretched canvas is still the most popular surface for painting due to its versatility and availability. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, stretched canvas can provide the stability and support you need. Just make sure to choose the right size and depth of canvas for your specific needs and consider potential issues that may arise.

Choosing Between Mounted & Stretched Canvas

Selecting the right canvas can make or break the artwork. With mounted and stretched canvas as the two primary options, here are some helpful tips to guide you in making the right choice:

  • Size: For smaller pieces, mounted canvas is a great option as it provides a stable surface that won’t warp or buckle over time. However, for larger artworks, stretched canvas is the way to go. The wooden frame provides extra support and stability to prevent any sagging or warping.
  • Framing: If you want to frame your artwork, go for stretched canvas. It allows the canvas to fit flush against the frame. On the other hand, for a frameless appearance, mounted canvas is ideal since it can be displayed without a frame.
  • Personal preference: Everyone has their own unique style and technique. Some prefer the smooth, taut surface of stretched canvas, while others love the textured surface of mounted canvas. Try both types and see which one suits your style the most.

Cost Comparison

When it comes to cost, the type of canvas you choose can have a significant impact on your wallet. The cost of materials and labor varies greatly between mounted and stretched canvas.

Mounted canvas is a more affordable option as it requires less material and labor. Since the canvas is adhered to a board instead of stretched over a wooden frame, the materials cost is significantly lower. Plus, mounting the canvas is quick and easy, requiring less labor.

Stretched canvas, on the other hand, tends to be more expensive due to the cost of materials and labor. The sturdy wooden frame used to stretch the canvas is a significant portion of the cost, and it requires a skilled hand to get it just right.

When choosing between mounted and stretched canvas, cost is a crucial consideration, especially for those on a budget. If affordability is a top priority, mounted canvas is the way to go. However, if your artwork requires a larger size or more elaborate framing, stretched canvas may be worth the extra cost.

Preservation & Maintenance

Preserving and maintaining canvas artwork requires careful attention to detail.

  • Whether on mounted or stretched canvas, proper handling is essential to avoid damage to the paint. Hold the canvas by the edges or back when moving or transporting it.
  • To clean the artwork, use gentle methods like a soft, dry cloth or a brush with soft bristles to remove dust or dirt.
  • Framing canvas artwork with UV-protective glass can help prevent fading or discoloration from sunlight, dust, or moisture.
  • When storing canvas artwork, keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Store artwork flat or rolled, avoiding folding or bending. Consider using acid-free paper or sleeves to protect against damage from moisture or pollutants.

By following these tips, you can maintain the beauty and integrity of your canvas artwork for years to come.

Conclusion: Should You Buy Mounted or Stretched Canvas?

Ultimately, the decision between mounted and stretched canvas depends on an artist’s unique needs and tastes. While mounted canvas is smooth and durable, making it perfect for larger pieces, it can be challenging to frame and lacks the traditional look of stretched canvas. In contrast, stretched canvas has a more classic appearance and is easy to frame, but may not be the best option for flat works or larger pieces.

When weighing the choice, factors like artwork size, framing options, and budget should be taken into consideration. You may want to experiment with both types of canvas to see which best complements your individual style.

Regardless of the canvas type you choose, it is critical to maintain and preserve the artwork correctly. Regular cleaning, framing, and proper storage techniques are all essential to ensure the artwork’s longevity and quality.

In the end, each canvas type has its pros and cons, and the artist’s requirements will dictate the choice. With careful consideration and attention to upkeep, both mounted and stretched canvas can provide a stunning, long-lasting surface for your artwork.