Quick tip to tighten a saggy canvas

Decorating your space using canvas art is an affordable and effective way to make it your own. But every now and then you may notice that the front of your canvas doesn't look as flat as when you put it up. Here’s a quick and easy way to fix that sag using just a bit of water.

Why do some canvases sag?

Traditional stretched canvas is made up of fibers, typically cotton or linen. Because they are natural fibers they are subject to change over time as temperature and humidity changes, stretching and swelling in the same way that a pair of jeans may get looser as they are worn. And just like your favorite pair of jeans, you can return them to their original shape by shrinking them.

Image showing the inside of a canvas art demonstrating the natural fibers in canvas

Natural vs. Synthetic Canvas

Note that the following tip only applies to canvas that is made with natural fibers, not synthetic canvas. How can you tell if your canvas is made of natural cotton or synthetic fibers? Usually the manufacturer will say what they use, but generally a natural canvas will have a textured surface versus a super smooth, slightly shiny surface, which is typical of a synthetic material.

At the end of the day, if your canvas is sagging, it’s most likely made of natural fiber, and you can try the tip below to make it tight again. 

 Image showing how to use a spray bottle to spritz water onto the back of a canvas art piece in order to tighten sagging canvas

Fix the sagging canvas

Fortunately there's a simple fix to get the canvas tight again. Simply take a spray bottle with plain water, and gently mist the back of the canvas. You don’t have to soak it, just make sure the back is evenly covered. Place the canvas somewhere warm to dry and once it does, the canvas should be noticeably tighter. In some cases you may have to repeat it to get it fully tightened, but it’s as simple as that. 

The easiest way to hang a canvas. Period.

We designed our CanvasHangers™ to make it quick and easy to hang any canvas into drywall. All you need is a hammer to install a bracket in the top two corners of a canvas. Take the canvas to the wall and find the perfect spot. With the canvas in place, simply push it into the drywall for a secure hold up to 20 lbs. Watch this short video to see how easy it is to use CanvasHangers.

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-The UTR Team

At Under The Roof Decorating our mission is to design innovative products that help you Create the home you love™.

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Reviews (2 comments)

  • The UTR Team On

    Hi Sue! Yes, you can use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process when you are tightening your stretched canvas. A couple of tips: 1) Use a low heat setting to evaporate the moisture and prevent damaging the artwork 2) move the dryer around the canvas to dry it evenly instead of leaving it in once spot 3) dry from the back of the canvas to avoid damaging the artwork. Hope that helps, let us know if you have any other questions. -The UTR Team

  • Sue On

    Can I dry a canvas print sprayed with water with a hair dryer?

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