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How to Use Canvas Stretcher Bars & Crossbars - The Stackhouse Printery

How to Use Canvas Stretcher Bars & Crossbars

The goal when deciding how to best display your fine art or photography is to choose a method that enhances its visual appeal.

One of the most affordable, simplest and popular ways to display your art is to print it on canvas and then wrap it over wooden stretcher bars.

Gallery wrapped canvas prints on stretcher bars are one of the most popular choices for displaying art among professional artists, gallery owners and decorators. Stretched and mounted canvas looks professional without the added expenses and decorative distractions of more traditional approaches to framing.

In addition to the aesthetic benefits, wrapping your canvas prints on stretcher bars make hanging and transporting your artwork easier, particularly when you are exhibiting or selling, while also offering extra protection from damage and wear.

Here are some tips from our team at The Stackhouse Printery on how to best use canvas stretcher bars and crossbars to display your fine art canvas prints.

Match Canvas Stretch Bar Size To Your Art As Much as Possible

Choosing the size and depth of your stretcher bar is key to achieving the outcome you desire. Stretcher bars come in many different sizes. At The Stackhouse Printery we offer stretcher bars in two sizes -  .75 and 1.5 inches.

Typically, artists choose thicker bars when displaying larger canvases, but ultimately the decision between these two depths is personal and aesthetic.

It is however important to know that deeper stretcher bars are required to support larger canvases and maintain their tightness over time. A general rule of thumb is that canvases larger than 36 x 48-inch inches should have thicker depth to prevent warping.

Only Use Crossbars for Larger Canvases

Smaller art pieces generally do not require a crossbar to maintain stability or stiffness. Therefore, you can save time and money by only using a crossbar if working with a much larger canvas.

While there are various recommendations for when to consider using a crossbar, ultimately, the decision is yours based on whether you believe your piece will be secure enough without one.

Keyable Stretcher Bar Frames Help With Art Preservation

Over time, canvases tend to absorb moisture which causes them to expand slightly. This expansion can ruin the intended shape of the canvas.

Using keyable stretcher frames allows for continual adjustment to prevent any damage caused by moisture absorption. This will help you ensure our canvas remains in your desired shape even if left untouched for an extended period.

Don't Put Canvas Stretcher Bars Too Close to the Canvas

When using canvas stretcher bars and crossbars, it's essential to take caution when stretching the canvas over them to avoid letting the stretchers sit too close to the canvas. To prevent this issue, an extra angled edge can be helpful.

The rule of thumb for measuring your canvas is to add three inches to each side of your stretcher bars.

Whether your canvas prints already use stretcher bars or need unstretched canvas printing, The Stackhouse Printery has your back. We guarantee that with our help, your Gallery Wrapped Canvas Prints will look their absolute best, and we'll do whatever it takes to put a smile on your face.