This is something I recently painted on a loose piece of canvas. It is 9.25″ x 8″ and is a combination of spray paint and gouache. It is a view off of my balcony with some of downtown Columbus visible in the background.
I have a number of paintings that I’ve made on loose pieces of canvas. By “loose” I mean that they are not stretched over a stretcher. In this form they function well as scrolls; rolling them up allows for easy transportation and space-saving around the studio. Unfortunately though, they are problematic when it comes to presentation. There is no way to hang them without attaching something to the back. They also typically require some sort of supporting structure on the back. This painting in particular, like so many others, is not a perfect rectangle and has rough or frayed edges.
One way to handle all of these problems is to mount the painting on a board. It will clean up the painting for nicer presentation, give a flat support to the painting and will also provide a surface to affix a hanging mechanism. The following is a visual step-by-step of how to do so:
You will need a wooden board (slightly smaller than the painting) and some kind of mounting adhesive. I favor Super 77, which I used a lot as an Industrial Design undergrad. For the best bond, spray the back of the painting AND the front of the board. Let it dry for awhile (about 5 minutes or so) and then put the two sprayed surfaces together. Be careful while doing this; if you do a sloppy job, you will have wrinkles and/or bubbles in your work. To avoid this, make sure you apply pressure uniformly over the painting while you attach it to the board. One other thing: make sure you do this part of the process out-of-doors. Super 77 is not something you ever want to spray indoors.
Once the wood is on top of the back of the painting and you have smoothed out any bumps, set something heavy on top of the board. Bricks work well as do large books. Then, let it dry like this. I’m not sure how long it takes to fully dry, but I usually give it at least 24 hours to be safe.
Here it is mounted and dry, but as you can see, the canvas overlaps the board a bit. That is what you want. Next, get an Exacto or a fresh razor blade….
Now take your blade and cut the excess canvas off of the board.
Try to slice it as close to flush as possible.
That’s it; you are now done. Here’s another view to show the sides of the painting & board: