How To Reuse a Canvas

Since it has a flexible surface, canvas is one of the most popular painting methods.If you want to reuse a painted canvas for a different painting, there are a number of ways you can do that.You can lift as much paint as you want on a canvas when you soak it in rubbing alcohol.You have to remove the oil paint from the canvas.If you want a fresh, clean surface to work on, you can always flip the canvas over and use the unused side to paint it.You can start painting again once you finish.

Step 1: The painting needs to be sanded to remove any texture.

If you apply firm pressure to the canvas, don't tear through it.There are painted areas that have a raised or bumpy texture.Keep rubbing them until they are level with the rest of the canvas' surface.If there is no raised texture on the canvas, you don't have to sand it.If you don't sand the canvas, the original texture will still be visible through your painting and cause it to look odd.

Step 2: The canvas needs a thin coat of paint.

Spread the brush out on the canvas by dipping the end of it into the paint.Work in long back and forth strokes for your first coat.The canvas has a thin even coat if the paint is spread.If you want to hide the original colors, avoid painting over dark pieces of art.It will take a long time for the paint to dry if it is applied too thick.The original painting can still be seen through the first coat.

Step 3: Allow the paint to dry.

The canvas should be left in a dry area that is out of direct sunlight.After 30 minutes, touch the paint with your finger to see if it is dry.If there is no paint on your finger, you can move on.If that's the case, let it dry longer and check it again.

Step 4: There is another layer of white going in the opposite direction.

If you painted the first coat vertically, apply the second coat in horizontal strokes.You can still see the original painting if you fill in the spots that you missed on the first coat.The second coat of paint should create a thin layer on the canvas.The second coat needs to be dry to the touch before it can be painted.If you still see the original painting through the second coat, apply a third coat.

Step 5: Rub alcohol on the canvas to loosen it.

Look for a container large enough to hold the entire canvas and place it outside or in aventilated area.The canvas should be put in the bottom of the container with rubbing alcohol so that the painted side is face-down.The canvas should be left alone for at least an hour.Turpentine or ammonia can be used instead of rubbing alcohol.If you don't have a container for your canvas, spray rubbing alcohol across the surface of the painting with a spray bottle.

Step 6: Pull the canvas out and use a knife to remove the paint.

When cleaning a painting, wear gloves and a mask to protect your skin.Put excess liquid on a flat work surface.If you want to remove paint from the canvas, place the knife along the edge and push it away from you.Continue peeling the paint until there are no thick, textured areas.The paint may have stained the canvas, so it won't look great when you're done.If you apply too much pressure to the knife, it will rip through the canvas.

Step 7: Warm water and dish soap can be used to clean alcohol.

Run warm water over the canvas to get it wet.Use a soft cleaning brush to scrub the canvas after applying a few drops of liquid dish soap.Light pressure can be used to wash the canvas and remove leftover paint.There are paint stains on the canvas.Warm water can be wiped on the surface with a cleaning rag if your canvas doesn't fit in the sink.

Step 8: Allow the canvas to dry before rinsing it.

Run warm water over the canvas to clean it.If you want to leave the canvas to dry, place it in a warm area after you have cleaned off all of the soap.You should let the canvas dry completely before you use it again.If the canvas didn't fit in your sink, you can wash it with a rag and warm water.The canvas can be placed in the sun to help speed up the drying process.

Step 9: A layer of gesso is used to paint the canvas.

You can mix the gesso with a stir stick and use a natural bristle paintbrush to paint your canvas.Start in the center of the canvas and work the gesso into a thin layer.You can buy it from an art supply shop.Since you will be adding another coat, it is okay if you can still see some of the original paint through the gesso.If you want a different base color on your canvas, mix a colored acrylic paint into the gesso.

Step 10: The gesso should be dry for 20 to 30 minutes.

Put the canvas in a dry place and allow it to dry.If you touch the canvas with your finger, you can see if there is a lift off.You can move onto the next step if your finger is clean after touching the canvas.If there are any shiny spots, hold the canvas up to the light.The canvas is still wet if it is shiny.

Step 11: In the opposite direction, apply a second layer of gesso.

If you painted the first layer with horizontal strokes, use vertical strokes for the second coat.Continue painting on a layer of gesso to cover any areas you missed the first time and give yourself a smooth painting surface.After you finish the second coat, let it dry for a few days before painting it.If the original paint still shows through, you can add more layers of gesso.Before applying the next coat, allow each coat to dry completely.

Step 12: You can use a razor blade to remove paint.

If you want to remove the paint, you need a face mask or a respirator.If you want to remove thick, textured oil paints, hold the razor blade at a slight angle to the canvas and push it away from you.Light pressure should be applied to the canvas to get as close to it as possible.If you pull the edge of the razor toward your body, it will slip and cause serious injury.If the razor blade works too slowly, you can use a putty knife.

Step 13: To remove the texture, sand the old paint off.

Use long back and forth motions to remove the paint from the canvas.Light pressure can be applied to the canvas to remove paint more effectively, but not so much that you rip or tear through it.Continue working until you can see the canvas.The canvas may not come off completely because the oils paints stained it.If the fabric is too flexible and you can't apply enough pressure to the canvas while sanding, place boards of scrap wood or another flat surface underneath it so you have a solid surface to sand on.

Step 14: Rub denatured alcohol on the canvas to clean it.

Denatured alcohol helps lift residual paint and cleans the surface so it can adhere better.Rub the entire surface of the painting after dipping the end of a cleaning rag in denatured alcohol.Remove any paint or dust that is still on the surface with back and forth strokes.Allow the alcohol to dry for a while.

Step 15: The canvas should be covered with a thin coat of oil-based gesso.

Before applying the gesso, mix it thoroughly with a stir stick.Start by applying the gesso in the middle of the painting and spreading it out towards the edges with a 2 in (5.1 cm) natural-bristle paintbrush.Once you have a thin coat of gesso over the entire surface, work either in vertical or horizontal strokes.Oil-based gesso can be purchased from an art supply shop.Some of the original painting can still be seen through the first coat of gesso.

Step 16: The gesso should be dry for 20 to 30 minutes.

Set the canvas is a dry spot away from the sun.After 30 minutes, touch the canvas with your finger and check to see if any of the gesso came off.You can move on if your finger is clean.The gesso should be left to dry.The canvas should be kept flat while the gesso dries.

Step 17: Go in the opposite direction with a second layer of gesso.

The canvas will have a smooth finish and fill in spots you missed more effectively if you put the gesso on in a different direction.Use vertical strokes for the second layer if you put the first coat on horizontally.You can't see the paint underneath when you brush the gesso on until there's a thin layer.The gesso should be dry for at least a couple of days before you start painting.Wait for 20 to 30 minutes before applying additional layers of gesso to hide the underlayer of paint.Since oil-based gesso won't adhere as well and could cause the painting to crack, you cannot use acrylic paints on it.

Step 18: Pull the nails or staplers out of the canvas frame.

The back of the frame should be face-up if you flip the canvas over.Pull the nails from the canvas frame with a pair of pliers.The canvas needs to be detached from the frame before nails can be removed.The method only works on canvas that is stretched onto a frame.The nails may be on the sides of the frame.

Step 19: The painted side of the canvas should be face up if the frame is put on top of it.

The painted side of your canvas should be face-up.Line the canvas with the frame's edges so the back is face-up.The canvas needs to stay flat against your work surface.

Step 20: The sides of the frame have nails or screws in them.

The process can be made easier if you start on one of the long sides.Pull the canvas tightly onto the back of the frame by bending the edges.Place a staple through the canvas in the center of the frame's side to secure it in place.Pull the canvas tight so you can nail or staple the other side.The process should be repeated on the short sides.To ensure that the canvas is tight, ask a helpers to help you pull and secure it.

Step 21: The canvas should be stretched.

The canvas should be secured to the frame every 2–3 inches from the center of a long edge.If you put a nail or staple in the same spot on the opposite side, the canvas will stretch evenly.Pull the canvas tight until you reach the corners.To make sure the front of the canvas is smooth, repeat the process on the short sides.The front of the canvas should be flat when you apply pressure to it.

Step 22: Let the layers of gesso dry on the unpainted side of the canvas.

If you want to use oils in your paints, use an oil-based gesso.Use a 2 in (5.1 cm) natural-bristle paintbrush to begin your first coat of gesso.Allow it to dry for 20–30 minutes after you have a thin layer of gesso.When the first coat is dry, you can use strokes in the opposite direction to put on a second coat.If you want to hide the painted side on the back of the canvas, you can use gesso.

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