Folding the corners of stretched canvas: it’s just a detail, but it’s one many painters can’t seem to get right. I’m sure a lot of them just don’t care. But for the perfectionists out there, here is a method I have found that is simple and neat:

Having partly fixed the canvas to the stretcher on all 4 sides, begin the fold when you still have enough room to work.


Begin by pushing the fabric in on one side (I typically do this on what will be the top and bottom of the picture).


Adjust the fold so that it is flush with the edge of the stretcher and so that it begins right from the corner.


Bring the fold down over the fabric of the adjacent edge, creating the second, top fold, in the process.


Bring the remaining flap down over the previous fold, taking care no to crumple the latter. Crease all folds.


Repeat the last steps on the remaining corners and resume fixing the canvas to the stretcher. Once you reach the corner, begin by fixing the bottom fold.


Then do the same with the top fold. VoilĂ !


As a further refinement, one can use a rubber mallet or a scrap block of wood to tap the folds down even tighter. When you size the canvas, be sure to apply some to the sides as well as that will tighten the folds even further.

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