- The canvas itself is probably stretched a little loosely to begin with. You can use "painter's keys" to tighten it — also a good idea (to be addressed later) — but that won't fix a little dent.
- Turn the canvas over, and spread a little water on the back of it, in the dented area. You can use a mister bottle if you like, or just pour a little water directly on it and spread it with your hand.
- As the canvas dries, you'll notice how it tightens up. The dent should tighten up and disappear.
- If the canvas is still a little dented, repeat (you may need to use a little more water, too).
Have you ever unwrapped a new canvas to discover that it was a little dented? Or perhaps you have one that's gotten dented because something was leaning against it?
Here's how to fix it:
Remember: never stack anything against a canvas or a painting that will dent, scratch, or pierce it — and then you won't have to worry about repairing it later.
Karen Lynn Ingalls
I am a working artist in Napa and Sonoma Counties, in northern California. I paint colorist landscapes of rural California, teach art classes, workshops, and private lessons, and live in Calistoga, California.