Ralph Larmann

Art Department

University of Evansville

Art Studio Chalkboard STRIP FRAMING A CANVAS

A simple but effective way to prepare a painting for exhibition is the use of a strip frame. Strip framing can be done with a variety of different molding materials which can be found at local home improvement/lumber stores. The most common (and probably the cheapest) is lattice stripping. Lattice strips are long thin wood pieces that can easily be cut to the length needed.

When creating a simple strip frame, it is important to look at the orientation of your image. If vertical (like the diagram) then you will want to apply the top and bottom strips first. By doing the top and bottom first one can anticipate the length of the sides and conceal the corner joint.

strip framing

Book Source

Follow these steps to create your frame:

  1. If you are going to have a painted frame paint before cutting, but save extra paint for touch-up
  2. Lay the lattice strip across the top edge of the canvas and mark the distance.
  3. Cut the strip by sawing a 90 degree cut on the outside of your mark.
  4. align the piece so that it is flush with the side edges and nail into place with small brads.
  5. repeat this process on the bottom.
  6. For the sides, lay the lattice against the side edge and mark the distance from edge to edge including the top and bottom lattice that has already been attached.
  7. Cut the strip by sawing a 90 degree cut on the outside of the mark.
  8. align the piece so that it is flush with the outside edges of the canvas and the attached top and bottom strips.
  9. repeat for other side
  10. touch-up nailheads and joints, if needed
It is a good idea to cut the lattice with a mitre saw so that the cuts are nice crisp 90 degree angles. Place screw eyes 1/3 of the way down into the back of the stretcher bars behind the canvas. String a wire through the screw eyes and secure them by twisting the left over wire. Exhibit.

updated 08/20/04

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