How to fix warped canvas

Author: Dana McGorlick-Appelman  Date Posted:28 April 2022 

If you are concerned about your artwork warping or have a piece that has warped over time, keep reading to discover how to prevent and fix a warped canvas.


Warping is ultimately inevitable when working with wooden stretcher bars- this is a natural characteristic of wood. Warping can be caused by a range of factors – including the climate of the space you store your canvases, and also by any undue weight put on the stretcher frame, for example, when it is leaning against a wall.

Preventing warping

If you are worried about the bowing and warping of your stretcher frame, particularly on a larger sized canvas, be sure you store your canvas in a room with a steady climate, and one that's preferably not too humid. Wood which is used for stretchers is a natural material, and while it has been dried, it is inevitably always going to be active and responding to its environment. 

The quality of your canvas can also impact it’s ability to warp. Having a thicker higher quality frame also means less chance of this happening within your lifetime! Stronger and denser wood adds some weight to the canvas, and it also means that it is less likely to warp if exposed to moisture, sunlight, or temperature fluctuations. Smaller-scale canvases are also less likely to warp, so for larger canvases of 60cm and over, we recommend choosing a double-thick canvas to reduce the chances of warping and maximise the longevity of your artwork.

Once your painting is finished, another way to prevent it from warping over time is to source and apply an external frame. This can also add dimension and a professional, visual appeal to your work.

If you are adamant about the canvas never warping and maintaining a rigid shape, then the only other option is to source and have your canvas stretched on an aluminium frame. There are however ways to fix a warped canvas that has been stretched over wooden stretcher bars:


How to fix a warped canvas

For loose canvas, make sure you have inserted canvas keys into the corners of the frame

If the frame itself is warped, you can use L brackets to brace the coners.

Screw brackets into each corner. For this, you can use a screwdriver or power drill, however be careful not to use long screws as they can split the frame. 

To prevent further warping, ensure you store canvas flat, either horizontally or vertically.


We hope this helps!


For a guide to choosing your canvas, click here


Got questions? Send us an email at and our friendly team of artists will do their best to assist you. 


Comments (1)

Warped canvas panel

Unfortunately, I did not store my panels flat, so some have bowed or warped. How should I fix this?

Hi Joe, great question! If you have painted on Canvas Panels with the (cardboard backing) using water based or acrylic paints they can sometimes warp. We recommend the following steps to flatten them: 1. Lay the painting face down onto a sheet of baking paper. 2. Using a spray bottle mist the back of the painting lightly with plain water. 3. Place a number of heavy books (or anything heavy) on top of the panel for 24-48 hours. 4. The panel should now be sitting flat. I hope this helps!

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