How to Prime Canvas

In this example we are demonstrating how to prime one of our most popular surfaces, a 12oz cotton duck canvas using a universal primer. Unlike other canvases and linens, cotton duck has a very tight weave and so does not require a sealant before priming.

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Step 1

It is essential that the canvas fully absorbs the first coat of primer so this the most important application, If working on a larger canvas, an easel is suggested for hanging the canvas onto for priming.

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Step 2

In this case, the Primer we are using in the studio is diluted to the consistency of single cream by using water as a thinner. The priming brush we are using is wide to help with the even distribution of pressure on the canvas and is also efficient for coverage. The brush has also been trimmed for shorter hairs which make stiffer bristles

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Step 3

The key is to have enough patience to make sure that the canvas is thoroughly and evenly soaked with the primer.

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Step 4

For the first application of the primer, work in circular motions methodically across the face of the canvas and then around the sides. On a larger canvas, it is important to not apply too much pressure while priming as this can result in an imprint of the stretcher bars on the surface.

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Step 5

Complete the first coat and leave the canvas to dry for 20 minutes (timing can vary depending on the size of the canvas and the temperature of the room) Check by touch to see whether the first coat has dried

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Step 6

Use good lighting to double check the surface of the canvas for any irregular patches or clumps of primers.

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Step 7

Using soft sandpaper lightly stroke the canvas creating a smooth and even surface for your next layer of primer.

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Step 8

The next coating of primer should glide over the surface of your canvas. Work methodically across the surface until the second coat has an even and smooth surface.

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Step 9

Repeat the priming, drying and sanding processes to build up a surface that meets your personal preference. Universal primer is water soluble, to clean your priming brush we recommend running it under water as soon as the priming is finished.