How to Mount a Canvas on Hardboard

Written by evelyn kobler
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A lot of outdated information about using Masonite for painting is on the web and elsewhere. According to Mark Gottsegen, administrator of the Art Materials Information and Education Network (AMIEN), "The Masonite Corp. no longer makes this kind of hardboard; we just call the material 'hardboard.' You would be hard-pressed to find untempered hardboard anywhere today." Other kinds of hardboard are manufactured and sold by other companies.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 8-inch by 10-inch hardboard, 1/8 inch thick, untempered or tempered
  • 10-inch by 12-inch piece acrylic primed canvas
  • Neutral pH Adhesive
  • Golden GAC 100 for sizing
  • 1-inch flat brush
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Pencil
  • Hard brayer
  • Paper towels
  • Heavy books
  • Heavy board

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  1. 1

    Seal the hardboard by applying two coats of Golden Artist Colors (GAC) 100 acrylic polymer on each side. This is to protect against support-induced discolouration (SID), a condition caused by impurities drawn up through an unprimed substrate that can discolour your work. Ampersand Art Supply advises that all hardboard, including its hardboard, should be sealed with GAC 100.

  2. 2

    Let dry thoroughly for one to three days.

  3. 3

    Trace outline of your panel in the centre of the back of your canvas. There should be a 1-inch border all around. Sometimes there is a little shrinking of the canvas. Brush a thick coat of adhesive on the front of the panel.

  4. 4

    Place the canvas face down and place the glue-covered panel face down on top of it, following your traced outline. Press down on it firmly. Turn canvas and panel over and use the brayer to smooth everything, working from the centre out.

  5. 5

    Cover the panel with waxed paper or freezer paper. Place several heavy books on top. Dry overnight. Turn over, place on the back of a piece of plywood or other heavy board and cut away the overlapping canvas. If you happen to have a metal ruler, it makes it a little easier.

Tips and warnings

  • If you use Gessobord or Claybord, you can leave out the sizing step and go right to the gluing phase since they have already been sized.
  • Panels larger than 16 inches in any dimension should be braced with 1-inch by 2-inch lumber strips.

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