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A steaming iron to learn how to flatten a paint by numbers canvas

"Do I Need To Iron My Paint by Number Canvas?"

When you order a paint by numbers kit, receiving a wrinkled canvas can be disheartening. If your number painting kit is not packed carefully, transportation can make deep dents in the fabric that can be hard to remove. Sadly, many cheap vendors will use a foam roll inside the rolled canvas to save shipping costs and is not very effective or even worse, will fold the canvas!

This is why, despite being a bit more expensive, we like to ship our quality products in PVC tubes to ensure they arrive in pristine condition. Here we'll go through different methods to remove the wrinkles from your canvas, including ironing.


To iron or not to iron

Can you iron a canvas? The short answer is yes! As with any artist-grade canvas, paint by numbers canvases are made of fabric (linen or cotton), so they can be ironed as any shirt!

You will need to consider some aspects, such as the grade of heat and the amount of vapor/water to use. It is quite easy, though, so keep on reading!

Method #1 - Let's Iron That Canvas!

Your paint by numbers canvas from us is made of high-quality woven material, and due to our packaging, most likely you'll never have to iron it. However, if you do, follow these steps that apply to any number painting kits canvas.

When you use an iron to get wrinkles out of a canvas, we recommend that you keep it at a mid-range heat setting to protect the material and keep it from burning. Follow these steps to get started:

1. Lay your canvas down on a thick towel.
2. Mist the back of the canvas lightly with a fine spray bottle.
3. Don’t soak the fabric; just dampen it a little.
4. Gently iron over the surface, keeping the iron moving.
5. Your canvas will be wrinkle-free within seconds.

Method #2 - The Tape-Down Canvas Stretching

Masking tape can come in super handy to stretch a wrinkled canvas. All you need is this tape (Don't use regular tape as it might leave residue on your canvas) and a hard board (even though you could use any hard surface like a desk).

Method #3 - The Big Pile of Books

One option for unwrinkling your painting with number canvas is using a big pile of books to flatten the sheet as much as possible. Lay the canvas on a totally flat surface and use large, heavy books to weigh down on the creases. Leave the heavy objects on your canvas for at least 24 hours for the best results. Even if you don’t have books, you can utilize similarly shaped, heavy objects to press the canvas back into place.

large pile of books on a canvas to get wrinkles out of your canvas
large pile of books on a canvas to get wrinkles out of your canvas

Method #4 - Stretching Your Canvas on a Frame

So you can’t iron your canvas, and the book method isn’t going to work for you. No worries, we have another trick up our sleeve. This one might be obvious, but a great way to remove the wrinkles is to stretch the canvas out and keep that tension in place over a long period of time. For more details on this method, check out our quick tutorial.

If you want to use this method, we recommend shopping for our 16 x 20” DIY pine wood frame stretcher bars. In addition to unwrinkling your canvas, this product also makes it easier to prop up your canvas for long painting sessions. Here's a longer video that explains the process in detail:

Method #5 - The Hair Dryer Trick

Our final trick for learning how to flatten a paint by numbers canvas is the hairdryer method. This one works better with pre-stretched canvases to remove dents, but if you generate some tension on the canvas, it can do the trick!

The idea is to dampen the back of the canvas around the creased area to soften the fibers (similar to the ironing method) and then apply hot air with a hairdryer so the fibers dry and tighten. The video below shows how to do it with a mounted canvas, but you can simulate the same tension by asking someone to hold the canvas and stretch it gently with their hands while you apply the hot air.

Flatten a paint by numbers canvas, the hairdryer method
Flatten a paint by numbers canvas, the hairdryer method

Let's be honest, the best way to fix a wrinkled canvas is not to buy a creased one in the first place! So forget about creases and ironing, and get straight to the fun part! At Canvas by Numbers, we ship all our canvases perfectly rolled in a hard tube or mounted on the frame, ready to paint and hang.

It’s very rare for any of our canvases to arrive damaged, creased, or wrinkled, but we still want you to know what to do if the worst happens. At Canvas by Numbers, we encourage you to reach out to us to see if we can replace your order, but if you got your canvas somewhere else, there are other tips that can help you straighten out your fabric.

Are You Ready to Paint?

So now you know that you can iron your canvas, flatten it with books, unwrinkle it by stretching, or de-crease it with a hair dryer. Whichever method you choose, be careful when handling the fabric, so you don’t cause additional damage!

Can painting by numbers relieve stress? Can you iron your number painting kits canvas? Should you choose a pre-made design or a custom paint by numbers? Whatever burning question you have, our blog has the answers! Browse today to find everything you need to ensure an amazing paint by numbers experience ❤️️.

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