Advice on Framing a Rolled Canvas

We answer a question about how to frame a rolled canvas. Learn how to measure and select the right frame for your artwork. DIY picture framing – easy and low cost at

Q: I have never done any framing but I find that the cost is out of my price range. I have an oil on canvas picture that is 25.5" x 48.5". I would like very much to get it in a frame (it is rolled up now) but not sure where to begin. Any advice would be appreciated.

A: Before any framing can be accomplished, the canvas needs to be stretched onto stretcher bars.  This is something you could do if you had all the equipment and patience.  Since you are new to framing, it would be best to scout around locally to find a place/person who can stretch it for you.  Frame shops, of course, you found out are expensive, but just have them price the stretching part.  Art schools, art clubs, local artists, high school art teachers, etc. can all be checked to see if they can do it or know someone that will.  Maybe even give you stretching lessons. Are you handy with a saw and cutting 45 degree angles on 1 x 2 pine pieces?  You could make your own stretcher bars.  After it is stretched, we can help you frame it.  DIY picture framing, that is as simple as measuring correctly, deciding on the frame, ordering frame, and dropping the stretched canvas into the frame and securing in place.

First, measure the thickness of the stretched canvas. This measurement will determine which frames can be used. For example, if the thickness of the canvas is ½” the frame’s depth will need to be greater than ½” to accommodate the stretched canvas. The depth of each frame can be found on our website as the “r” measurement. More on that here.


If you choose a canvas float frame, consult these posts for framing details.

If you choose any other metal or wood frame, consult this post:

AubreyK | 1/21/2015 2:35:43 PM | 4 comments
American Frame

Unfortunately, no. We only stretch canvases that have been ordered from us.
2/17/2015 11:31:23 AM

I have ordered a stretched canvas from you before. Can I just bring you a canvas to stretch?
2/11/2015 10:39:33 AM

American Frame

Yes, you can drymount a canvas. It can’t be textured because the pressure will push the high points down into the backing board. You need to use special dry mount tissue. Also, the paint used must not be sensitive to heat around 160 degrees. Hope that helps
2/10/2015 11:52:25 AM

Can you dry mount a canvas instead of stretching it on bars?
1/22/2015 3:30:42 PM