How to Attach Canvas to Walls for Murals

By Anya Marcot ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Wall spackle
  • Palette knife
  • 150- or 220-grit sandpaper
  • Art on canvas
  • Staple remover
  • Heavy duty scissors
  • Long metal ruler
  • Large piece of scrap cloth that extends 12-18 inches beyond the canvas
  • Pencil
  • Professional or heavy duty adhesive (see Tips)
  • 9-inch paint roller handle
  • Roller sleeve with 3/8- 1/2-inch nap
  • Wallpaper brush
Wall Mural

When art takes an extended length of time to complete and much labor is involved, an artist might not want to let the art stay on a wall forever. Marouflage is the process of attaching a canvas to a wall using an adhesive; it is not an easy task but is worth the effort, especially for mural art. You will be able to take the art down at a later date to save it or display it somewhere else; this is a necessity if you want to promote your work or style for future commissions.

Take the palette knife and fill in any significant holes in the wall where you will mount the canvas. Remove with your knife and sand down any bumps or paint drips that might inhibit the mounting process or possibly damage your painting.

Measure the height and width of your canvas against the height and width of the exact area on the wall where you want your mural to be, so that you get an idea of how much wall space is filled, what placement looks best and if the canvas needs to be trimmed down. If you are using several canvases, do the same thing.

Remove the staples around the entire frame, using the staple remover. Remove the canvas from the frame extremely carefully so that you don't crack or disturb the art.

Cut off the edges with the staples using your scissors, measuring with a ruler so that the canvas is evenly trimmed down.

Lay out your cloth to catch any splattered adhesive. Extend the edges of cloth past the edges of your canvas.

Draw light lines at the midpoint of each measurement of your canvas from top to bottom and side to side; do the same thing for your wall. This will ensure even placement of your mural.

Connect the paint roller handle to your roller sleeve. Apply the adhesive to the back of your canvas, covering it evenly.

Line up the lines you drew in Step 6 and use the wallpaper brush to smooth down the canvas, pressing the side with the adhesive against the wall. Smooth the canvas down as evenly as possible, especially focusing on the edges. Allow to dry.

Tip

Always paint all artwork on stretched canvases since most paint will cause the canvas to buckle and warp the art.

There are several kinds of adhesives on the market for mounting canvas; go to your nearest home improvement store and speak to someone who mounts wallpaper regularly. Let the person know you need it to come off at a later date without damaging the canvas. Professional clay-based adhesives are highly recommended by professional art mounters.

To be sure adhesive is evenly distributed and does not absorb unevenly, apply a coat of adhesion promoting acrylic primer; this is found at your nearest home improvement store.

Warning

Glue a scrap piece of primed canvas to a piece of wall board, the underside of a drawer or inside of a closet to test the glue's adhesion and the length of time it takes to dry. Remember that a much larger canvas will take longer to dry, so you may need an extra hand or two to keep the canvas in place.

About the Author

Anya Marcot is a freelance writer for eHow and Answerbag and has been writing since 2008. Marcot has worked as a makeup artist since 1999 and now fuels her creativity with her oil paintings, watercolor paintings and writing. Marcot studied visual art at Suffolk Community College. She is attuned to level II reiki and is well-versed on many metaphysical and paranormal topics.