Have you bought a paint by number kit and find the canvass unable to lie flat or with too many creases? We bet that puts a damper on your excitement.
Paint by number kits make art and painting more accessible. Many people who would have been put off by having to combine paints now enjoy painting often because of these kits.
Learning the right paint combinations takes time. It can also be messy. That’s why paint-by-number kits with custom paint are becoming more popular.
That said, paint-by-number canvases may present potential issues due to packaging and, sometimes, poor quality. Some canvases come rolled, and others folded. You may find it hard to get a rolled canvas to stay on a flat surface. Folded canvases come with wrinkles.
Whichever way the canvas is packaged, you must remove the wrinkles or get the canvas flat to paint freely.
One of the best options to get rid of the wrinkles on your paint by number canvas is to iron it. However, you can’t iron your canvas like you would your clothes.
Canvases are delicate and have peculiar characteristics. To straighten your paint by numbers canvas, you need to use a bit of water to mist the back of the canvas, set the iron to mid-range heat, and gently move it over the surface of the canvas.
It’s imperative to know how to iron paint by numbers canvases so that you don’t destroy them. In this article, we share how to do so safely and properly.
Is ironing a good solution for flattening your paint by number canvas?
Ironing is one of the best solutions to remove wrinkles and flatten your paint by number canvas. The heat from your iron combined with moisture eliminates wrinkles and stretches the canvas out.
Other methods of flattening number canvases include placing heavy objects on the canvas, stretching the canvas and taping it to a flat surface, and rolling the canvas in the opposite direction to how it was initially rolled.
Steps to properly iron a paint by number canvas
To get the best results, you must follow specific steps to eliminate wrinkles from paint by numbers canvases. The steps to iron a paint by number canvas include laying the canvas on a flat surface, adding moisture to the back of the canvas, and delicately ironing on medium settings.
Following these steps will ensure you don’t damage the canvas, smear the ink on it or have to iron it multiple times.
1. Lay your canvas down on a flat surface
First, lay it down on a flat surface to remove wrinkles on the canvas. That way, you can reach all the surface area when ironing. If your canvas came rolled, you first need to roll the canvas in the opposite direction three to four times. It should straighten out better after doing this.
There’s less chance that a rolled canvas will have plenty of wrinkles. But you can never tell. If the manufacturers don’t pack the paint by numbers canvas kit correctly, anything can happen during transportation.
If the canvas still rolls up and hinders your ability to iron well, there’s another trick you can try. Get cardboard and masking tape.
Make sure it’s a masking tape you use. One of the advantages of masking tape is that it doesn’t leave a residue. Glue residue can attract dirt to your canvas.
Stretch out the canvas such that you can see all the numbers and lines printed, and then tape it into place using the masking tape on all four corners.
Keep it like this for a while. This should make it easy for you to lay the canvas flat when you iron if there are still wrinkles that need sorting.
2. Mist the back of the canvas lightly
A little bit of moisture at the back of the canvas coupled with heat from the iron can help remove the creases on your canvas as the water evaporates and heat spreads.
The water you add makes the heat from the iron transfer evenly onto the canvas’s surface.
The best way to add moisture to the canvas is to use a very fine mister or a fine spray bottle. Both produce fine mist in small outputs, and a few sprays can cover the canvas’s surface area.
Alternatively, you can place a damp cloth on the back of the canvas before ironing. More on that later.
While you could use a steam iron, we prefer the above method because you have more control over the amount of moisture the canvas gets.
3. Set the iron at a mid-range heat setting
Regular blank canvases can generally withstand a lot of heat. Paint by numbers canvases can too, but high heat can erase the ink on the canvas.
Paint by numbers canvases have printed lines and numbers vulnerable to high heat. That’s why it is recommended to use the iron at a mid-range heat setting. If the ink gets erased by high heat, your painting session might become confusing and harder than it needs to be.
When that happens, you'll have to paint completely freehand, but that's not why you bought the kit. You won't know what paint goes where, which is the point of paint by numbers kits. Hence why you should set your iron not too high.
Yours may be different, but most irons have their heat settings displayed by type of fabric. The highest heat setting is typically linen, and the lowest, is nylon. The mid-range should be somewhere just below cotton, probably silk, wool, or polyester.
You can test your iron on a cotton fabric to gauge the heat at each setting. That's if you're unsure about your iron's heat settings.
4. Gently iron over the surface until the canvas is wrinkle-free
Always treat your canvas gently, including not pressing too hard when ironing. Just let the iron glide over the canvas rather than using excessive force.
You can damage the ink on a patch if you press in too hard, despite ironing the back of the canvas face.
Things to consider when ironing a paint by numbers canvas
Things to consider when ironing a paint by numbers canvas include ironing the back, avoiding too much water, tightening the canvas before ironing, and using a damp cloth as an alternative to a fine mister.
In truth, ironing paint by numbers canvas may seem relatively straightforward. However, minding the above considerations guarantees the best results, such as a wrinkle-free canvas and unsmeared printed lines and numbers.
Avoid using too much water
Water helps the heat from the iron transfer to the canvas better. But that doesn’t mean you should soak your canvas with water. Very little water is more than enough. That’s why we recommend a fine mister.
It’s worth remembering every step of the way that this is not a regular blank canvas. It has printed lines and numbers; too much water can smudge the ink. This can make the canvas messy and unfit for purpose.
Always tighten the canvas before ironing
When we say make the canvas tight, we mean stretching it such that you can see every inch of the painting surface.
We already mentioned one stretching process above; using cardboard and masking tape. Stretching out the canvas on a flat surface will help you see all the numbers and printed lines.
In fact, in some cases, the stretching process helps remove all the wrinkles, and you won't need to iron the canvas.
Do not iron facing up
There’s absolutely no reason to touch the canvas face with a hot iron. You’re more likely to damage the canvas itself and smudge the ink on it.
That’s why we recommend that you iron the back of the canvas. It’s safer this way. Combine this with ironing on medium heat, and you have the perfect recipe for safely removing creases.
Apply a damp cloth on the back of the canvas
An alternative to spraying mist on the back of your canvas is to use a wet cloth. Place a damp cloth, preferably a thick towel, on the back of your wrinkled canvas and begin ironing afterward.
In this instance, you may need to press harder than if you were directly ironing the canvas. Pressing harder ensures the heat and vapor from the wet towel reach the canvas.
Also, you can afford to use a higher heat setting on your iron since there’s a barrier between the iron and the canvas.
Takeaway: Pressing out wrinkles and creases on paint by numbers canvases
Having multiple creases on your paint by number canvas is no fun. It’ll block important lines and numbers and make painting tedious rather than satisfying. Ironing the canvas can remove these creases.
The four simple steps to iron a paint by numbers canvas include laying the canvas on a flat surface, adding moisture to the back of the canvas, and gently pressing the canvas with your iron on a medium heat setting.
And just like that, you’re ready to start painting hitch-free.
For your quality and unwrinkled canvases, Paint Your Numbers is the go-to DIY paint by numbers specialists. We can help you create your own paint by numbers from a photo you supply in two easy steps: upload your favorite picture and complete your order.