WHAT IS THE BEST CANVAS BACKING?: PVC Foam Canvas Backing

Updated: Jul 25


View a demonstration of this process on my YouTube channel, Simona’s Fine Arts. The video is titled “PVC Canvas Backing” and is at the following link: https://youtu.be/ORcZeXbyMSk


Type of Backing:


Expanded or foamed PVC sheet, 1/8 to ¼ inch depending on size of final canvas.

The benefits of using this backing is if it is dropped, it does not chip or crack, it is light weight, cuts with a box cutter or hobby knife/blade, thin enough to place in regular frame (more selection and less costly), canvas adheres nicely to backing surface. Yet, it can be peeled off or easily cut smaller with a blade.


What is the Cost:


Through Amazon, Expanded PVC Sheet (Lightweight Rigid Foam) 1/8 x 24 x 48 inches. white. Also used for signage, displays, and digital/screen printing $29. Through Taps Plastics, foamed PVC sheet,1/8 x 11 x 14 inches, black.


Adhesive Types:

Recommended, Handy Art Designer’s Palette Artist Acrylic Modeling Paste Medium. It is transparent, UV protective, acid free, archival, non-toxic, and water soluble. Or use any universal acrylic adhesive medium. I favor using an acrylic modeling medium for the mounting adhesive because the modeling mediums do not dry as fast as the regular mediums, giving you time to adjust your canvas.

Adhesive Price Samples:


$16.50, Handy Art Designer’s Modeling Paste Medium, 32 oz.

$23.60, Liquitex Acrylic Medium, 32 oz.

$26.49, Lineco Neutral pH Adhesive, Archival Quality Acid-Free PVA Buffered Adhesive... Dries Clear Flexible, 32 oz.

Backing Process:

  1. Cut canvas ½ inch larger than board (sticks out ¼ inch all around) so any glue collects under the canvas sides and not onto top.

  2. Spread on panel in thin layer using large palette knife. (Keep best side of panel for back.)

  3. Lay back of canvas on panel after adhesive is spread evenly.

  4. Cover canvas with glassine or parchment paper. You can dry and reuse this paper and it doesn’t tend to stick to adhesive. (But any non-printed, clean paper will work.)

  5. Use roller to press canvas evenly and remove air bubbles.

  6. Place weight on top of glassine/canvas. Any book (or books) that is heavy and fully covers canvas (wrap with plastic wrap) works well.

  7. Leave 8 hours or let dry overnight.

  8. Remove weight and trim away extra canvas on sides. Use a metal ruler so to not cut into board.

  9. Wipe away any adhesive (if water soluble) on back of panel and front of canvas (if blank). (Warning: Wiping adhesive away from painted or printed canvas may impact surface or image. I varnish my printed images before adhering to panel.)

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