A life of stretcher bar manufacture
I assure you this picture is relevant. Here's a lighthearted look at how you should roll your painting for shipment or storage. Before you read on you'll need one tub of butter or margarine, an elbow and a sense of humor.
1. Make sure it's dry
We mean really dry. Not touch dry or mildly dry. Imagine arid desert dry. Especially with oil paints. The last thing you want when shipping your artwork to a customer is for it all to be a mish-mash of colours clumped together. Unless that's your intention. It could be that you're creating "delivery art", who knows. But seriously, even if you're in a rush to get your artwork to a customer, tell them they have to wait until it's dry.
2. Paint on the outside
If you remember one thing on this post, is that when rolling your painted canvas, roll it up with the paint on the outside. I'll shout this again, PUT THE PAINTED CANVAS ON THE OUTSIDE!. If you put it on the inside, it's going to wrinkle. Don't believe me? Smear some butter on the inside of your elbow. In your elbow pit if you will. Then, bend your elbow. Splodged and wrinkly? Yup, this is what happens to your paint. Now spread some butter on your actual elbow and bend your arm. Smooth? Yup.
*disclaimer stretcher bars online accepts no responsibility for any butter splodging injuries caused by this experiment. Smearing butter on ones person is done at your own risk. Please ensure a responsible adult is present at all times.
You could however just bend your finger and see what your skin looks like on the inner fold and the bent outside knuckle. But that's no fun.
3. Roll up loose
When you're rolling up your canvas, roll it up loose. Pretty obvious really. Your canvas is not a potato stamp and the last thing you want is an imprint of your painting mashed into the rear of your canvas. Unless, again, this is your intention (see "delivery art").
4. Larger tube
See the tube you've got to put it in? It's probably going to need to be bigger. Following on from the loose rolling, a larger diameter tube is better. We're not talking channel tunnel wide, but the wider the better. And if your storing it, store it vertically rather than horizontally. You want the weight on the edge of the canvas not on the side.
5. Consider whats round it
Should you put something around the canvas when you roll it? After all you don't want your paint to be rubbing on a tube (delivery art). Firstly, PAINT GOES ON THE OUTSIDE, did I mention that? Don't try to solve this problem by rolling your painting with the paint on the inside (*sigh* delivery art).
Ok, so this is very lighthearted, but seriously if you have to roll your canvas follow the advise. Ideally you shouldn't leave the canvas rolled up for any long periods of time. If your storing your canvas painting and have the room store it flat, but don't put too many on top of one and other.
I'm now off to create my new business "Delivery Art for You". In the meantime, please feel free to comment and share your experiences with rolling up canvas.