Classic Canvas

Classic stretched canvas
Clean Classic stretched canvas on an easel

The classic at MH&P

Classic - the name says it all. This cotton canvas has been part of the MHP range since the first stretched canvases were produced at MH&P Das Keilrahmen Werk 30 years ago. This all-rounder canvas, made in Berlin, has always convinced artists with its consistent quality. 

Classic stretched canvas pile

Variety of surfaces

Classic comes in a variety of forms. The cotton fabrics are divided into Classic, Xtra Fein, Xtra Schwer and Nature. You can find out which canvas is suitable for your application here in our overview. Here we have taken a close look at all 4 canvases and shown colour application and painting media on all surfaces.  

Wooden board profile for stretcher frames production

Bars with high quality

Our sturdy stretcher bars are made of carefully seasoned softwood from sustainable European forestry. The wood is professionally pre-treated to an ideal residual moisture. The mouldings are glued together several times, which guarantees the highest possible freedom from warping, as no large tensions can build up. Knotholes are avoided by frequent interlocking.

Depending on the fabric, the moulding versions of the stretcher frames are available as Basic (2 cm high), Galerie (2.9 cm high), XL (4 cm high) and U.S. (4 cm).  

Wooden frame with wedges for streching in detail

Optimally stretched canvases

The carefully crafted bars are optimally covered on machines from MH+P Technology Even with a lot of paint, your Classic Canvas will keep its shape without ripples or creases. If necessary, the canvas can even be re-stretched by wedging.
Here you can find out everything about the wedging of finished canvases.

Painting on canvas - landscape with watercolour and acrylic on Xtra Fein

Still not convinced?

On our tutorials page you can learn more about the classic canvas, applications or special techniques. 

Classic stretched canvas packed with label

Classic Canvas Shops


Whether Classic, Xtra Fein, Xtra Schwer or Nature, here you will find your stretched canvas in the right size and variation.

what you need to know about canvases

Frames connection corner in detail

What is a stretched canvas?

A stretched canvas is a slotted bar construction made of wood for re-stretching the painted canvas.

The wooden laths are usually made of soft conifers, such as spruce, pine or fir. The corners of the slats are milled in such a way that they interlock without being nailed together. A canvas fabric, usually made of cotton, is stretched over the wooden frame using staple pins. By inserting wooden wedges, the painted canvas can be retightened.  

Wooden wedges for the frames stretching

What are the wedges for?

Every MHP stretched canvas from 30x30cm comes with 8 wooden stretcher wedges. These are used to re-stretch a painted canvas that has lost its shape. Here we explain in detail how and when to re-stretch a stretched canvas.

Wooden wedges used for streching in the corners of stretched canvas

How do you stretch a stretched canvas?

MHP Classic canvases are mounted on a stable wooden stretcher frame from sustainable forestry. Each stretched canvas from 30x30 cm comes with a bag of wedges.

If you notice that the canvas is no longer so tight, for example after a long time or due to a large amount of paint, you can re-stretch the frame. To do this, place the wooden wedges in the corner slots of the frame and drive them in with a hammer until the material is tight again. When this is necessary and how exactly it is done is explained in detail here.


Classic stretched canvas pile

Does the canvas need to be primed?

Usually, the canvas must be primed before you can paint on it.  

Our MHP Classic canvases are already primed and therefore ready to paint. So you don't need to apply any extra coating and can start straight away. 

Nature canvas paint study by Eva Lenz-Collier with acrylic and oil

What colours can you use to paint a canvas?

Canvases can be painted with very different colours. The most commonly used colours are oil, acrylic and tempera paints. 

Depending on the effect you want to achieve, you can use other colours on canvases or combine them in parts.

The following colours are particularly suitable for painting on primed cotton canvases:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Gouache
  • Tempera
  • Oil paint
  • Oil pastel 

Watercolour and drawing ink are only suitable for canvases in exceptional cases. For this, there is either a special primer to prepare the canvas for water-based paints or, even better, the AQUA canvas, which was developed directly for painting with watercolour.

Detailed information on colours on canvas can be found here.

Painted canvas Classic XtraFein Artist Anne Kathrin Huisken, Bubble

How do you hang a stretched canvas?

There are many ways to hang a stretched canvas. A basic distinction is made here:

  1. Canvas suspension without drilling.
  2. Frame suspension with nails or screws.

In the following examples of canvas hanging, we will focus on the attachment to the canvas itself without additional decorative framing. 

1. canvas hanging without drilling

Adhesive hooks and adhesive stiffeners can be used for light, smaller painted canvases. Drilled metal hooks, on the other hand, can hold a lot more weight.

2. frame suspension with nails or screws

Picture hangers and hanging hooks come in many varieties and are the most common way to hang canvases. With screws and wire or string, a stretched canvas can be hung at an angle and can be very individually adapted to the work and the viewing angle. Heavy-duty hangers are suitable for particularly large and heavy canvas paintings.

Detailed descriptions of the individual hanging systems for painted canvases, as well as requirements and disadvantages, can be found here.

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