Attaching small, stretched canvases to the surface of a canvas panel

Hi All,

I have an idea for an abstract art piece that will have an underpainting on a 8x10 canvas panel and then four individual paintings on 3x3 stretched mini canvases attached to the surface of the larger panel (like the pic below). My question is: has anyone ever done a similar application? If so, how did you glue the small canvases to the surface of the larger one? If no one has done this, I’d still welcome any suggestions.

The first question is are you going to paint the larger canvas BEFORE attaching the smaller ones? That will make it harder because not as many materials (white glue, adhesives) will stick well to oil paint IF you are talking oil painting. Acrylic would not be as much of a challenge.
i’m sure it would be easier to paint the background, the larger canvas without the smaller ones in the way or maybe with your plans it does not matter.

Another idea would be to forget adhesives and use industrial strength velcro. It is thinner than standard and holds unbelievably good. The adhesive on the velcro is high strength itself and the hook and loop velcro is too.
I now use it instead of adhesive to float mount paintings on masonite panels to a backer inside the frame.
I am able to separate them with a twist and pull motion to change them out if needed. When I used adhesive often the backing or the back of the painting would have some chunk off when pulling apart.
The other advantage for me is adhesive meant leaving it lay flat overnight so it would not slowly sag within the frame as the adhesive dried.

So if you used the velcro and the background wasn’t painted thick impasto it may stick to the paint other wise place the velcro first and paint around it. It won’t show later anyway.
Four small 1" or 3/4" squares located where the corners are would be plenty strong enough.

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David, thanks for the response. I was planning on painting the larger canvas first or in tandem with the smaller canvases. I love the idea of using velcro. I might even be able to incorporate the velcro in as part of the painting and arrange it so the smaller canvases can be arranged in different configurations. But maybe that would be a bit ambitious :grin:.

You are welcome. Hope it all works out for you.

I’d like to know a little more about your process of attaching the Velcro. Do you cut it in little squares and place in the corners are do you take a long strip and place it all the way around? I looked on Amazon and they have some that is 1 1/2 inches wide. Is this similar to what you use? I appreciate your help. Thank you Nancy. (i’ve been thinking about ordering some floater frames for 6 x 6 panels and this would be a good way to attach the panels to the floater frame.)

Hi Nancy,
I use the 1 inch x 3/4 inch precut ovals because they are the right size and easy. I have also bought the 3/4 inch wide in a roll or strips and cut them to 3/4 or 1 inch lengths.
I use the industrial strength velcro because it is thinner, lower profile, than the standard velcro. This keeps the painting from sticking out too far in the shallower depth floater frame. I have done this for
3.5" x 5", 5" x 7", 6" x 6" and all the way up to 8" x 10" so far.
I’m sure I could easily go larger since the industrial strength holds really strong.
In fact it holds so well I would not use longer strips or it will be too hard to remove a small painting.
The advantage is being able to quickly change out same size paintings if you need to for a show or sale and are short on frames.

David thanks so much for the quick response.

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Nancy, when using industrial strength Velcro to attach canvases, you have a few options. You can either cut it into little squares and place them in the corners of the smaller canvases, or you can use a long strip and place it all the way around the edges. The width of 1 1/2 inches should work well for attaching the panels to floater frames. It’s a convenient method that allows for easy removal and replacement of the canvases if needed. That’s my other opinion, hope will be useful for you.