Yesterday in the studio I noticed a couple of tiny tears in a painting I just completed a few days ago. The edges of the tiny cuts were frayed and had absorbed some pigment so the cuts likely opened after I had painted the canvas. Its difficult to say for sure if the damage occurred at the store where I bought the canvas or after the painting was completed. Either way the painting needed to be repaired since this is a painting for a good friend.
The picture above shows my process of repairing a canvas with a hole in it. I cut a piece of canvas a lot larger than the cuts which were only about 1/4 of an inch long. The canvas patch is primed on both sides. I prime the back of the painting and place the patch over the cuts and then prime over all. I place a piece of plastic and a board on top of the patch and then the weight to flatten all. I have to remove all of this a couple of times and check the front, wiping away the squeeze out since I don't really want primer all over my painting. The only trouble with having to do this on an oil painting is the paint gets compressed so the weight should be just big enough for the repair.
The above image shows the cut area and the small amount of squeeze out of gesso which of course is needed to paint on in order to cover the repair. The repair is the vertical brownish mark in the middle of this picture happily it is not noticeably discernible as it blends into the back ground. It will be very easy to finish the repair on the front. At this point the back will require a second coat of primer just to be sure all is secure.