Which surface for acrylics offers the best longevity?
Reader question: Which support or surface should I use if I want my acrylic painting to last as long as possible?
I've done some research on the longevity of the various supports, and here is what I've discovered:
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From what I've read, Belgian linen canvas is stronger than cotton canvas, so linen is a better choice for longevity. Canvas is far more sturdy if it is properly mounted onto a rigid support (as opposed to unstretched canvas or even canvas on stretcher bars). Belgian Linen canvas mounted onto a Dibond aluminum panel is a winning combo for longevity. Here's a link that explains how to do it.
Wooden supports are stronger than canvas, because they are more rigid and durable. Canvas supports are always in danger of warping or bending in some way. But wood can carry its own set of problems (such as leaking acids and gasses), depending on the type of wood and how it's been prepped. Although wood is susceptible to warping (expanding or shrinking) due to changes in climate, temperature or moisture, wood painting surfaces can be reinforced with strips of wood along the reverse side of the painting.
Aluminum is highly recommended as a reliable surface if permanence and longevity are your concerns. Although you could try a DIY approach to prepping the surface, if you have it done at a metal finishing shop it will ensure that the surface is prepared correctly.
If you have any interest in painting with acrylic lacquers (as opposed to the acrylics you'd buy at an art supply store), then you could try painting with acrylic lacquer on aluminum, which is a very permanent combo.
If you want to paint on aluminum or other metals, here's the Facebook page of a business that focuses on providing artist quality metal surfaces for painting: Inner Metal Works. I'm sure they'd be open to answering any questions you may have about painting on metal, since they're the experts!
Based on all of this information, I am not entirely certain which specific support is the most long-lasting for use with acrylics compared to the others. However, when it comes down to it, you don't need to worry too much about longevity when you're working with acrylics. As long as you use artists' quality paint and apply it as directed to a decent surface (like canvas, wood, panel or metal), your art is definitely going to outlive you!
I hope that helps!