Stretched canvas can be pre-primed with acrylic gesso or oil-based primer, making the surface ready to accept paint. Use acrylic gesso with acrylic paint and oil-based primer with oil paint. Without a primer, paint would soak into the weave of the canvas.
Stretched Linen Canvas is made from woven linen cloth that’s been stretched around a wooden frame and secured in the back or on the sides with staples, tacks, or a metal spline. Made from the inner bark of a flax plant, these long fibers produce a strong, flexible, slightly stretchy material that’s been known to last for centuries. Due to the method of extracting, processing, and weaving the material for this canvas, it tends to be more expensive than cotton canvas. Stretched linen canvas is available primed with oil ground or acrylic gesso.