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Canvases can be purchased already primed. This saves the artist time on priming their own canvases before painting. A canvas may be a single primed canvas, which just means that the canvas has been coated over one time with a primer or Gesso. If you purchase a double primed canvas you should know that the canvas has been primed with two coats of primer or Gesso. A universal primed canvas is one that has been primed and you are able to paint with several different types of paints on it. Most primed canvases are harder to stretch.