not me- even as a child apprentice painting in victorian homes neighborhoods in southern New England I saw canvas ceilings the first yr at work. You know, pretty much has to do with where you worked, I guess. If one frequents a certain clientelle/regions/neighborhoods, one can work for 50 yrs and never see this......
Maybe it is a regional thing, I worked many years doing restoration work in homes that dates back to the very early 1800's in West Tennessee and I never saw canvas used in any of the homes either. I can see where it would be a good idea to use canvas on the walls and ceilings to stop air infiltration where there was little to no insulation especially up North. I can see where it would be a good idea to use to hold plaster in place also.
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If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.
Just closing the chapter on this "never-ending" home repair. The vinyl canvas worked out "GREAT". Thanks for everyone's input. You all inspired a novice to "give it a shot" and attempt the repair myself. The final outcome looks good after the final coat of paint. I am going to use the "canvas" on some other wall repairs. I'm glad that I came to this Forum...hope all of you dads have a great Fathers Day!!