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Hanging and Framing Art

Hanging Methods

 

There are various ways to hang Art - it really comes down to personal preference. Here are a couple ideas on how it can be done (note: these tools are often found in picture hanging kits but of course can be bought separately):

  • Hammer appropriate sized nails in the wall at a slightly raised angle until around 1/3 of the nail sticks out from the wall. For light and small Art you may only need one nail. Nails with broad heads will provide more support for the object to be hung. 

 

  • Picture hanging hooks are best for bigger canvases. Hooks requiring two or more nails will hold more weight. Often the packaging will state how much weight it can support. You can place two or three hooks across the wall to ensure sturdy hanging. 

When hanging a stretched canvas you can put the top wooden stretcher bar over the top of the nails in the wall or, just like you can with a framed piece, you can attach sawtooth hangers to the wooden stretcher bar - avoid attaching to the canvas where it overlaps if you do this - you want to attach it to the wooden bar only.

 

Alternatively, a canvas or frame that has a wire can be hung onto hooks from the wire. I add wires on all of my larger paintings. If yours doesn't have a wire and you want to do this, I suggest using D-rings (not eye hooks) when wiring as these are stronger. Here's a good youtube tutorial that shows you how to wire a canvas (part 2 of her tutorial is linked in her video's description).

Hanging Methods

Top Tips for hanging Art

 

  • Preparation: Use painters tape / paper / newspaper to map out the shape of the Art that you want to put on your wall - this will help you to decide exactly where to place the art and should avoid any unwanted holes in your walls. Just be sure to use tape that won’t ruin your paint / decor!

 

  • Useful tools: Use a wire detector to avoid piercing any electric cables when hammering your nails. Spirit levels or instant levels will help to ensure the art is straight, or you can just download the bubble level app on your phone and see if that works for you. Measure-it tape is also useful, especially for gallery walls where spacing is required between pieces.

 

  • Be cautious of where you hang it: You should avoid places where there's a lot of direct sunlight. You should also avoid places that are humid (bathrooms for example) unless the work is sealed in a suitable frame. And of course it goes without saying, you'll also want to keep it safe and out of reach of inquisitive children, pets etc! You’ll also need to consider the wall that you’re hanging it on - is it suitable for your choice of hardware? Ask the seller of the hardware if you’re unsure. 

 

  • Framing: I suggest framing prints to keep them protected. Framing a stretched canvas is not necessary but some people still opt for getting them framed for aesthetic purposes - see more info on this below under displaying stretched canvases.

 

  • Seek expert advice if you need to: If you have a large, heavy and / or expensive artwork that you are not sure how to hang, it might be worth calling a professional art installer for a quote. Of course you can also get help from experts at the hardware store or online when purchasing their products for hanging on your types of walls. 

Top Tips for Hanging Art

Displaying Stretched Canvases

  • Hang directly from the wooden stretcher bar. Alternatively you can hang from D-rings, sawtooth hangers, or a wire (these should be attached to the back wooden bars only, not the canvas where it overlaps). Just be sure to use appropriate sturdy nails / hooks for your walls and the weight of the Art.
     

  • Leaning is an easy, popular and contemporary way to display Art. You can prop pieces up against a wall or layer with other decor pieces to create a modern look. Checkout these design tips for some interior styling ideas. 

Framing stretched canvases

You can also get stretched canvases framed - it's not necessary but some people prefer to do this for their own decor / aesthetic purposes. If you want to do this I suggest getting it done professionally with your local framer. Be warned: they can be expensive so it’s worth getting an idea on the prices before purchasing the Artwork that you wish to frame. Frames come in all different sizes, styles, colours and shapes.

 

Canvas floater frames (aka boxed canvases) are popular at the moment. Ultimately it is up to you to choose what style you think best suits your decor and the Art but the framer is probably the best person to guide you with that decision if you need help.

 

Another thing to note: I personally would avoid putting any sheets or glass on top of a stretched canvas in case it damages or scratches the front of the painting since they are far more fragile than other surfaces. Ways to hang frames include: hanging D-rings, wires, or sawtooth hangers refer to the Hanging Methods for more on that. 

Displaying Stretched Canvases
Displaying Canvas Boards / Panels

Displaying Canvas Boards / Panels

 

  • Like stretched canvases, you can get these framed and/or you can lean them for an easy solution.
     

  • You can hang without a frame if you prefer by attaching string or a wooden block where you can then attach hardware such as D-rings, sawtooth hangers etc, then you can hang directly on a nail or hook from that.
     

  • Floating frames are a popular choice and they do make the Artwork look more polished. You can easily DIY these by attaching jenga-like blocks to the board before attaching it to the frame (see some example photos below). There’s some more tips and DIY ideas on my Pinterest board here.

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