Three Easy Ways to Hang a Canvas Painting
Hanging a canvas painting is easy with a few simple tools! Whether you want to hang a large statement piece in an entranceway or a small, child's painting in a family room, the process is still straightforward and simple. First, calculate the correct height for the centre of your canvas to be from the ground. Then install either a wire hanging or a sawtooth hanger so that you can hang the canvas securely. If you want a quick, simple method, you can also just hang the canvas on a broad-headed nail.
Calculating the Right Height
Find the height of the canvas center.
Rest the canvas on a flat surface and get a tape measure or a ruler. Measure from a top corner of the canvas to the bottom corner and write the measurement down. Then take the height of the canvas and divide it by 2 to find the height of the center.
Add 57 in (140 cm) to the canvas center height.
Art galleries and museums tend to position the center of artworks at approximately 57 in (140 cm) from the ground, as this is at eye level for the average person. Take the height of the canvas center and add 57 in (140 cm) to determine how high the top of the canvas needs to be from the ground
Mark the height on the wall using a pencil.
Use the measuring tape to measure the height on the wall where the painting will hang. Draw either a small dot or a cross shape that you can see clearly. This is how high off the ground the top of the canvas needs to be.
- Alternatively, you can use chalk instead of a pencil.
- Try not to press too firmly, as you may damage the wall.
Attaching a Wire Hanging
Measure 1/3 down from the top of the canvas on each side.
Turn the canvas over and rest it on a flat surface like a table. Measure the height of the canvas and divide it into thirds. Then use a pencil to mark a 1/3 measurement down each vertical wooden stretcher bar. This is where the steel eye screws will go.
- Double check that both sides are even before you proceed.
Twist 1 steel eye screw into each vertical wooden stretcher bar.
Take a steel eye screw and find the marking that you just made. Push the steel eye screw into the wooden stretcher bar where the marking is and twist it firmly until it feels straight. Repeat the process with the second steel eye screw on the other wooden stretcher bar.
- Ensure that you twist the steel eye screws in straight so that they don't damage the wooden stretcher bars or the canvas.
Cut a piece of steel wire that is the width of the canvas plus 8 in (20 cm).
Use a measuring tape to measure out the piece of steel wire and then wire cutters to cut it to size. The extra length of wire is so that it can loop easily through the steel eye screws to make the wire hanging secure.
Knot the steel wire through the steel eye screws.
Thread each end of the steel wire through the steel eye screws and make a loop at each end. Each loop should look like a “6”. Then pull the steel wire gently to tighten each knot. Keep the steel wire relatively loose between the steel eye screws, but tight at the knots.
- Aim for the stretched steel wire to be loose enough so that when it's stretched upward, the middle point is 2–3 in (5.1–7.6 cm) below the top of the canvas.
Wrap the ends of the steel wire around the wire hanging.
It's important to get the loose steel wire ends out of the way so that they don't damage the canvas. Weave each end tightly around the steel wire itself so that the wire hanging looks neat and tidy.
- The wire hanging is now complete and ready to use.
Hang the canvas on the wall using the wire hanging.
Insert either a nail or an adhesive picture hook on the wall. Carefully place the center of the wire hanging over the nail or hook to hang the canvas. Keep supporting the canvas until you are sure that the wall and wire hanging are bearing the weight securel
Using a Nail
Hang the canvas using just a broad-headed nail for the quickest option.
A single nail is all you need to hang a canvas quickly and easily! Although this method is fast and simple, it is the least secure option as it doesn't provide as much support for the canvas as a wire hanging or a sawtooth bracket. This is only recommended for small and inexpensive artworks.
- Try to pick a nail that has a relatively broad head, compared to one with a very fine head. This is more secure for the canvas to rest on.
Use a hammer to insert the nail into the wall.
Position the nail on the wall using your non-dominant hand to hold it in place. Then use a hammer to gently insert the nail into the wall. Try to insert it at a slight upward angle so that the canvas is more likely to stay secure.
- Remember not to hammer the whole nail into the wall, as the head and approximately 1/3 of the nail need to remain out so that the canvas can have support.
Hang the canvas on the nail.
Position the top wooden stretcher bar over the top of the nail in the wall. Aim for the nail to be in the middle point of the top wooden stretcher bar so that the canvas hangs straight. Don't let the canvas go until you are confident that the nail is supporting the full weight of the canvas.