If you have a large canvas painting or picture that you can’t wait to display, you may be wondering the best way to hang it in your home. You will need to prepare your canvas and take some measurements to figure out the best placement for your new lovely piece of art. When you’re done, your friends may think you had help hanging it from a gallery professional!
EditPreparing Your Canvas and Gathering Supplies
- Check the mounting hardware on the canvas. Check the quality of the frame and wire on the back of the canvas by holding the canvas by the wire and lifting it up and down a few times, as if lifting weights. If you don’t hear any creaking or feel any give to the wire, it should be secure to hang.
- Add mounting hardware and wire to the canvas if necessary. If your canvas doesn’t come with hanging wire, or if you need to replace it, you can do so by attaching two D-rings with screws to both sides of the back of the canvas. With a ruler, measure 1/3-1/4 down the back of the canvas from its top and make a mark in pencil. Use the exact same measurement on both sides. Attach the D-rings with screws at the pencil marks.
- Measure your wire across the width of the canvas and cut it so that it is longer than the D-rings on both sides. You need it longer to have enough wire for twisting. Twist the wire around each D-ring and underneath itself several times so that it is knotted and secure. Clip any excess wire.
- Use a wire gauge that can withstand the weight of your canvas. Most picture wire packaging will display how much weight the wire can hold, but ask a hardware store employee if you are unsure.
- Obtain picture mounting hardware for the wall. Painting hooks are available at most hardware stores, and they come in up through varieties. You can double them up for heavier canvases. Floreat hangers are a popular brand because the nails are tempered, they go in at the appropriate 30 degree angle, and are relative easy to remove in case of error.
- Obtain drywall anchors if necessary. For pieces over , you will want to install drywall anchors at your hanging point. The best type to use are expanding metal screws that are driven into the wall with a hammer and then screwed in to create a flange behind the drywall.
- Follow all directions carefully on the packaging when installing drywall anchors.
- For hanging a canvas on other wall material such as brick or concrete, you will need to use mortar or concrete anchors.
EditMeasuring the Placement for Your Canvas
- Measure the height of your canvas and divide that number by 2. This will give you the halfway height, or midpoint, of your canvas, which is important in determining how high up on the wall your canvas should go. Use a tape measure to measure the height, divide by 2, and write this number down.
- Add the halfway height number to your ideal height. Your ideal height is how high on the wall you want the center of your canvas to be. Most galleries place the center of a canvas at average eye level, or from the floor. If you are hanging the canvas above furniture, it still looks best with the center at this height; you will just want to leave between the bottom of the canvas and the top of the furniture. This works for most pieces except especially tall ones.
- Try holding the piece with the center at from the floor, and if the canvas bottom is closer than to the top of your couch (or table, etc.), you may want to find a different space for the canvas.
- For instance, if the halfway height of your canvas is , and your ideal height is from the floor, the number you’ll write down is .
- Subtract the distance between the top of the artwork and the highest point of the picture wire. Measure the distance between the top of your canvas and the highest point in the wire on the back, if it is stretched up to its highest point. Subtract this number from the number in the previous step. This will give you the distance from the floor that you will mark your hanging point.
- For instance, using the same size canvas as the previous example, if the distance between the top of the canvas and the highest point on the picture wire is , you’ll subtract from . This point, from the floor, is where your mounting hook will go into the wall.
- Mark where you will place your hook on the wall with pencil. Measure from the floor the number that you got in the last step. This is where your hook(s) will hang on the wall.
EditHanging and Leveling Your Canvas
- Hammer your hook(s) into the wall. A single hook or nail will go directly onto the point that you marked on the wall. For heavier pieces, or if you want to be extra sure that your canvas will not shift with vibrations, use two hooks spaced from each other. From the central point, measure to the left, and to the right, and mark two new spots to hammer in two hooks.
- To be sure that multiple hook points are the exact same height, measure the distance from them to the floor and adjust if needed before hammering the hooks into place.
- Place your canvas on the hook(s). Carefully set the wire onto the hook(s) attached to the wall. Adjust the canvas to look as straight and level as you can from where you are standing.
- Use a level to check that the canvas is straight. Gently place a level at the top of your canvas. If the bubble in the tube is in the center of the two lines, then your canvas is level. If the bubble slides more to one side or the other, your picture is slanted. Adjust the canvas as needed until the bubble falls in the center of the level’s tube.
EditThings You’ll Need
- 2 D-rings and 2 screws (optional)
- Picture hanging wire and wire cutters (optional)
- One or two pieces of picture mounting hardware (ex. Floreat hooks)
- Tape measure or ruler
- Pencil and paper
- Drywall, mortar, or concrete anchors (optional)
- A level