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  • Writer's pictureChristine

How to prepare a gallery-wrapped canvas painting for hanging.

When I first started applying for art shows I didn’t realize that there were rules or best practices for how a paintings should be wired for hanging. I thought I just had to attach a loop or string or wire somewhere on the back so that it could be affixed to the wall and that was enough. It turns out that wasn’t the case, and many places have standards. So I thought I would share with you the method I use now.

First of all, always check with the organization you are applying to, to verify that you meet their standards before applying as there may be some variations on requirements.

Gallery-wrapped canvas refers to canvases that are at least 1 1/2” thick on the edges with no staples visible on the sides. This type of canvas generally doesn’t need to be framed as long as the edges are finished. This can be done by either extending the artwork to cover the sides or by painting the sides a solid colour.

Materials needed for hanging:

2x D rings plus appropriate screws

Picture hanging wire (usually a twisted/braided wire

Screw driver

Hammer and finishing nail (optional)

Ruler and pencil/chalk

Masking tape

Step 1:

Place painting face down on a flat surface, be careful to protect the surface of the painting with some kind of cloth so as not to damage the paint.

Step 2:

With your ruler and pencil, mark 2” (5.08cm ) from the top of the canvas frame on both sides of the back of the frame. The two marks should be level with each other. It is best to place the hanging wire as close to the top as possible to prevent the piece from leaning forward when hanging.

Step 3:

Line the screw hole of the d-ring with your mark, and gently tap the finishing nail a few times with the hammer to make starter hole. This makes it easier to screw and also prevents the wood from splitting. Then screw the d ring in place. Repeat on the opposite side.

Step 4:

Cut the wire at about 11/4 to 11/2 the width of the painting. Loop the end of the hanging wire around one D-ring and wrap the excess around itself to hold in place. Extend the wire as tight as possible and attach the other side.

Step 5:

Use some masking tape to cover the cut edges of the wire to prevent injury when handling.

Optional step: you can add bumpers to the back lower corners to help it hang even flatter while also protecting the wall.

This is how I prepare my paintings for hanging. Do you use a different technique? Let me know.


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