How to Hang Stretched Canvas

Written by bill brown
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How to Hang Stretched Canvas
You can hang stretched canvases directly on the wall. (painting image by Dmitri MIkitenko from

You don't need any special materials to hang a stretched canvas; the canvas stretchers alone are strong enough to support the painting. With a few nails, tacks or anchors—depending on the type of wall you have—you can put the painting directly on the wall. While some people prefer framing a painting, most contemporary work looks more appropriate unframed. Examine the edges of the canvas and let your own taste be your guide.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Push pins, nails or anchors (depending on wall)
  • Level
  • Hammer or drill and screwdriver (depending on method)

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  1. 1

    Measure the length of the top edge of the painting.

  2. 2

    Measure the distance from the top edge of the painting to the bottom edge of the top stretcher bar.

  3. 3

    Decide where on the wall you want the painting. Using a level and a pencil, put a light mark at the centre of the top edge where the painting will be.

  4. 4

    Make a mark below the first one the same distance as the distance from the top of the canvas to the bottom of the top stretcher bar.

  5. 5

    Use the level coupled with the measuring tape to draw a horizontal line as long as the width of the painting from the mark you just made.

  6. 6

    Make a mark on your line a couple of inches in from the outside points of the line. You may need to move them in more for a large painting with thick stretcher bars.

  7. 7

    Put a nail in the wall at each of the two marks you just made. For a heavy painting, drill a pilot hole for an anchor using the prescribed bit width, inserting the plastic sleeve, then the screw. Small, lightweight paintings can be hung with push pins.

  8. 8

    Mount the painting on the wall, using the mark to centre the painting.

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