How to Hang Stretched Canvas

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

Measure the length of the top edge of the painting.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Things You'll 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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About the Author

Bill Brown has been a freelance writer for more than 14 years. Focusing on trade journals covering construction and home topics, his work appears in online and print publications. Brown holds a Master of Arts in liberal arts from St. John's University and is currently based in Houston.