How to hang canvas paintings

Written by sincerity anna
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How to hang canvas paintings
This canvas painting has a wood frame. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Canvas paintings are either flat or have a wooden stretcher frame. How you hang the canvas painting depends on which type it is. Purchase a picture frame for flat canvas paintings, along with matt board, to professionally frame the painting yourself before you hang it. Canvas paintings with wooden stretcher frames need not be framed or matted, but a sheet of clear plastic should be placed over the canvas to ensure it is protected.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Frame, size of painting
  • Tape measure
  • Matt board
  • Pen knife
  • Sheet of protective plastic
  • Staple gun
  • 1/4-inch staples
  • Stud finder
  • Picture frame brackets -- two per painting
  • Small nails or screws
  • Hammer
  • 1-inch-long wood screw -- two per painting
  • Cordless drill
  • Phillips head drill bit

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Measure the width and height of a flat canvas painting using a tape measure to prepare it for being put into a picture frame. Measure and mark the back side of a sheet of matt board according to the measurements of the painting, using a straight edge and marking pencil to create cut lines on the matt board. Measure inside the cut lines, 4 inches up on the bottom and 3 inches in on the top and sides. Cut the matt using a utility or pen knife. Lay the frame face down. Set the matt in the frame first, then place the canvas painting on top of it. Secure the back of the frame. If your painting already has a wooden stretcher frame on the back, skip Step 1 and go to Step 2.

  2. 2

    Add 4 inches to both the width and height measurements of the painting to determine how large to cut the protective plastic for a canvas painting that has a wooden stretcher frame. Lay the plastic down on a clean surface and place the painting facedown on top of it. Fold the plastic up and over the sides of the wooden frame, then secure the plastic to the frame using a staple gun and 1/4-inch staples.

  3. 3

    Lay the painting facedown, then find the centre of the top edge of the frame -- either the picture frame that a flat painting has been inserted into, or the backside of the wooden stretcher frame. Measure 8 inches to the left and 8 inches to the right, marking each spot with a pencil.

  4. 4

    Place the picture-hanging brackets on the marks you just made so the brackets are centred on each 8-inch mark. Do this so they are centred on the backside of the frame for even hanging, and so the brackets are 16 inches apart; this will put the brackets the correct width apart so they can both be hung from screws in wall studs. Insert small nails into the brackets to secure them to the frame using a small hammer, tapping lightly.

  5. 5

    Locate studs in the wall where you want the painting to be hung, using a hand-held stud finder. Run the stud finder horizontally across the wall until it beeps and lights up. Mark the wall where two of the studs run, at the height you want the painting hung. Insert a 1-inch-long wood screw into the wall on each mark at the desired height, using a drill and Phillips-head bit. Hang the painting by setting the brackets on the screws. The screws will hold the painting's weight because they have been inserted into studs.

Tips and warnings

  • Measure carefully.
  • Exercise caution when using knives or power tools.

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