Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Wire a Canvas Painting

For the longest time, I used sawtooth hangers or screw eyes on the back of my framed art. This was when I did more folk art watercolors. Whenever I stood my paintings in a box, there was always one or two that had the dust cover punched through by the screw eyes on the next painting. And if I stacked them all facing one direction, I was worried about the screw eyes breaking the glass on the neighboring artwork. I suppose I could have placed large pieces of cardboard in between each piece... but then I'd have to find lots of large boxes to cut up.

This year when I began painting on gallery wrapped canvases and cradled birch boards, I decided not to frame or add any type of hanging apparatus. Instead, I was just hanging them directly on a nail on the wall. However, there are a lot of customers that prefer artwork to have something on the back from which to hang the piece. So, I began looking for instructions to wire artwork for hanging. This sounds really simple and I'm sure you're thinking how hard can it be to wire a painting, but if I was going to display my art at shows or sell online, I wanted to do it right. I wanted customers to be able to receive their original art and be able to hang it immediately without worrying about purchasing wire and d-rings.

Let me tell you, I've found there are all kinds of ways to hang artwork, some good, some not so good. I finally found and read tips from a few professional artist websites and from art gallery websites and came up with this method for my own artwork.

As for supplies, after quite a bit of googling, I found this framing shop in a nearby state that had very good prices. They also ship very quickly! I ordered on Sunday night, Monday was a holiday, and still received my order on Tuesday afternoon via FedEx! You can get smaller quantities at your local hardware store, but if you live in a rural area like I do and you don't have many choices or the items needed aren't available, ordering online allows you to get all the right sizes you need.

I hope I made this clear, but if you have any questions, please ask!

How to Wire a Canvas Painting
Supplies list with links:
 * stainless steel vinyl coated wire - LOVE this stuff! Get the size you need. I chose #2 because all of my paintings are much less than 15 lbs. There's a chart at the bottom of the item page for choosing the size you need.
 * d-ring strap hanger -Again, choose the size appropriate for your canvas.
 * screws for the hangers - You have to order these separately as they don't come with the strap hangers.
 * clear bump ons - These keep the painting from slipping once hung and they keep the canvas corners from marring the wall.
 * screwdriver
 * utility scissors or wire snips
 * tape measure

Step 1:
Measure 1/4 to 1/3 down from the top and mark the spot on the wood frame. I usually mark 1/3 down. If the canvas is 12" tall, I measure down 4". Do the same for the other side.

Step 2:
Screw a d-ring on each side at the spot marked. I leave the screw just barely loose enough that the d-ring will swivel at an angle as needed when hanging on the wall.

Cut wire about 4" longer than the distance between the two d-rings. Loop wire through one d-ring as shown. If the artwork isn't heavy, a loop like this isn't really needed, but I like to do this just to be in the habit of making a secure loop.

Step 4:
Pull the loop snug against the d-ring and wrap the shorter wire around the longer wire.

Step 5:
Run the wire through the other d-ring, but before you make the loop or wrap the excess, pull the center of the wire up so that it is about 1/2 way between the top of the canvas and the 1/3 way down mark. Regardless, make sure the center part of the wire is at least 2" below the top of the canvas. Then wrap the wire near the other d-ring as you did with the first one.

Step 6:
Peel and stick the clear bump ons at the bottom corners of the canvas.

Step 7:
Hang artwork and enjoy! :)

I'll be back in a few days to talk about the Norcross Art Fest and a discount code for my Etsy shop.

Take care & God bless,
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