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How To Hang Canvas Panels Quickly & Easily: Full Directions

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Whether you’ve received a canvas panel as a gift or have successfully painted one yourself, you probably want to display it on your wall.

Unlike picture frames, canvas panels have a unique style for hanging.

If you want to know how to hang canvas panels easily, keep on reading this guide as we walk you through all the necessary steps to get the job done!

Supplies Needed

Step 1: Prepare the Canvas Panel By Measuring Its Dimensions

For starters, make sure that your canvas panel is sealed and dried before this project because you’ll start by turning the canvas panel on its flat surface to expose its back.

Using your measuring tape (I recommend this sturdy one – it’ll last for years), measure both the length and width of the canvas, and write down these measurements so you don’t forget them. 

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Put the canvas in the proper orientation you’re going to hang it in, whether vertical or horizontal, then measure the height of the canvas at the center. 

Take your measurements from the outer edge of the panel rather than the inner ridge, then divide it by 2 to get the dead center of the canvas panel, as you’re going to need it later while hanging the canvas.

Step 2: Attach Eye Screws to the Canvas Panel

To hang the canvas panel on the wall, you’ll need to use a hanging mechanism.

The most commonly used hanging hardware is the hanging wire because it’s easy to attach and doesn’t show from behind the canvas panel. This kit contains all you’ll need.

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To attach the eye screws to your canvas panel, turn the canvas on its back so that it rests on the flat painted surface.

After that, divide the height of the canvas by 3, then place a mark on each side of the canvas exactly 1/3 the height from the top. 

To double check that the two marks are at the same height, measure their height from the bottom of the canvas, they should be exactly the same height.

Also, the straight line connecting them should be parallel to the top side of the panel.

Using your hand, push and twist a steel eye screw into the canvas wooden stretcher exactly where the pencil mark is.

Hold the wooden panel from the opposite side so it doesn’t break from excessive pressure. 

Keep twisting until the eye screw is fully attached to the wooden panels, then repeat the same steps for the other side.

Step 3: Thread Hanging Wire Through the Eye Screws

Cut the length of the wire you’re going to use to hang the canvas so that it isn’t hanging too loose or too firm. 

A good recommendation here is to cut the wire so that it’s around 8 inches longer than the canvas panel’s width. This way, the painting will rest exactly where you want it on the wall.

Thread the wire through the loop of the first eye screw, then tie a knot. After that, repeat the same steps for the same loop and make sure that the wire can bear the panel’s weight safely.

Step 4: Align the Canvas Panels Where They Should Hang on the Wall

Now that the canvas is ready for hanging, it’s time to pick the ideal spot on the wall where you want the canvas to hang, and that’s where measuring the dead center of the canvas will be used.

Ideally, you’ll need to choose a well-lit area in your house where the canvas will compliment the colors of the walls and decorations. 

For multiple split panels, make sure that you leave a space of 1 to 2 inches between the width of each panel and the other while aligning them.

A good tip here is to align them on a table and measure the required distances between each dead center, then mark these points on the wall.

Step 5: Attach the Mounting Hooks or Tack to the Wall

In most museums and galleries, canvas paintings are displayed at a position where the dead center of the canvas is around 140 centimeters from the floor, which is equivalent to 57 inches.

This keeps your canvas at a comfortable level for the eye. To know where your canvas’s dead center will hang, mark the wall exactly 57 inches up from the floor where you want to display the panel.

Attach a tack, nail, or a J-shaped mounting hook exactly where you’ve marked on the wall. Make sure that you don’t tap hard with the hammer, especially in the case of drywall.

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Step 6: Hang and Level Your Canvas

With everything ready for hanging, all that’s left is to hang your canvas panels where they should go.

It’s best to use a spirit level for this task. Simply place the level on the top of the panel and adjust its placement so that the air bubble in the level is exactly in the middle of the two marked lines.

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How To Frame a Flat Canvas Board

If you prefer displaying your canvas in a frame, here’s how to get it done in simple steps:

1. Measure the Dimensions of the Canvas Board

Start by measuring the height and width of your canvas board. Make sure that you take extremely accurate measurements because you only have an error margin of about 1/8 inch above.

Write down the measurements or save them on your phone so you don’t forget them.

2. Buy All the Necessary Items for the Job

With the measurements in mind, you can now buy a suitable frame for your canvas panel.

Luckily, canvas board measurements are standardized, so there are plenty of frames on the market to fit them.

You should also buy canvas clips to fix the panels inside the frame if they’re not included in the frame’s package, but you should make sure that they’re compatible with each other.

The canvas clip size should match the thickness of the wooden stretcher used for the canvas.

3. Lay the Canvas Board Inside the Frame

Lay the canvas inside the frame you’ve picked while facing down and be careful not to scratch the sides. 

The canvas board should fall right into place if you’ve picked the right size. However, some frame designs will feel a bit loose or tight.

As long as the canvas isn’t bulging or requires heavy force to be introduced into the frame, you’re good to go!

4. Attach Canvas Clips To Fix the Panels

Attach the canvas clips that you’ve purchased with the frame. Ideally, smaller canvases can fit one clip on each side exactly in the middle.

However, for larger canvases, you can increase the number of clips per side so that they’re equally spaced from each other. 

5. Attach a Hanging Hardware to the Frame

If the frame doesn’t already come with its own hanging mechanism and you want to display it on a wall, you can apply the previously mentioned method to hang it.

The only difference here is that instead of attaching two eye screws on the internal wall of the wooden stretcher, you’ll fit a screw on the back of the frame itself. 

How To Hang an Unframed Canvas

Lastly, if the unframed canvas style appeals to you, you can hang it directly on the wall using one of the following methods:

  1. Measure the dimensions of the canvas, and write them down.
  2. Using a utility knife, cut into a hard foam panel or cardboard in dimensions slightly larger than your canvas.
  3. Apply a thin layer of decoupage glue that can be used with canvas on the foam panel.
  4. Lay the dry canvas on its face, then attach the foam board on top of it.
  5. Allow the glue to cure for a few minutes, then turn the board upside down again.
  6. Place a few heavy books and some other heavyweight items over the board, and let it cure and dry all the way.
  7. Attach a few pieces of double-sided tape to the board. Ideally, you should put one piece at every corner of the canvas and more if the canvas is relatively large.
  8. Mark a faint line with a pencil on the wall using the spirit level to guide you. The line should be exactly where the top side of the panel is going to hang.
  9. Align the canvas panel on the wall so that it exactly overlaps the marked line.
  10. Continue attaching the other double-sided tape to secure the canvas on the wall.

Wrapping It Up

You now know how to hang canvas panels quickly and easily.

As you can see, there are plenty of hanging tools that you can use for that project, but even if you don’t have any, you can still hang unframed canvas using glue.

Whether you’re going to hang your canvas framed or unframed, it’s always important to level the canvas properly and pick a properly lit spot to display the beauty of your art.

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