Canvas paintings need to have a wire across the back for hanging, and it is often necessary to wire the canvas yourself. Without a wire on the canvas, your wall can be damaged when you hang the artwork. You will not be able to use the type of picture hanger that prevents holes in the wall. Wiring your own canvas is not a particularly difficult chore, provided that you follow a few basic steps.
Things You'll Need
- Two small eye-hooks
- Small nail
- Measuring tape
- Picture wire
Place the canvas on a flat surface with the back facing up. Make sure that nothing can damage the front of your painting. Make certain that you know which ends are the top and the bottom of the painting.
Screw one of the eye-hooks on the inside of the right stretcher bar, approximately one-third from the top of the painting. The wood should be soft, but you may need to hammer a small nail into the wood for about one-eighth of an inch to start the screwing process. Press the tip of the eye-hook into the wood, and turn it clockwise until the eye-hook has been screwed in all of the way, and both the canvas and the loop of the eye-hook are parallel. Repeat this process with the second eye-hook and the inside left stretcher bar.
Measure the distance between the two eye-hooks. Cut a length of picture wire that is twice as long as this distance. String the picture wire through both eye-hooks and center it so there is an equal amount of wire on each side of the eye-hooks.
Bend the excess picture wire that is sticking out of the right eye-hook toward the center of the painting. Wrap it tightly around the part of the wire that is centered between the two eye-hooks. As you do this, slightly stretch the wire that is in the center so the wire between the hooks curves slightly upward, toward the top of the painting. The wire should not be too tightly strung across the back of the painting. Repeat this procedure with the excess wire that is sticking out of the left eye-hook. Once all of the picture wire is neatly wrapped, your canvas painting is ready to hang.
- Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute: Caring for Your Paintings
- "Conserving Paintings: Basic Technical Information for Contemporary Artists": Byrne, Allan; 1995
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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