How to Hang Canvas

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil

  • Nails

  • Hammer

  • Sticky tack

  • Art wire

  • Small “O” screws

  • Adhesive J hooks

  • Picture hangers

  • Small screws

  • Power screwdriver


When hanging canvas artworks on drywall, plaster or hollow-core walls, insert screws or nails directly into a stud whenever possible. Alternately, use anchors or fasteners to secure the canvas structure to the wall.

Use the "57 in center" rule for hanging art, which means that the center of the canvas hangs at 57 inches above the floor.


Do not use screws, nails or hooks in walls made of metal unless you are certain that the substructure is capable of withstanding both the puncture and the weight of the artwork. Never pierce glass walls because of the likelihood of damaging or shattering the glass.

Many art aficionados choose to display unframed canvas paintings directly on a wall without securing the art within a traditional frame and protective glass. Hanging these stretched-canvas masterpieces takes a little extra time, but the effort is well rewarded with the sparse, uncluttered aesthetic created within your living spaces. Depending on personal preference, you can choose between nails, wire hooks, J hooks or standard picture hangers.


Step 1

Hold the canvas, which is stretched over a wooden frame, up against the wall in the spot where you wish to display it. Mark the chosen placement of the canvas with a pencil.

Step 2

Hammer two nails into the wall on either end of the marked areas. Make sure to account for the lip of the wooden structure beneath the canvas, which is typically 1 or 2 inches.

Step 3

Place the canvas on the nails. Use sticky tack, if necessary, to hold the canvas in place and prevent it from hanging unevenly.

Wire Hooks

Step 1

Screw two small "O" screws into either side of the wood frame about 5 inches down from the top of the canvas.

Step 2

String a piece of art wire back and forth across the two screw hooks about five times. Leave a small amount of slack, so that the wire can hang over a nail.

Step 3

Hammer a nail into the center of the wall where you want to hang the canvas. Drape the attached wire on the back of the canvas over the nail.


Step 1

Measure the width of the canvas. Mark the desired placement of the canvas on the wall with a pencil.

Step 2

Stick adhesive-backed J-hooks onto the wall, or use a nail for J-hooks without adhesive. Make sure both hooks align perfectly, so that the canvas does not hang crooked on the wall.

Step 3

Hang the frame of the canvas on the hooks. Minimize the amount of movement around the canvas after it is hung; you do not want to loosen the adhesive on the J-hook tabs and cause the painting to fall.

Picture Hangers

Step 1

Screw two picture hangers into the back of the canvas. Attach the hangers into the sides of the wooden frame, about three inches down from the top, so that the to hanger is not visible after hanging the canvas.

Step 2

Hammer two nails into the wall where you want to hang the canvas. Make sure the nails are even and in the correct spot.

Step 3

Hook the picture hangers over the nails, adjusting the height if necessary.

references & resources

Brenda Priddy

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.