Red Tulips

Red Tulips
Red Tulips

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How to Wire a Painting for Hanging

A great way to prepare paintings for sale is to place wire on the back of the painting (as long as the sides are already painted!) so it is ready to hang as soon as your customer receives it.  Many galleries also request that paintings come ready to hang, either in a frame or with wire.  It is very easy to put wire on the back of a painting!  This guide will show you how to do it:

Supplies you will need:
2 Eyehooks

Wire - gauge will depend on canvasweight; read packages for information when purchasing.

Wire cutters


Step 1
You should have your canvas face down so you can see the stretcher bars on the back.

Make sure you take note of where the top of your painting is so that you put the wire in the right place!

Step 2
With the top of your canvas in the right position, measure the side of your canvas with the ruler.  You should be placing the wire between 1/4 and 1/3 of the way down.

My canvas is 16x20, so I am measuring down 5 inches on the 16 inch side and placing a mark with my pencil.

Repeat this for the opposite side - make sure you place a mark at the exact same measurement!

Step 3
Push the tip of one of your eyehooks into the inside edge of the stretcher bar, lined up with your pencil mark.  Placing the eyehook on the inside edge will help your painting to lie flat against your customer's wall and avoid leaving any wall damage.

Step 4
Twist the eyehook into the stretcher bar.  The wood used in the stretcher bars is fairly soft, so it should be easy to twist in.  Make sure you twist it in straight so it does not come up through the top of the stretcher bar or through the bottom and into your painting!

Step 5
Repeat Step 3 and 4 for the opposite stretcher bar so that both eye hooks are in place.

Step 6
Measure out your wire so that it is abot 6-8"  longer than the eyehooks on both sides.  I usually line it up and then cut it with my wire cutters.

Step 7
It is important that the wire is secured to the eyehook.  This step describes how to tie the wire onto the eyehook.  First you should loop the wire from underneath the eyehook and up.

Next you should make a letter "P" with the wire by looping it underneath of itself.

Now push the tip of the wire through this loop.

Pull tightly for a very secure knot.

To make the wire even more secure, you should knot it again.  To do this, first pull the end of the wire through the eyehook again from underneath and back up.

Push the tip of the wire through the loop.

Pull tightly for a second secure knot.

Step 8
Repeat Step 7 for the opposite eyehook.  When you first put the wire through the second eyehook, make sure the wire is taut.  You do not want slack wire; as the wire hangs it will loosen some, so you do not want to loosen so much that the painting no longer hangs correctly!

Step 9
Wrap the extra wire on both ends around the taut wire going across the canvas.  I wrap mine very tightly for extra stabilization.

Now admire your professional, wire hanging!


  1. I am sitting here, studying how to wire a painting for framing, but also admiring your work. What medium do you use? I use acrylic, but your colors seem so much richer than the paints I use.

    Your paintings are marvelous!

  2. Hi Jae,

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this detailed and VERY helpful tutorial! I just used it to prepare my canvases to be hung at a local gallery. I have also shared with some of my other art friends who greatly appreciate it as well! I posted pictures on my blog at Thanks again :)

  3. Thanks for this tutorial with the step by step instructions and photos, I just wired some frames. :)

  4. Glad this was so helpful for everyone!

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  9. Thank you! This was so helpful and simple!

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  12. This is completely useless if you wire is too thick. It is impossible to tie a knot.

  13. This is completely useless if you wire is too thick. It is impossible to tie a knot.

  14. Thank you , your tutorial is very helpful with the detail and photos.

  15. What do I do if there's no clearance to hang from the side; teh hooks stick out from the back?

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  18. Thank you so much for the detailed description along with photos. My picture looks perfect on the wall.
    Thank you!