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How to Hang Unframed Canvas

how to hang unframed canvas

Painting is one of the activities that kept me sane during this global pandemic crisis. While I have to admit that it is not my natural milieu or genre, I was able to improve my painting skills by leaps and bounds through constant practice. Throughout my art journey, I have created pieces that I’m not proud of and pieces that I’m so eager to show off. But being a person who doesn’t like frames, I always want to know how to hang unframed canvas.

While framing a painting or artwork is always a matter of personal preference, I have frequently been inclined to not use one. But before we completely set aside the frames, let us know their function why most painters use them to hang their paintings.

Why do We Need to Frame Canvases?

As an amateur artist myself, this is one of the questions that pop into my mind. Is my artwork considered incomplete if it is not placed in a frame? Would a frame define the worth of my artwork?

The most important function of a frame is to complete the artwork’s look or appearance. Unless the artist or the painter intends it, he or she will make a customized frame that creates a dialogue with its environment. While a customized frame is one way of adding pizzazz to your artwork, it is certainly not an affordable way to create artwork.

Here are some of the benefits of using a frame in your artwork:

It preserves the painting.

Frames offer a protective border that prevents unintentional warping on the edges and corners. It provides a strong support structure on which the painting can rest on. This way, the canvas avoids being folded and crumpled. Plus, the paint is maintained chip-free at all times.

It provides borders.

Frames can also give the painting or artwork a definite space. It tells the eyes of the observer where the artwork or painting starts and ends.

While these functions are true, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I want them. I want my paintings to hang free on my walls or own gallery.

But then, it begs the next question: why do we need to hang our canvas?

Why do We Need to Hang Our Canvas?

Tradition in modern art dictates that a painting should be framed before hanging. Every painting from the Renaissance up to Contemporary Art uses frames to secure and define the artwork. Since the paintings have frames, the gallery or the collector curating them installs a hook or wire at the back so that it would hang on the wall.

Since ancient times, paintings have a decorative purpose. It can turn a dull and boring wall into a stunning and head-turner portion of any house. The same is still true in our modern era. I have several unframed paintings of mine that are currently decorating a portion of our wall.

But in my opinion, framing artwork is very restrictive. As I have mentioned before, it limits the artwork to a certain space.

Benefits Of Hanging Unframed Canvas

Traditional artists may be biased with using frames in their paintings because as I have mentioned before, it is an integral part of the old creative process.

If you are a traditional artist with a heavy predisposition to frames, learning how to hang an unframed canvas painting can lead you to new possibilities. Simply put, it gives your artwork a new dimension as well as a chance to interact with its surroundings.

Many interior designers choose to decorate blank walls with unframed canvases. Not only is it more affordable compared to framed canvases but is also faster to make.

How To Hang An Unframed Canvas

Hanging my canvases unframed has helped me explore my art. I was able to create a unique atmosphere in my house because my artworks engage not only the viewers but also the objects around them.

Here are some of the basic tools that I use to hang my canvases:

  • Pencil
  • Thin wire
  • Eyehooks
  • Screwdriver
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Wall protection pads
  • Spirit level

Here are The Steps on How to Hang Unframed Canvas Board

  • First, mount two eyehooks on both sides of the stretcher bars. Make sure that it is sturdy enough by wiggling them a bit.
  • Next, cut a thin wire and connect the ends to both eyehooks. Always choose a thin wire for extra strength. Strings deteriorate over time which can damage the painting if it gives out.
  • After that, find a perfect spot on your wall to hang your canvas. For those who don’t have a separate gallery, the living room wall is the perfect spot to display your artwork. Hang it at eye level so that the viewers can fully appreciate the artwork.
  • After choosing a spot on your wall, make sure that the canvas is perfectly level. One simple trick is to use a small spirit level bar. This way, the paintings will stay in place and won’t tilt over in either direction.
  • Important tip: when hanging an unframed canvas, always know its center points. By doing so, you will find it easy to level the canvas even if you don’t have a spirit level to guide you.

How To Hang An Unframed Canvas Without Nails

how to hang an unframed canvas without nails

If you live in a rented apartment, hammering nails or drilling screws can be difficult especially if it is not allowed in your contract. You might be asking yourself: can I still hang my artwork without nails and screws? The answer might be simpler than you think, and that is industrial-grade double-sided tapes.

Adhesive tapes are perfect for those who don’t want to hammer nails or drill screws. It is effortless and doesn’t damage your wall (except possibly the paint).

To use this, just do the following:

  • Stick a healthy length of double-sided tape on all sides of your canvas.
  • Using a pencil, mark the spot where you want to hang your canvas. Peel the strip off the other side of the double-sided tape and stick it on the wall.
  • With the help of a spirit level, make sure that the canvas is perfectly level.
  • Press the canvas gently to ensure that the adhesive perfectly sticks to the wall.

And that’s it!


Hanging your artwork or painting on the wall can instill a fresh vibe in your house. Besides, if you are an artist, it could give you a sense of pride as your artwork serves as a reminder of your talent. It is also a declaration of your passion.

While a frame can give your painting an added character, you have to bear in mind that it is not required. Learning how to hang your canvas board will not only save you time, money, and effort but also let you explore artistic possibilities. All it takes is an open mind and a daring heart.

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