How to frame a canvas

Table of contents:

How to frame a canvas
How to frame a canvas

The frames allow both to hang and protect the canvases. Framing a canvas and framing a photo are two different things because you don't need glass or backing board for a canvas. You can find everything you need to frame a canvas at any arts or hobby store.


Part 1 of 5: buy a frame

Frame a Canvas Step 1
Frame a Canvas Step 1

Step 1. Measure your canvas

Use a tape measure to measure the length, width and thickness of the canvas. Write these measurements down and keep them on hand, as you will need them when you purchase the frame.

  • Some tape measures have centimeters on one side and inches on the other, so be careful.
  • If you get even a few millimeters wrong, you risk buying the wrong size frame.
  • Take each measurement twice to be sure it is correct.
Frame a Canvas Step 2
Frame a Canvas Step 2

Step 2. Choose a frame that goes well with the painting

Frames are as varied as the artwork they contain, so choose one that matches the effect you want to achieve. A small contrast between the painting and the frame can be aesthetic.

  • Avoid taking a frame whose color is too close to that of the painting.
  • Create a contrast between the style of the frame and that of the painting.
  • Elaborate frames go well with simple paintings. Contemporary art works best with simple frames.
  • In general, you shouldn't overdo it. Avoid choosing a frame that distracts from the painting.
Frame a Canvas Step 3
Frame a Canvas Step 3

Step 3. Buy a frame from an art store

Once you've taken the measurements of the painting and decided what style of frame you want, you can go and buy it. Look for a frame whose dimensions match those of the canvas.

  • The most common frame sizes are 18 x 24 cm, 24 x 30 cm, 40 x 50 cm, 40 x 60 cm, 60 x 80 cm and 80 x 100 cm. In some stores you will find other sizes, such as 20 x 40 cm.
  • If you buy the frame from a store, call the store first to see if it is the size you need in stock. This will prevent you from having to go to several stores.
  • List the prices of different stores so you can find the best deal.
  • You can also buy the frame online. The websites will indicate the exact dimensions of the frames offered by these suppliers.
Frame a Canvas Step 4
Frame a Canvas Step 4

Step 4. Purchase picture brackets

They are usually sold in sets of four and you can easily find them in a store or on the internet. A pack of four is enough to frame a canvas.

  • Usually these fasteners do not require screws.
  • Fasteners requiring screws are available in seven sizes: 3, 6, 9, 12, 19, 25 and 30mm.
  • Measure the bars of your canvas frame to find out which size you need.

Part 2 of 5: frame the canvas

Frame a Canvas Step 5
Frame a Canvas Step 5

Step 1. Install the canvas in the frame

Lay the frame upside down on a flat surface and lay the canvas inside with the painted side down.

  • Be careful not to scratch the paint on the canvas when placing it in the frame.
  • The canvas should be laid on the inside edge of the frame.
  • If the canvas protrudes from the frame or has an uneven surface, reposition it so that it fits snugly into the frame.
  • All frameworks are different. Some are tightly wrapped around the canvas while others leave a little more room.
Frame a Canvas Step 6
Frame a Canvas Step 6

Step 2. Attach the fasteners

If you purchased fasteners without screws, attach them. Start on one side. Locate where the edge of the canvas and the edge of the frame meet. Insert the pointed end of the fastener between the frame and the canvas. Then tension the fastener on the frame bar and push it firmly into place.

  • The bars on which you must tension the fasteners form the four sides of the frame to which the canvas is stapled.
  • Press down on the fastener hard enough to hold it firmly in place.
  • Attach the other three fasteners in the same way.
  • Space the fasteners evenly around the canvas.
Frame a Canvas Step 7
Frame a Canvas Step 7

Step 3. Screw in the fasteners

If you purchased fasteners that screw into place, attach them. Place the fasteners where you want them on the frame. One in the middle of each side is sufficient.

  • Use a pencil to mark the position of the holes for each fastener.
  • Make sure the marks are dark enough to be visible. Drill a small pilot hole at each mark, being careful not to go completely through the frame or chassis.
  • Place the fasteners over the holes and secure them with screws.
Frame a Canvas Step 8
Frame a Canvas Step 8

Step 4. Gently turn the painting over

You can now examine the final result. The canvas must fit perfectly into the frame, with no empty space. If the canvas is loosening, you may need to drive the fasteners in more firmly.

Part 3 of 5: tie a wire to hang the frame

Frame a Canvas Step 9
Frame a Canvas Step 9

Step 1. Lay the canvas with the painted side down

The board should face the right way (with the bottom facing you). If you are not sure if this is the case, lift the canvas to check. Take a pencil and make a mark on the bar at the top of the board. This will help you remember where the top is. If the board remains facing the right way, you will put the wire in the right place.

Frame a Canvas Step 10
Frame a Canvas Step 10

Step 2. Mark the locations of the eyebolts

Starting at the top bar of the frame, go down to about a third or a quarter of the length of the side bars and make a pencil mark. Consult the canvas measurements to determine the location of the marks.

  • For example, if you have a painting that is 40 cm high, you will need to make the marks about 12 cm from the top bar. To find this measurement, simply divide the height of the board by three.
  • Use a tape measure to find one-third or one-quarter the length of each side to make the marks.
  • Make sure that the two marks are positioned at exactly the same height.
Frame a Canvas Step 11
Frame a Canvas Step 11

Step 3. Attach the eyebolts

Screw each eyebolt into the frame at the marks you made. Do not damage the painted part of the canvas when attaching the eyebolts.

Frame a Canvas Step 12
Frame a Canvas Step 12

Step 4. Cut the wire

To determine the length of the wire, add 6 to 8 inches to the width of the canvas.

  • For example, if you have a canvas 60 cm wide, you need to cut a wire 75 to 80 cm long.
  • Measure the wire with a tape measure.
  • Use wire cutters to cut the wire to the desired length.
Frame a Canvas Step 13
Frame a Canvas Step 13

Step 5. Tie one end of the wire

Lay the wire horizontally on the back of the board. Tie it on one side. Start by inserting the end of the wire into the hole in the eyebolt. Pull it so that 2.5 cm of the wire protrudes from the other side of the eyebolt.

  • Hold the wire and pass it under itself so as to form a P. The end should still be no more than 2.5 cm.
  • Pass the end of the wire through the hole in P.
  • Pull firmly on the wire. It should tighten and the P shape should disappear to make room for a knot.
  • Repeat the process on the other side of the canvas.
  • The wire should be loose enough to pull up 2.5cm when you hang it on a nail.

Part 4 of 5: Add dust protection

Frame a Canvas Step 14
Frame a Canvas Step 14

Step 1. Cut out a sheet of kraft paper

It must have the same dimensions as the frame. The dust cover is a single sheet of paper, usually strong kraft paper, which is attached to the back of the canvas. It's a simple and inexpensive way to protect your painting.

  • Be sure to buy a piece of craft paper that is larger or as tall as your frame.
  • If the paper curls up on itself when you cut it, flatten it by putting a heavy, flat object on it, such as a book or a glass plate.
  • Once the kraft paper is flattened, you can attach it to the back of the canvas.
Frame a Canvas Step 15
Frame a Canvas Step 15

Step 2. Apply double-sided tape to the frame bars

Use a dispenser to stick double-sided tape on each frame bar 3mm from the edge. Lay the ribbon on all four sides, trying to glue it in a straight line.

Frame a Canvas Step 16
Frame a Canvas Step 16

Step 3. Glue the kraft paper

Lay the paper on the frame, making sure the edges of the paper and the frame are aligned.

  • Press down firmly on the edges of the paper.
  • If there is excess paper sticking out, cut it off with a utility knife or scissors.
  • You can now hang the painting.

Part 5 of 5: hang the framed painting

Frame a Canvas Step 17
Frame a Canvas Step 17

Step 1. Choose where you are going to hang the painting

If you want it to be very flashy, hang it somewhere it won't go unnoticed, such as in the middle of a room or above a door. If you don't want to give it importance, place it somewhere out of the way, like a hallway or the corner of a room.

Frame a Canvas Step 18
Frame a Canvas Step 18

Step 2. To hang a large picture, find a post in the wall

If the painting is small or medium, this is not necessary, but for a large painting, you need to find a pole to hang it securely.

  • Wall studs are typically spaced 40-60cm from the middle of the wall.
  • Use a tape measure to determine the likely location of a pole.
  • Some people can hear the poles when knocking on the wall as on a door. When the sound changes, there is a pole nearby.
Frame a Canvas Step 19
Frame a Canvas Step 19

Step 3. Drive a nail into the wall

Take the nail between your thumb and forefinger and hit it with a hammer strong enough to hammer it into the wall. Once the nail is firmly in place, let go of it and continue to hammer it in with the hammer until it protrudes only a few inches.

  • A standard hammer of 500 g is sufficient.
  • A single 2 inch nail can support most paintings.
  • Try driving the nail at a 45 ° angle.
  • The standard height for hanging pictures is 145 cm. It is the average height of the eyes of human beings. It is regularly respected in museums and exhibitions.
Frame a Canvas Step 20
Frame a Canvas Step 20

Step 4. Hang the painting on the nail

Lift the frame and pass the wire over the nail fixed in the wall. Slowly let go of the board. It should hang on the wall.

  • Make sure the framed picture holds securely in place and is not too heavy for the nail.
  • If the frame is too heavy, use another nail to prop it up.
  • Make sure the table is straight. Otherwise, adjust it.

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