How To Hang a Painting? 5 Ways To A Successful Mount

how to hang a painting cover

Do you find yourself in a fix where you have a wonderful portrait but don’t know how to hang a painting, especially without nails?

Now, we all know that canvas paintings and portraits are the most common and minimalistic way of decking up your home.

And with that thought, you often tend to get handmade paintings.

But the pain point remains hanging on the canvas.

Worry not; we will not only convert your photo into a painting but also help you with the installation process.

This detailed guide will give you 5 ways to hang a painting and 9 alternatives to consider if you do not want to mount your art commissions.

But before we begin, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before hanging the canvas.

mona lisa ad of reproduction

A. Before Getting Started

Hanging a wall art requires a lot of calculations.

Before getting into the task, you need to keep in mind a few arrangements on how to hang a canvas on the wall.

These tips will help you decide things before getting started.

Family painting from different photos

1. Wall Spacing

a man hanging a painting with proper wall spacing

Start with measuring the wall that you are planning to hang the canvas on.

Once done, make sure you order the correct canvas size to fit the proportions of the space.

Perfectly hung canvas art can include a combination of one large surrounded by a few small canvas paintings.

Alternatively, many canvas portraits together can also be used to form a mood board on the wall.

Tip: The artwork should not take more than 50-70% of the available wall spaces.

2. Spacing Between Canvas

paintings hung on the wall with proper spacing in between canvases

The spacing between the canvases should be equal especially while hanging multiple same-sized canvases.

The idea is to make your wall visually pleasing.

If you are hanging an equal number of canvas paintings, a spacing of 2-5 inches works fine.
However, for a triptych, you can use a spacing of 4-6 inches.

In both cases, it is of utmost importance to have a balance between the proportions of the wall area and the space you are using to hang canvas art.

3. Placement

a woman hanging painting on an empty wall with proper placement

What is more important than spacing? The placement of the canvas.

The best way to hang a canvas on the wall is by placing it at eye level from when you are standing in front of the painting.

It gives a closer look to the canvas and works well with the interiors, too.

Tip: If you are hanging a canvas upon a fireplace or tabletop, make sure that the distance is between 6-12 inches above the furniture. 

4. Composition

Composed placement

Composition is very important to hang canvas appealingly.

Now, you would ask how?

The composition makes the canvas look organically placed and properly fit together.

If you have mixed canvas sizes, the largest should always be in the center surrounded by small canvases.

You can check and customize the layout by placing the canvases on the ground and hanging them only when you are pleased with the layout.

Tip: Use masking tape to map out the wall area on the floor and design the canvas layout for your hanging it on the wall.

Suggested read: 15 Home Decor Painting (A Must-Have Look For Your Room)

5. Framed v/s Unframed

Framed and unframed paintings hung on a wall

Framed, unframed, or custom framed, the choice is yours.

As long as you hang the canvas art according to the correct placement, composition, and spacing, your wall is going to look absolutely decked up! 

B. Hardware Varieties to Hang Canvas

Now, before moving ahead with how to hang a canvas, you need to know about the tools needed to hang a canvas.

There are 5 major ways to hang a canvas, and I will be explaining each step by step.

But make sure you gather the required tools before you jump into the difficult part.

1. Nails


The quickest and easiest way to hang a canvas is with the help of a nail.

However, it may not be the safest way of hanging canvases.

The slightest vibrations can throw the handmade painting off the nail.

Besides, it is going to leave a tiny hole in your walls, of course!

2. Eye Hooks

Eye Hooks

Most people think that eye hooks can be a task.

Astonishingly, it is one of the easiest ways to hang a canvas painting.

These little pockets are strong enough to hold the painting.

They won’t take up too much room and are an easy product to decorate a home without making it clumsy.

3. Sawtooth Brackets

sawtooth bracket

Have you ever wondered why they are called sawtooth brackets?

Well, think about it!

Meanwhile, I must tell you that these little guys are extremely flexible and easy to use.

The only point of concern is that they come in sizes.

Now, whoever said “size doesn’t matter” hasn’t dealt with these guys!

Make sure you get the right size, and the rest of the work will be a cup of tea.

4. How To Hang a Painting without Nails? – Adhesive Tape/Silicone Tape

hang a painting without nail with an adhesive silicone tape

These are my favorites – clean, easy, and hassle-free.

If you are looking for ways how to hang a canvas without nails and any wall damage, adhesive/silicone tape is the answer.


It can take up to only 4 to 16 pounds of weight.

It is important to know how much your canvas of memory weighs before you put in the burden of hanging in on this little fellow.

5. J-Hooks!

J-Hook to hang a painting

J-Hooks are a great option when you have a bigger or larger canvas to hang.

Something as sweet as adhesive tape can work for a smaller canvas, too.

For a sturdy hanging, two hooks on the edge of the canvas work great!

B. Getting Started

Now, hanging canvases on the wall will first require some preparations.

The nails and tools aren’t just enough.

Installation of a canvas portrait does not take a lot if you know how to get things right.

For starters, this is what you need to do.

Calculate the Height

I did talk about the placement of the canvas on the wall a few moments ago.

The placement of the canvas should be at eye level.

The eye level of a regular person (taking 5’10” as a regular height) is 57 inches.

So, the easiest way to calculate the placement of your canvas would be by dividing the canvas size by 2 and adding it by 57 inches.

The sum would be the measurement for the placement of the canvas from the ground.

Too much math?

calculate the height of the canvas

Size of the canvas = 20 inches

Divided it by two = 10 inches

Add 10 to 57 = 67


the height from the ground
Image. freepik

1. How To Hang a Canvas with An Eyehook?

Attaching a wire to the canvas will need some calculations, too.

It is one of the most important aspects of hanging a canvas since it is the holding factor of the canvas.

The better attached your wire is, the more stable your canvas appears.

There are a few steps involved in it.

Step 1: Marking the Canvas

Lay the canvas flat on the surface.

Once done, divide it into 1/3 sections from the top on each side.

Use a marker/chalk/pencil to mark the 1/3 measurement.

Let me help you with an image.

steps on how to fix the eye hook on the canvas

This is where the eye hooks go.

Step 2: Fitting the Eye Hook

Take an eye hook and find the marking.

It is the inner frame where you will have to screw the eye hook.

Hold the frame firmly (ask a friend to help).

Hold it firmly, not strongly, to avoid bending the frame.

And twist the eye hooks inside.

The inner frames of the canvas are mostly soft and do not require drilling.

Eye hooks are sharp enough to do the piercing.

Step 3: Attaching the Wire

This one is pretty simple.

All you have to do is measure the width of the canvas.

Cut the wire with the same measurement, keeping 8cms extra.

What’s the 8cms extra for?

(To hang the baggage of my past. JK!)

The extra wire is to loop around the hooks, making the hanging secure.

Step 4: Knotting the Steel Wire

This one makes me feel like I am teaching my kids to tie the shoelaces.

Well, all you have to do is place the know around the eye hook such that it looks like a “6”.

Try to keep the wire loose between the eye hooks but tight at the knots.

Make sure you wrap the extra ends around the wire so that it does not damage the artwork.

eye hook tied with a wire

Tip: Try finding a stretched wire to help you flexibly place it on the nail from the middle.

Step 5: How to Hang A Canvas

Insert a nail on the wall.

Then, carefully place the center of the wire in coordination with the nail.

girl with pearl earring replica

Do not forget to support the canvas until you are sure it can take the weight of the canvas.

Voila! You have yourself a canvas hung with a nail.

2. How to Hang a Canvas with Nails?

how to hang a canvas with a nail

Not a big deal, this one is.

Starry Nights Reproduction AD

You’ll need one or two independent nails to grip the canvas.

I would suggest you safely go for two nails to secure the painting from falling.

How to do it?

Step 1

Calculate the height (go up to read how to calculate the height).

Step 2

Prepare the wall and mark the spot with a pencil.

Step 3

One mistake that everyone makes – do not hammer the nail into the wall. Leave at least half an inch out (of course, for the canvas).

Step 4

Hang the canvas!

3. How to Hang a Canvas with A Sawtooth?

how to hang a canvas with a sawtooth

Hanging a canvas with a sawtooth is a great way to hang small to medium canvases.

Read our portrait size chart if you are unaware of the size of your canvas.

Now, how to hang a canvas painting with a sawtooth?

Step 1

Finalize the spot and mark the center of the frame on the wall. You can use a friend to help you finalize the spot-on eye level.

Step 2

Measure the distance from the middle of the sawtooth hanger to the top of the frame with the help of a measuring tape.

Step 3

Use the top of the sawtooth to take half an inch up and mark it on the wall. That’s where your nail goes.

Step 4

Ham, Ham, Hammer! Place the sawtooth over the nail and catch hold of the same friend to check the eye level.

4. How to Hang Canvases on Wall With J-Hooks?


One pro tip before we start: the bigger the canvas, the more hooks you need.

Now, how exactly would you hang a canvas with J-hooks?

It is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

Step 1

According to the hooks that you are using, start marking the wall.

Step 2

Position the J-hook on the wall and hammer the nail straight into the wall.

Step 3

You need to be absolutely sure that hooks are aligned well so that the canvas doesn’t appear crooked.

Step 4

Place the canvas on it gently on the hook.

5. Hanging Paintings Without Nail and Damage?

hanging a painting without nails

Now, this may seem an extremely difficult situation.

It is one of the most asked questions: how to hang a canvas without damaging the wall?

The only answer and solution to this is Adhesive/Silicon Tape

So, how to hang a canvas painting without damaging the wall?

Required: You will need four adhesive or silicon tapes for all the sides.

Step 1

Measure the wall vertically and horizontally and mark the exact spots that will hold the adhesive tape strips.

Step 2

Stick one end of the adhesive tape on the corners of the wooden frame. You can also add extra strips on the middle sides of the wooden frame just to be double sure.

Step 3

Press the canvas in alignment with the other end tape that is on the wall. Press it for at least a minute before you leave it.

Be it any painting medium, style, or technique, these are a few fool-proof ways to hang a painting stress-free.

9 Pro Tips On How To Hang A Canvas

Now that you have learned the technical part, here’s to the creative part that exists in all of us!

Hanging a canvas is not just about placement and proportions.

You need a dash of interior designing skills to make it look aesthetic.

These 9 pro tips on how to hang a canvas painting will help you put up the best gallery in your home.

(It will definitely leave an interior designer awestruck!)

1. Not The Hammer Type?

a person hammering a nail.

If you are not the hammer type, you can go for a simpler method.

Just lean on it.

It may look like a lazy way to hang a canvas but nothing like it.

Let your handmade painting from the photo lean on a shelf, chair, table, or kitchen counter.

It feels great to have a look at a memory now and then.

A lot of houses with a well decked up wall also use some of their space to lean a few paintings.

2. Re-Arrange!

re-arrange the frames

Re-arrange your portraits.

Don’t let the same layout haunt you for years.

Keep shifting the positions of the portrait and trying different ways of placing it.

This will not only give a new look once in a while but will also let other paintings breathe.

If you are the learning kind, getting a shelf only for painting can work well, too.

3. How About a Rail?

painting rail hung on the wall

Have you considered a painting rail ever?

This is how it looks!

They look like those small galleries and give a very vintage look to the house.

The sliver goes to the ceiling, which can be used to hang the paintings with strings and hooks.

Neat and very formal!

Mention: All the paintings were painted for the PortraitFlip community from their old, blurred, and almost forgotten photographs.

Want to get something like this?

4. Try Unframed!

unframed paintings hung on the wall

Ever heard the word – unframed?

Most of us think that paintings look complete only with a frame.

But did you know that a perfect combination of framed and unframed portraits can look wonderful?

It is completely alright to hang a canvas you brought from a flea market or a drawing your niece made.

Not all paintings have to be complete!

I believe the memory the painting evokes is more important than the kind of finishing it has.

5. Break Rules

random placement of canvases on the wall

It would be extremely ironic of me to say that you can break some rules.

Yes, I know I taught you the entire calculation for placing in the artwork a few sections back…


You can always break some rules.

Be a rebel with a cause.

If you can’t decide on the placement, scaling, framing, or leaning – just go with your instincts.

Place your art just how your heart suggests it!

Nobody’s judging.

6. Try Salon Style

salon style placement of paintings

Don’t shy away from experimenting.

Salon-style hangs are a great option if you want to fill a huge wall with memories.

But it can come off as a little intimidating for some people.

Mostly for the daring ones, this requires proper measurement and nailing of the walls.

Now, not everyone wants to do that to the wall without having a great hang of…well, hanging a canvas!

However, you can take the risk if you are not a faint heart!

7. Floating Shelves

floating shelves to showcase paintings

If you are a faint-hearted decorator, go for floating shelves.

Be off the walls with cool floating shelves for a new gallery.

It breaks the contemporary norms of hanging a canvas and makes you stand out.

Layer multiple handmade paintings for a more multidimensional look.

You can also try propping large canvases against the wall!

8. Go For Kitchen Tops Instead of Kitsch

paintings on kitchen top

The last thing you would want is to spill oil on your beautiful canvas.

Ditch the traditional method of decorating the kitchen kitsch.

Instead, try leaning handmade paintings on the kitchen tops and shelves.

The kitchen is the stomach of the house.

And most of us spend a good amount of time either gobbling or cooking in there.

A little decoration never harmed anyone.

Hang your hand-painted canvases on the kitchen tops to coordinate with the dining room.

9. Have an Eye for Frames?

landscape painting hung on a wall

It is of extreme importance to have an eye for frames.

A lot of merchants use dust wood to make frames that may chip or break.

At PortraitFlip we use pure wood frames that are easy to hand and are resistant to chipping.

You can also try using hippie frames that go with the color theme of your painting.

They are in vogue and give a very nonconformist look to your walls.

Over To You

I believe that the house you live in should resonate with the personality that you hold.

Feeling inspired?

Display your memories on the wall by converting your photos into cool handmade paintings.

It doesn’t matter if the memory is old, tattered, and almost incomplete.

There is always a reason to paint people and things that matter.

That’s all folks!

If you are reading this, thank you!

I hope this article can help you understand how to hang canvas art.

Share it with a friend who is struggling with how to hang a canvas painting around his home.

If you have any concerns or questions, you can write to us in the comment section below.

Do check out PortraitFlip, a one-stop platform to get the best handmade portraits.


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can hang canvas art in a bathroom. There is no space where art doesn’t get a place. A piece of art always brings happiness, positively and evokes mellow desires. Be it bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom – art is for all; all is for art!

To hang a canvas art with sawtooth needs just four simple steps.
Step 1: Finalize the spot and mark the center of the frame on the wall. You can use a friend to help you finalize the spot on eye level.
Step 2: Measure the distance from the middle of the sawtooth hanger to the top of the frame with the help of a measuring tape.
Step 3: Use the top of the sawtooth to take half an inch up and mark it on the wall. That’s where your nail goes.
Step 4: Place the sawtooth over the nail and catch hold of the same friend to check the eye level.
You can read the entire answer in this article above.

To hang a canvas without nails, all you need is an adhesive or silicone tape. Once you are done measuring the wall, stick the tape on all four sides of the canvas. You can also stick it in the middle and press it against the wall. Make sure you press it for at least 30 seconds before you leave it.
To know more, read the article above.

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