Launch Pad Gallery: Featuring the work of local emerging artists.

How to Wire your Work

How to wire your work for easy hanging

Materials:

  • 2 screw eyes of appropriate scale (When inserted, they should pierce the stretcher about 1/2 inch–enough to hold securely but not enough to weaken the stretcher; often screw eyes will have weight ratings on their packaging to help you select the appropriate size) OR for really heavy work, use D-rings.
  • Woven picture wire (Enough to cross the width of the painting plus 10 inches with a strength sufficient to support at least twice the weight of the painting.)
  • Wire cutters (even better- a pair or needle nose pliers with built in wire cutters)

Procedure:

  1. Mark 2 points on the inside of the two side stretcher bars about 1/3 – 1/4 down from the top of the canvas. Too far down, and your work will lean out from the wall, to close to the top and your wire will be too tight. Experiment to with each painting to find what works for you.
  2. Screw the eyes into the stretcher being careful not to apply pressure to the stretched area of the canvas. This part can be annoying if your stretchers are good, hard wood; it helps to pilot out a hole with a small wire nail or push pin before you try to screw in the eye. Also, you can use a pair of needle nose pliers or a nail to twist the screw eye in.
  3. Measure a piece of wire the width of the canvas plus 8-10 inches.
  4. Thread the wire through the first screw twice then neatly wrap the remaining wire around itself.
  5. Pull the wire across the back of the painting so it has some slack then repeat the threading process on the second side. You will need to leave at least 2 inches between the top of the stretcher bar and the wire for the hanging hardware. As for how much slack to give the wire, better too much rather than too little, as many galleries will often hang your work on two hooks to keep it level and flush to the wall, and it’s impossible (and frustrating!) to do this when the hanging wire is too tight!!
  6. Hold up your work to see if the wire supports it- it does? Good, that’s what we like! It doesn’t? try: 1) using heavier wire, 2) using stronger screw eyes 3) wrapping the remaining wire tighter- you really need to go through that screw eye TWICE, so it’s self tightening 4) if your piece is really, really heavy or really, really wide you may need to hang your work from heavy D-rings directly and by pass using hanging wire.

Thanks for reading!