Framing And Hanging Oil Paintings

Oil paintings aren’t put behind glass like watercolor paintings, but oftentimes they are framed before being hung.

Some artists choose to paint all sides of visible canvas so that the painting is meant to be hung without a frame, but most paintings have raw white edges that can have paint drips and/or staples on them.

Thus, most times it makes sense to frame an oil painting (unless you purposely want that raw, fresh from the artist’s studio look). Also, sometimes hanging a painting without a frame will eventually do damage to the painting if the stretcher bars are not sturdy enough.

Usually though, the choice to frame an oil painting is made as a way to make the painting seem more finished. The frame makes an enormous difference in how a person views and interprets the painting.

A thin, understated white frame (if the painting is against a white wall, especially) will make the painting seem finished without drawing attention away from the artwork itself. If you don’t think the painting needs any additional features and want the viewer to only focus on the art, this is a good choice.

painting and drawing secrets

But sometimes a larger, more prominent frame will add a lot to the overall appearance of the painting. Sometimes the color of the frame will bring out similar colors in the painting and make the whole thing seems brighter.

Additionally, a large, extravagant frame will make the painting seem more important and significant (especially for small paintings, which may get lost on the wall without a frame). The right frame can really compliment and reinforce what you want your painting to say.

Once you choose the right frame for your painting, you’ll want to hang it. Hanging a painting properly is important because if you don’t, the painting could fall off the wall and get damaged.

To hang, you’ll need two eye hooks, picture wire, and a hook. Sometimes everything comes together in one set, specifically for the purposes of hanging art. The wire and the hook should be sturdy enough to handle something twice the weight of your painting and will say so on the packaging, so make sure you know the weight of your painting before going to buy them.

Screw each of the eyehooks into the left and right vertical stretcher bars about one fourth of the way down. Don’t screw them in all the way; half an inch is good enough. Screwing them in too far might weaken the stretcher bar. Next, cut a piece of wire that is the width of the painting plus about eight inches extra.

Thread the wire through one eye hook, with about three inches (almost half the extra length) hanging out, and wrap those three inches back around the wire in a tight corkscrew. Do the same on the other side but make sure the wire isn’t too taut. Leave about an inch or so of slack.

Once that’s done, all you need to do is put the hook in the wall and hang the picture so that it’s centered and feels sturdy. If the painting is especially big or has a center stretcher bar, you may want to use more than one hook. And you’re done!

my portrait drawing

pencil portrait mastery course

oil painting techniques