Member Resources

Preparing Your Artwork for Hanging

Please Note: All artworks delivered to the gallery must be wired for hanging with d-hooks and plastic coated wire. Do not use string or plastic line. The gallery will replace unsuitable hardware and charge the artist $20.00 for each artwork delivered without the proper wiring hardware.


If an artist incurs 3 wiring infractions, this fee will go up to $30 per unwired or incorrectly wired piece.




The d-hook is the required hardware for gallery hanging. Wire your frame at about one third of the vertical height and ensure that the wire is taut.




Please don’t use eye hooks. These can damage other paintings in storage and can also cause damage to the gallery walls.



Saw tooth hangers that often come with smaller frames. They are ineffective in a public gallery setting and they caused paintings to be knocked off the wall until we discontinued them. Please wire your work with the required d-hooks.



Preparing your Artwork for Hanging

By Marney-Rose Edge, SFCA


Article published in the 2014 March/April issue of  Art Avenue.


How much thought do you put into finishing details of your artwork when it is complete or how it will look in the gallery after it has been accepted in a show?   Are you so excited at the prospect of getting into the gallery for the first time you forget the finer details of adding wire to the back. Opps!  Artists who have not added wire to the back of their painting is more common than you may think; at least a couple of paintings per show arrive with no wire.  It is annoying for the hanging crew when they have to stop because a piece is not wired.   Please think of your work as incomplete if it is not ready to hang; framed or unframed.



If you are a new active member or a seasoned member whose work is going in a show please check and wire your paintings.  Secure with D rings and screws 1/3 down from the top of your artwork.  Risking your artwork falling off the wall can be avoided by securing the wire properly.


If you screw the D ring into the stretcher bar or frame too close to the edge, there is a large risk you will split the wood resulting in the screw pulling away and the painting falling to the floor. Damage to the painting is likely.  If you think this never happens see the photo.


This is from a painting priced at $2500 in one of the shows in our gallery. Put yourself in the shoes of a collector and how they would feel discovering this poor quality finishing of the work they had just spent two to three thousand dollars on only to have it fall off the wall. Creating a high standard in your painting needs to follow through to all aspects including the hanging treatment and frame. 


SpacerD-Rings and Eyelets

D rings sit flat and will not damage walls – see photo to the right.  They are readily available at art and framing stores or hardware stores. I have seen cases of large metal eyelets being used to secure wire for hanging but the eyelets have being so large and sticking out if the stretcher bar when hung it damaged the wall. See photo below. The better way to apply eyelets is on the inside of the stretcher bar so no damage will occur to the walls.Spacer


Keeping it simple

Framing can be expensive but there are inexpensive options utilizing standard sizes and avoiding custom framing.  Keeping the look simple goes a long way to enhancing the artwork; after all you don’t want the frame to be noticed before the painting or for the frame to compete with the painting.  Those mediums requiring a frame, keeping it simple and neutral is less likely to offend anyone’s sense of good taste and is not tied to the hottest color trend.   A collector may wish to replace the frame you have used to suit their style and taste, discarding the one you had on the artwork.  Alternatively, artwork may not sell based on the potential purchaser who doesn’t like your choice of frame and is not willing to replace it. 


Contemporary canvas work generally is unframed but if the canvas is on a board or thin surface a frame is appropriate.  Three Quarter inch canvas on stretcher bars looks more professionally finished in a frame. Works that have a more traditional look require a more traditional frame using a linen liner.