5 Ways To Display an Oil Painting Without a Frame

5 Ways To Display an Oil Painting Without a Frame cover image

Completing an oil painting can be a huge relief, and you may have somewhere specific in mind that you want to place it. However, not everyone has the money or time to buy a frame. So, how can you display an oil painting without a frame? 

You can display an oil painting without a frame by nailing it, adding hooks to the back, or leaning it against a wall. You can also use double-sided adhesive tape for a quick hanging solution. Some people even leave their oil paintings on an easel as a display option. 

Let’s break down these display methods in more detail and help you choose the best option for your art. 

One – Nail the Painting to the Wall

For oil paintings, many artists use canvas stretched over a wooden frame behind it. If this is the case with your painting, you could consider nailing it to the wall. 

This may not be the ideal method for renters, but it’s an easy display solution if you have the perfect place for it. Many wooden canvas frames are adjustable, meaning you can control how tight or loose the painting is. Use this to your advantage by loosening the painting enough to add nails to the back without hurting the picture. Then, tighten the print as necessary and display it in your home. 

This method works for any room, as nails are one of the most secure methods of displaying anything on the wall. Do bear in mind that the particular humidity of the room where you are hanging the painting is an important factor; hanging an oil painting in your bathroom could be a bad idea, so you might have different considerations depending on the location within your own house.Opens in a new tab.

Two – Add Hooks To Your Oil Painting

A great part of the wooden frames behind canvas oil paintings is that they allow you to consider many different methods of displaying them. Another possible method is adding hooks to the wooden frame and hanging it up that way. 

You can easily do this with a wire hanger, but you can also use other hook types if you have another preference. To use a wire hanger, you’ll need wood screwsOpens in a new tab. to attach the wire properly to the canvas frame. Once you have them, follow these steps: 

  1. Attach the wood screws to the frame, but make sure you measure the area first to ensure it’s even. 
  2. Once you have the wood screws inserted, attach the wire to each screw. 
  3. Measure the wire hanger first to make sure you have plenty of it left after tying it to the wood screws. You can do this in the middle of the frame to hide the wire when you hang it. Alternatively, you can attach the wire toward the top of the frame so you can see the wire when you hang the painting. 

Three – Lean It Against a Wall

Another way to quickly display an oil painting without a frame is to lean it against the wall. This method will work better with larger paintings on top of a shelf or a table. Although this isn’t a permanent display method, it’s a fantastic way to quickly display art without putting nails or adhesives in the wall. 

This method works best with stretched canvas art with a wooden frame because the stretched painting already creates a 3D effect. Leaning a flat painting against the wall may not work as well because it doesn’t have any support to prevent it from folding or collapsing. However, it may still work with thicker unstretched paintings if you provide enough support. 

Four – Double-Sided Adhesive Tape

If you prefer not to stretch your canvas art, you may want to use double-sided adhesive tape. This is a secure method for displaying a painting, whether it’s stretched over a wooden frame or not. However, it will more securely hold up a painting without the extra weight of the frame. Some more extreme double-sided adhesives can hold up to 30 pounds (13.6 kg).

Command Picture Hanging StripsOpens in a new tab. from Amazon will do the job well because they’re heavy-duty, and can withstand the weight of your oil painting. They’re also inexpensive and come in a multi-pack, allowing you to use it for other things around the house.

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If you have any concerns that your adhesive won’t support your painting, avoid using it, as it could fall and get damaged. Still, the double-sided adhesive provides a great opportunity for your frameless painting to hang up on your wall. In the same way, you hung up posters in your room as a kid, this is a quick and efficient method of hanging your art. 

This method requires you to clean the wall where you plan to use the tape and hold your painting in place for a while before letting go. This allows the adhesive to stick properly. Be careful doing this, as it can pull paint from your wall if your paint is old, brittle, or faded. 

Five – Easel Display

If you can’t find another option to display your oil painting and still don’t want to settle on a frame, consider using your easel as an eye-catching display. Decorative easels can be a great way to show off your art without committing to a single location or framing it. 

If you don’t have a lot of space, consider a tabletop easel. These are typically less expensive than full-sized ones and have other uses as well, such as displaying recipe books.

This is the best method of displaying a non-stretched painting that you didn’t attach to anything. Easels tend to come with attachments that keep your painting in place without a frame. This allows you the freedom to leave your painting unframed without risking folding or collapsing, as the easel will provide the support that a frame typically would. 

Using your easel to display your art works great for canvases with a frame and without. You will need to attach your unframed art to the easel to prevent it from rolling up over time. 

Mandy’s Creative Touch
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Caraca's self-taught artist based in the UK, Ines explores unconventional materials and sustainability.

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