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The Best Ways to Care for and Hang Paintings on Canvas

Written by: Kris Mercer

You’ve made an investment in a piece of art that you’ve fallen in love with. Isn’t it worth a little extra effort to keep your painting in the best possible condition?

Did you know that looking after your artwork starts before you even hang it on your wall.

Caring for and cleaning

These tips will help you to look after your new piece of artwork on canvas.

  • Try to avoid placing the painting in direct sunlight. Being exposed to UV ray’s may fade the painting over time.
  • Both heat and humidity can damage your artwork. Try to avoid placing the painting near direct heat like a fire or over a radiator, and although it may be lovely to have art in the bathroom or kitchen, it is important to know that even a framed and sealed artwork can eventually develop mould in that sort of environment.
  • When the painting becomes dusty, do not use sprays or chemical cleaners on the face of the painting. Lightly dust using a feather duster, a very soft brush or if the painting is flat and varnished use a dry, lint free cloth.
  • If the painting needs more than just a dust then the easiest way to clean an oil or acrylic based painting on canvas is to use a lint free cotton cloth soaked in a mild soapy water solution. Be gentle on artwork with thick impasto, you do not want to break hardened paint. Using cotton buds you can work gently into crevasses.
  • Avoid touching the canvas face, as your hands are likely to have natural greases on them.

If your painting is valuable or antique, take it to a professional restorer to be cleaned.

Be careful when moving a painting on canvas as it can be easily dented. If a dent in the fabric should occur apply/spray a little water to the back of the canvas on the affected area, this should be absorbed and eliminate or reduce the mark as it dries.

Hanging Canvas Art on the wall

Buying original art is now more popular than ever, and with online galleries like 1 for Art offering original paintings on canvas; it is now possible for anyone to own an original painting for their home or work space.

Buying a painting on stretched canvas will mean the canvas is supported on a framework and may be ready to hang straight out of the wrapping.

Many artists will have attached picture cord to the framework of their canvas art to hang their artwork on the wall. You will need to supply the hooks or nails.

Some paintings on stretched canvas will not include any visible method of hanging, although may have been sold ready to hang. The best way of hanging this sort of canvas art is by inserting two screws/nails directly into the wall, and then hanging the artwork from these.

This is great in showing a way of hanging a painting with D-rings, but no cord.

Oversized paintings are better hung with D-rings or heavy duty picture frame hangers or mirror plates. The mirror plates can be painted to match the wall colour.

If the painting is heavy it is usually better not to use wire or cord.