How to Frame a Painting

The first time I wanted to frame a canvas painting, lady in orange, we had no clue of what to do. After watching several videos online, finally picked the process that worked best for us. From then on we’ve been on a roll, recently framed our 5th one! Guarantee you, it is really simple and works out much cheaper. So for those of you still vary of taking the leap, here you go.

How to frame a canvas print, frame a canvas painting

How to Frame A Painting

The Canvas :  Krishna Kerala mural painting that I finished long ago.

  • First, pick your frame. Though Micheals has frequent sales and coupons we’ve never found a frame that we really liked in our price range. Maybe because we are into wider frames, at least 2.5 to 3 inches, which are hard to find in chain stores?
  • We’ve had great success on Ebay, from the store Craig’s Hard Wood Picture Frames. Can’t rave enough about them. If you email them your order ID and request for hanging hardware they will even send it to you (along with the frame) free of charge. All our frames (4 out of 5, fifth one was  Salvation Army find) were less than $50.
  • We chose the ‘Barnwood Black Walnut 3.1″ Wide’ frame for its detail, rich wood tone, and width.

You can break the process down to two; attaching the canvas to the frame and adding the hanging hardware.

  • To attach the canvas to the frame you need ‘canvas offset’ clips. If your frame doesn’t come with it you can buy it on Amazon (affiliate link). Usually a 1/4″ or 1/2″ (depending on the depth of your canvas and frame) clip will work. The screws come with the clips.
canvas offset clips, Frame a Canvas Painting
  • Our painting was 22 x 28. So we used 10 clips; 3 each along the length and 2 each on the breadth of the frame.
how to frame a canvas, Frame a Canvas Painting
  • Once all the clips are attached to the frame, you’re all set for the hanging hardware. The picture hanging kit
    contains wood frame hangers, screws, and wire.
  • Measure the length of your frame and drill holes at 1/3rd of the distance from the top (key for proper hanging) for the hangers.

how to frame a canvas print

  • Cut the required length of wire and loop it through the wire hanger, wrapping the end of the wire tightly around itself.
  • Now, loop it through the other frame hanger so that the wire is just one step short of being taunt as in the below pic.

how to frame canvas paintings, Frame a Canvas Painting

That’s it. Now you’re ready to hang it. Ain’t that pretty simple?

krishna kerala mural painting

We hung it on our upstairs staircase landing. The arrival of the Krishna marked our foray into decorating the upstairs. Apart from kids’ rooms we haven’t done anything upstairs as you can see….it is all still builder white.

Kerala mural painting

Here is a shot of the painting as you walk up the stairs.

traditional indian decor

Another shot of it at night.

Indian decor blog

Hopefully I can find some time soon to paint at least the hallway!

Don’t forget to check out my other framing related posts:

How to stretch a canvas

The easy way to frame inexpensive art


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  1. Thanks Vidya, for posting the link….now I know where to buy the frames for my canvas and also matting…they are pretty cheap…Thanks again.
    BTW: Your Krishna art work is looking pretty good …one of my fav painting of yours.

    • Thanks Shruthi. Keep me posted on what you are gonna do about that painting. It is really really good and deserves a larger frame. 🙂

  2. The paintings are so beautiful…and the framing tutorial is very useful too..
    where can we find the sketches of these murals if we want to paint one…are there any sites plz let me know

    • Thanks Deepa. I don’t think there is any places where they sell the sketches. Maybe in Kerala there is? If you just Google Kerala Mural you will find tons of images. You can use those as a reference to draw your own. Hope that helps. Do let me know how it goes.


  3. Hi Vidya,

    Love your artwork, your passion and great suggestion about framing. All the best to you. Thanks for your help.


  4. I have a question. When you say “loop it through the other frame hanger so that the wire is just one step short of being taut”, I’m a bit confused since you’ve been so precise with measurements throughout your wonderful tutorial. In terms of inches, what do you mean by being one step of being taut. Thanks!

  5. Hi Vidya-
    Quick question….what do you recommend using, instead of offset clips, if the stretcer frame depth is the same as the frame rabbet depth? Is a “flat clip” available?

  6. Hi…can u pls tell…that does canvas painting frames need glass…?? I have framed my painting first time n they are with glass ?? Is that rit??

    • Shweta,

      Canvas painting frames do not usual have glass. The closed air inside a glass enclosed frame is not good for the oil/acrylic paint. Hope that helps.