I have accidentally become a source for all things related to art (see my answer for choosing a store-bought frame for art by clicking the link). Well, I’m up for the challenge! I love all thing art-related. This post is going to answer two questions frequently asked by my readers:
- How can I make my own frame for paintings?
- How can I fix a warped canvas stretcher?
You might have noticed in my post about the stairwell makeover that my most recent DIY abstract is now in a bold black frame. After painting the piece, I noticed the canvas stretcher (the wooden frame the canvas is wrapped around and stapled to) was warped, which must have happened while it was being stored. When I tried to hang it with wire, it pulled away from the wall on one corner. Short of taking it apart and rebuilding it, I have yet to find the perfect solution.
But then I had a light-bulb moment and decided Hubby & I should make a frame that could enable the painting to be screwed to the wall, holding down all four corners and forcing the warp to lie flat. Success! So that’s why we whipped up a frame this weekend.
Here’s how to make a frame for a painting – and fix a warped canvas at the same time!
- Chop saw
- 1-1/4″ nails & hammer (or a brad nailer, if you have it)
- Three 8 foot lengths of 1/2″ x 1-1/4″ pine (Lowe’s calls it “rectangular doweling”)
- Tape measure
- Wood filler
- Primer and paint
- Painter’s tape
Measure the sides of your canvas. Hubby measured the outside dimensions of the painting and added 1″ (two times the dowel thickness). Using the chop saw the wood was cut to length with 45 degree mitered ends. Picture this shape: —-/
To attached the frame to the canvas, Hubby used a 2″ 18 gauge brad nailer with 1-1/4″ nails. He fastened the frame to the stretcher as well as the other frame pieces (at the corners). A good old fashioned hammer and finishing nails would work, too.
If your mitered corners aren’t perfect, don’t fret. A little wood filler will hide that and after priming and painting, no one will be the wiser.
Of course, you could leave the wood natural. But I opted to paint it black.
Now, this is important: if your art is valuable, prime and paint the frame prior to assembling and then just do a bit of touch up after to hide any nail holes, etc. You do not want to get any paint on a valuable work of art. But, if this is a DIY project like my painting, it is much easier to assemble, fill holes, and then tape off the frame to prime and paint:
Screwing Your Painting into the Wall:
Once the paint was thoroughly dry (I waited a day) I gently scored the tape, removed it and then we screwed the painting to the wall. If your canvas is NOT warped, just use some screw eyes and picture hanging wire. But if you want your art really pinned to the wall (a good idea in places it might get bumped into a lot, or if it is warped like mine) follow these instructions:
For normal drywall walls, use four screws and wall anchors. However, if you are screwing into a concrete wall (like we were – it is a shared walls between us and the neighbours) use 2-1/2″ Tapco concrete screws. No matter what screws you use: drill four holes through the newly built frame that are larger than the threads of the screws. This will make sure the frame will be pulled tightly to the wall. We held up the frame to the wall, positioned it and leveled it. While Hubby held the painting, I used a hammer and nail to mark where the screws would go (just tap lightly to make a little dent in the wall). We put down the painting for a moment and Hubby drilled holes into the concrete with a concrete bit (again, no need for this bit if the wall is not concrete). Then, using a driver bit, Hubs screwed the painting to the wall. Add a touch of paint on the screws to disguise them, and that’s it (I have yet to do that).
We actually made the frame a little narrower than the painting, so you can still see where I wrapped the painting around but you can create a frame flush with the edge of your canvas instead. You can also attach a piece of wood between the frame and the canvas, indented a bit and painted black or a bright colour, like Hubby’s grandpa does. Here’s our tutorial for building a DIY float frame.
You can also wrap the frame around the front of the canvas as well, to totally cover the edge, like Hubby did for this painting I made ages ago:
And, if you prefer, you can skip creating a mitered corner, like Hubby’s grandpa has also done: