I have a painting that was done on plywood. The wood is a quarter inch thick and 3 by 4 feet in size. It is not framed, and I don’t want to frame it. I’m hanging it in my living room on a plaster wall.

I plan to put anchors in the wall, but I’m not sure how to secure the painting to the wall.

I’m thinking about clips that would go on the top and bottom, and attaching wires to those clips. I want the hardware to be as minimal as possible to not interfere with the painting’s image.

Are there any suggestions for hardware?

  • 1
    How thick is the plywood? can you put a small nail or screw into the backside of the image without it going right through to the front?
    – Elmy
    Jul 19, 2019 at 19:52
  • It’s a quarter inch thick. So pretty thin.
    – jaycer
    Jul 19, 2019 at 20:29
  • 1
    I doubt that thumbtacks can hold the weight... They're probably gonna be pulled out after a certain time
    – Elmy
    Jul 20, 2019 at 6:33
  • 2
    This might be better asked in diy.stackexchange.com Jul 20, 2019 at 7:07
  • 1
    I’m wondering the same thing. Finding out 1/4” plywood is not a 1/4” but more like 3/16”. So after reading this I believe the best answer for me anyway, is to glue a piece of wood to the back. One in the middle top, where I can properly attach a picture hanger, and a small block at each bottom corner to level the art out on the wall.
    – Paul H
    Feb 15, 2022 at 22:21

2 Answers 2

  • If you don't mind the painting hanging a couple of millimeters from the wall, you could glue a wooden board to the backside of the painting (using wood glue (PVA), fortified with very shallow screws if possible, if only for the drying process), and let it hang from the anchors.

  • If you want no space between the painting and the wall once the painting's been hung, one option would be to make very shallow depressions in the backside using a router, which you can use to hang the painting from. For this method, I would advise using L-shaped screw hooks, as their heads can easily penetrate the wood a little, fixing it in place, and keeping the painting from falling over.
    This method is really dependent on the type and quality of wood, though. I suggest trying out the routing on another or leftover piece of plywood from the same batch.


If you have some power tools, you can make a very thin French cleat. The image below shows one designed to hold a heavy cabinet. The two mating pieces are cut at an angle, typically 45°, and the piece on the wall captures the piece on the back of what's to be mounted. The item just slides on top and is held by gravity (easy on and off; no tough aligning of anchors or capturing wire).

enter image description here Image by Tenbergen, courtesy Wikipedia

Your painting isn't very heavy, and the cleat would be long (you can make it almost full length, so it looks like the painting is floating a tiny distance from the wall). It would be attached to the wall at many spots, so the load will be very spread out. The cleat attached to the painting can be held with glue; it's a large surface area and not much weight.

Even 1/4" material would work for your painting if you have the means to work with something that thin; 3/8" material might be easier to work with.

The cleat goes near the top of the painting. Glue a narrow strip of the same material near the bottom of the painting, or a few scraps near the bottom corners, to act as a spacer so the painting hangs a uniform distance from the wall.

  • 1
    Never heard of that term, French cleat. This is a really clean and practical solution.
    – Joachim
    Jul 28, 2019 at 8:56
  • Would you consider a 4kg art panel too heavy for the clear method you described above?
    – Aleks
    Dec 23, 2020 at 5:48
  • @Aleks, French cleats are one of the strongest ways you can mount something to a wall. Properly scaled and securely fastened, they can support hundreds of kg, so a 4 kg art panel is no problem. The wall side is generally easy to secure. With multiple anchors, you multiply the anchor capacity. On the load side, even if you can't fasten the cleat with screws that go in a good depth, there is a lot of surface area to glue. A good glue job will be as strong as the material of the back of the object. (cont'd)
    – fixer1234
    Dec 23, 2020 at 10:04
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    With a huge amount of weight, something like Masonite or particle board can tear apart. So you'd want to be careful using just glue for something like a heavy, loaded cabinet with a particle board back. A 4 kg art panel should be safe; just use common sense for how you fasten the cleats to both surfaces.
    – fixer1234
    Dec 23, 2020 at 10:04

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