With two people painting in the same house, one consequence that we did not anticipate was an accumulation of painted canvases. What to do with them? The answer when one has bare walls – hang them up! But then what happens if you decide you don’t like them hanging up anymore? or, if one is very fortunate, a painting is sold? The down side of hanging pictures is the hooks that leave holes in the wall when displays are changed.

There is a modern solution – a picture rail like that used in art galleries where paintings are always in a state of change. The system is easy to use and looks good. However, the price is a deterrent if one is operating on a starving artist’s income, or as it happens in my case, one is too cheap to put out that kind of money. Fortunately there is also the traditional solution which has been all but forgotten and that is the route that I took.

  • At the local Co-op lumber yard, I picked up 5 eight foot lengths of picture moulding that was traditionally used for just this purpose – 5 x CDN$10
  • Online I discovered I could order from the UK picture moulding hooks – 25 for $20 postage included.
  • From my bicycle wholesale supplier (or your local bike shop if you don’t happen to repair bicycles like I do) derailleur cables – about a buck per cable, long enough to cut into 2 pieces
  • From an electrical wholesaler terminal lugs – $28 for 25 lugs

Total outlay to do three walls on a 12′ x 15′ room, with lugs and hooks and cables left over for another room – $120


A hole was drilled through the hook, just large enough to slide the bike cable through. The cable was  then slipped through the terminal lug and the lug screwed to the back of the picture frame. To protect the wall, I also added small felt pads to the bottom corners of the frame.


Voila – 15 canvas’s on display, with room for a few more. We are pleased with the results and will likely do the same in another room.