Fantastic! Now ... how to hang it
December 25, 2012 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Calling all handymen and women, artists and other problem solvers; how to hang totally awesome (but heavy) acrylic painting my boyfriend made me for Christmas

My completely great boyfriend recreated a style of artwork I'd been coveting by painting stripes onto acrylic panels. Now, the dilemma ... how to hang them. Typically, it is done by drilling holes in the four corners of the panels and attaching to the wall via a metal standoff. We're trying to brainstorm a different way that doesn't alter the front of the pictures. Here are the concerns/issues. The paint is applied directly to the back of the acrylic...there is no other backing, just the paint. We're concerned about using glues to adhere brackets (wooden or metal) to the back for fear that the glue will react (eat through) the paint, thereby altering the piece when viewed from the front. (Glue suggestions welcomed.) We've considered using Very High Bond tape to adhere brackets, but are concerned there is not enough surface area on the brackets to hold the weight of the panels. (VHB tape instructions suggest using 4 sq. in. of tape per pound of weight.) The smallest panel weighs 3 lbs and is 48 by 9 inches in size and the largest weighs 10 lbs and is 48 by 24 inches big. My walls are regular ol' drywall. Any suggestions given these parameters?
posted by notcomputersavvy06 to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mirror clips maybe?
posted by humboldt32 at 11:17 AM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

picture rail
posted by orme at 11:26 AM on December 25, 2012

yea, what orme said. Build a shelf or brackets underneath and a couple above that will hold just the edges. Maybe modify some kind of clamp to hold them securely.
posted by bartonlong at 11:35 AM on December 25, 2012

it really would be a shame to do anything that changes the face of the's a great painting and he should really spend some time figuring out how to display these. i would suggest that BF make mock-ups with different painted panels so that he can test how different glues might react with the paint. if a suitable glue is found he could glue two beveled cleats on the back, one near the top and one near the bottom, and the painting could then rest on corresponding beveled cleats screwed to the wall. cleats are a great way to hang heavier artwork because the weight is distributed over a wider area. the beveled side is placed facing down on the artwork and facing up on those attached to the wall. the down facing bevels rest on those facing up and give a strong stable support.

he could also try glueing horizontal strips of acrylic panel on the back and using short screws that would penetrate through these strips but not go all the way through the actual artwork. that way there would be some added stability and hooks could then be screwed into these strips.

i would try a Plexiglass Acrylic Glue. it's something like super glue and really strong. my worry would be that any glue would only stick to the paint and if any weight were put on it that the paint would pull off. anything that would distribute the stress over a large area might help with this. cutting plexi panels that are the same size as the art work and gluing these on the back could help with this.

also, mirror clips might not be so terrible as a last ditch effort. use the L-shaped metal ones that nail into the wall as they have a minimal profile.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 11:45 AM on December 25, 2012

10 pounds should be fine in drywall. Use a hanger rated for the weight. Acrylic mediums are transparent acrylic paint that also work as adhesives. You could get some cloth loops, paint over part of them with medium and run a wire through when dry.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:12 PM on December 25, 2012

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! We will definitely try a few of these out starting with the idea of affixing a back acrylic panel. I will update with a solution if something works exceptionally well.
posted by notcomputersavvy06 at 12:17 PM on December 25, 2012

Use a glue that's made for bonding acrylic. Such as. Use it to attach an acrylic french cleat bracket. Screw another french cleat to the wall and hang panel. Maybe add another piece of acrylic closer to the bottom to act as a spacer so the picture hangs parallel to the wall. If you make the cleat wide enough the glue should hold it just fine.
posted by beagle at 1:20 PM on December 25, 2012

Have you ever heard of a French Cleat? It is a fail safe solution to your problem, If you Google it the search replies will be better than anything I could type out here. Hope it works for you. And Happy New Year!!!
posted by sgobbare at 6:42 PM on December 25, 2012

They install back-painted glass in kitchens all the time. In the link a DIY-er uses clear Dap silicone sealant with a particular weight rating. Of course, that solution would be semi-permanent. You could look at that as the way to attach your French cleat, though. Keep in mind that any light that gets behind the piece may show the outline of the cleat so don't light it from the side.
posted by amanda at 7:16 PM on December 25, 2012

You know, based on Amanda's answer I just figured out that the paint is on the back of clear acrylic which explains the concern about glue and all. So now I'm thinking you might consider attaching the panels to a secure backing, like another sheet of acrylic or plywood. This would protect the paint forever from scratching it would otherwise be prone to. If you can find a no reactive blur to spread on the entire backing panel, then press the painted panels to it, you would sandwich the paint between two panels and could then hang those any old way.
posted by beagle at 7:29 PM on December 25, 2012

If you attach an acrylic back panel, try frosted acrylic (or frost it yourself with a sander) to diffuse any light coming through the back.

I like the thin shelf idea though.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:25 PM on December 25, 2012

"glue" not "blur" in my 10:29PM comment.
posted by beagle at 6:09 AM on December 26, 2012

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