Using magnets to hang artwork
At first4magnets.com, we have helped hundreds of artists, exhibitors and curators looking for the ideal magnets to hang artwork in their exhibitions, galleries and displays. Each callers’ problem is similar; they are looking for a simple and stylish way to hang artwork that won’t damage the artwork or the walls and will also allow for individual pieces of art, sometimes really large pieces, to be swiftly swapped and changed.
There are a number of ways this can be achieved using strategically placed, strong but importantly, inconspicuous magnets. The photos below, kindly sent to us by a recent customer, show how they used countersunk, rubber-coated neodymium magnets and neodymium disc magnets to hang a large piece of canvas artwork on a wall in their gallery.
The first step was to measure the size of the artwork to be hanged and mark the position of the countersunk magnets on the wall. As you can see, it was a two-person job because of the size of the canvas!
Secondly, the customer drilled eight, 6mm diameter holes and inserted wall plugs.
They then screwed eight 27mm diameter countersunk, rubber-coated, neodymium magnets to the wall using 6mm diameter screws.
Each of these magnets has the north pole on the counter-sunk side and can support 3.5kg vertically when in flush contact with a mild steel surface.
They then placed the canvas on top of the countersunk magnets and placed 25mm diameter neodymium disc magnets on top of the canvas so that they aligned with the magnets fixed to the wall underneath.
Because the neodymium disc magnets have their north pole on one side and their south pole on the other the south pole is attracted to the magnet fixed to the wall, firmly clamping the canvas in between.
As you can see, because the canvas was so large it took a real team effort!
But in the end it was worth it as the effect was stunning…
This is just one method of using magnets to hang artwork, however, there are other solutions. For example, if you didn’t wish to use counter-sunk magnets you could fix steel discs to the wall using screws or strong adhesive and then use neodymium disc magnets to clamp artwork between the steel disc and the magnet.
Things to remember:
In this example the customer chose eight, 27mm diameter x 6mm thick countersunk, rubber-coated, neodymium magnets, each of which can support 3.5kg vertically from its magnetic face when in flush contact with a mild steel surface. They also chose eight, 25mm diameter x 2mm thick neodymium disc magnets, each of which can support 4.5kg vertically from its magnetic face when in flush contact with a mild steel surface. This was sufficient to hold the large canvas in place, however, it is important to remember that the canvas itself acts as an ‘air gap’ between the two magnets and therefore their magnetic pull is reduced.
When choosing magnets to hang artwork or other items to a wall it is important to remember that opposite poles attract and like poles repel. In this example, the countersunk magnets have their north pole facing outwards and this is attracted to the south pole of the disc magnet. However, if two countersunk magnets were being used it would have been necessary to use different magnets with opposite poles on the countersunk surfaces.