Adding a drawer slide to the back of an oil painting lets you move a piece of art back and forth without having to take it off the wall. Why would I (or you) ever need something like this?
I genuinely have no idea how you might want to put this technique to use, but for myself it was one of those "necessity is the mother of all invention" situations.
I needed it, so I invented it. Although I really don't think I invented it, I'm sure bazillions of other people have done the same thing.
Not interested in how to make art slide back and forth on a wall? No problem. There are 3 other interesting things in the photo above you might want to learn about.
O.K. Here's a look at how it works the sliding frame works:
Before this I had to take the painting off the bookcase and hold it with one hand while I opened the bookcase door and got whatever I needed out with my other hand.
Either that, or I had to pull the extension cord out of hiding and rearrange a few things so I could place the painting right on the ground. I never did this because it took too long.
So I juggled the painting while pulling out what I needed.
It wasn't a perfect system.
The risk of dropping either the oil painting or whatever it was I was trying to wiggle out of the very compact storage space was high.
I don't like high risk unless the reward is money or laughing so hard that you can't even hear the laugh - it's just belly contractions, closed eyes and an open mouth.
So I thought I'd just do a quick trial run. Nothing perfect, just something fast and furious to see if this would actually work.
- 1, two way drawer slide
- Scrap wood
- Screw one part of the drawer slide onto the back of your frame.
- Screw the other part of the drawer slide to your wall.
In *my* case the frame wasn't hanging on a flush wall, so I needed to build out the bookcase a little bit with a scrap of wood. If your frame hangs on a flat wall you won't need to do that extra step.
- My bookcase shelves are slightly recessed from the doors. Because of that I needed to add a piece of wood to make a flush surface to screw the drawer slide to.
2. I realized that I was going to need to beef it up a bit to make everything more stable. So I added a top portion to rest on the shelf. This was more stable.
3. I glued and nailed the two pieces together.
4. Then nailed the piece to my bookshelf from the front and top. (REMEMBER: You only have to do this extra step if you aren't working on a flat wall)
5. Lay the thicker half of the drawer slide on the wood frame making sure it's level otherwise your art will be askew.
6. Screw the slide onto the frame with short screws. To access the portion you have to screw in, just slide the mechanism to the right to reveal the screw holes.
7. Do the same, sliding the mechanism to the left to screw in the right side.
8. Now screw the remaining arm for the slider to the wall (or in my case the fake wood wall I created). Make sure it's level.
9. About this time I realized I also needed to add a piece of wood to the bookcase near the bottom of the frame. It keeps the frame perpendicular. Otherwise it would tip inward at the bottom of the frame.
10. Finally add some felt pads to the back of the frame to help it slide along the doors as you move it back and forth.
Because the drawer slider is a TWO WAY drawer slide, it has a stopper on both ends which prevents you from sliding the frame right off of the wall.
It has brakes.
HERE'S THE PROBLEM
And I do this all the time. I try something quickly - just to see if it works. Then it works and I never redo it properly.
Using shelving material that matches the bookcases to make my little wood jig. If the wood portion was made out of the same sort of material or at least colour as the bookcases it wouldn't be as noticeable when I slide the frame back and forth.
This is not enough motivation for me to redo it. I even went out and bought the materials I would need to make it properly.
But I'll never do it because it works and if it ain't broke don't fix it is a saying for a reason.
Also, you only see that raw wood when I'm actually moving the frame, not when the painting is just sitting there, looking pretty, minding it's own business.
I've since done a better job of hiding the wire dropping down from the frame and resigned myself to the fact I'll never do it properly and that's O.K. It's fine.
I bought 12 of these drawer slides because they are definitely multi-use gadgets. Next up? DIY pull out drawers for my kitchen.
I will probably do them properly.