Let’s say you’ve moved into a new place, or maybe you’re looking to spruce up your home. Your walls are like a blank canvas waiting for the show to begin, with the art and picture frames playing the characters. But behind every family photo at home, and even the grandest artworks in the stateliest museums, are an ensemble of unsung heroes: thepicture-hanging hardware.
Like we’ve always said, what makes or breaks a “good” picture frame arrangement outside of your personal aesthetic preferences is if you’re also taking steps to ensure the safety and longevity of your pieces. And it’s not just for galleries and museums that need to be concerned with these things – interior designers, DIY enthusiasts, and homeowners alike are included in the conversation.
If you want to knowhow to hang pictures by yourself and are still in the planning stage for decorating your walls, let us help you out!
The Best Picture Hardware to Use at Home
Although several innovations have been made in the picture-hanging industry to expand your options, you can’t go wrong with the classics: apicture frame hookand a nail. Brass and nickel hooks are the go-to choice for hanging framed photos. They’re easy to install, leave minimal damage on walls, and support a range of different weights.
Despite apicture hook being the straightforward choice, know it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation! Double-check if the hook you’re using is appropriate for your wall type and frame weight. This way, you can preemptively avoid any accidents in the future. Check out our recommendations e and see if they fit your needs:
- Brass Hook: Supports 30 lbs, suitable for drywall and wood panels
- Tremor Hook: Supports 75 lb, suitable for drywall, plaster, and wood panels
- Conventional Hook: Supports 50 lbs, suitable for drywall and wood panels
Picture wireis another classic because it's the most adaptable for use with different types of hanging hardware. It works well with various systems, offering flexibility in adjusting the hanging height and helping distribute the frame weight along separate anchor points.
Again, the picture wire you’ll need will depend on the item you’re hanging. Picture wire comes in different sizes indicated by numbers corresponding to their weight rating. They’re also made with different materials that affect their rigidity and flexibility. Check out this guide for more information on different types of picture wire.
If picture wire suits the hanging system you plan to work with, here are our top picks:
- No. 3 Braided Wire - Supports 16 lbs
- No. 3 Stainless Wire - Supports 25 lbs
- No. 4 Vinyl-coated Wire - Supports 25 lbs
D-ringsand strap hangers are an excellent choice if you want to hang your frames using picture wire. Shaped like a “D,” these metal rings are attached to the back of wood frames. Like hooks, they range from light to heavy-duty so that they can support a variety of frame weights. Check out thepicture hangers we have available below:
- 1-Hole Hanger - Supports 10 lbs, suitable for wood frames
- Strap Hanger - Supports 15 lbs, suitable for wood frames
- 2-Hole D-ring - Supports 40 lbs, suitable for wood frames
Sawtooth hangers are small metal brackets with serrated edges. These serrations make it easier to attach the frames to a wall. They’re as quick and straightforward as picture hooks and often don’t need any additional hardware.
These hangers are usually recommended forlightweight and medium-sized frames, although they do have heavy-duty versions that can carry heavier frames. Some of our sawtooth hangers, for example, can carry up to 100 lbs:
- Sawtooth Hanger (with screws) - Supports 100 lbs, suitable for wood frames
- Sawtooth Hanger (without screws) - Supports 100 lbs, suitable for wood frames
- Bear Claw Screw Hanger - Supports 30 lbs for drywall and 100 lbs for wood panels, suitable for drywall, wood, plaster, concrete, and masonry walls.
Sometimes, you don’t have the time or energy for a full-scale gallery wall, and that’s okay! A wall filled with posters, foam board paper illustrations, and small memorabilia is just as good at making your walls pop. It’s also the best alternative for renters who don’t want to do any sort of damage to the walls.
If you don’t want to deal with picture frames, foam board prints are the next best thing. They’re lightweight yet structured and still preserve that elegant finish. Here’s what we have in store to help you put them up:
- Adhesive Zigzag Picture Hanger- Supports 3 lbs per hanger, suitable for foam boards and lightweight artwork
- Economy Plastic Hanger - Supports 1-2 lbs per hanger, suitable for foam boards
- Metal Press-in Kwik Hanger- Supports 1 lb per hanger, suitable for foam boards
- Sawtooth Foam Hanger - Supports 1 lb per hanger, suitable for foam boards
If you plan tohang large paintings, heavy mirrors, or even cabinets, then the French cleat is the best choice. This setup involves two interlocking metal brackets, one attached to the wall and one to the back of the object you’re hanging.
French cleats, like with any other picture hardware, come with certain precautions. Specific sizes are meant for certain frame lengths and weights. Check out our best picks for household items below:
- 6-inch Light Cleat - Supports 50 lbs
- 10-inch Cleat- Supports 85 lbs
- 12-inch Light Cleat - Supports 100 lbs
You might be unsure which one to get, but don’t fret! Check out this guide to make sure you get the right size of cleat pairs.
Picture hanging is a practice meant for everyone, not just for museums and galleries. And anyone who wants to mold their physical environment into a personal gallery of memories and self-expression deserves the best quality hardware to make that happen.
If you enjoyed this article and used any of the hardware listed above, feel free to share your story with us! We love hearing how our hardware has helped turn your house into a home filled with the art and pictures that matter the most to you.