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Dos and Don'ts When Using Metal Frame Hangers

  • by Arthur Harrison
  • 5 min read

Imagine having beautiful metal picture frames without any way to hang them. Even worse is having all the metal frame hangers you need and not knowing how to use them.

Metal frames, as you probably know, are elegant, sturdy, and durable. So, it would be a great waste if your artwork and pictures didn't get hung because you weren’t sure what type of hanger to use. Do not fret, we will show you the way. 

If you want to learn some dos and don'ts when it comes to metal frame hangers, keep reading!

But First, Here’s a Quick Overview on Metal Frame Hangers

Metal frame hangers come in various styles and work in different ways. You’ll find hangers that are rectangular, curved, while some have jagged edges. These hangers are designed to either snap, slide or clip into the open channel at the back of a metal frame.

Our hangers are compatible with the #11 profile, which is considered the most common standard metal frame profile. The #11 Profile category (and compatible profiles) constitute probably 95% of the current metal molding market. 

The #11 profile has a thin and sleek design, offering a minimalistic and contemporary look. They’re ideal for photographs, drawings, and prints because of their slim design.

Here’s a list of brands that have this specific metal frame profile:

  • Nielsen
  • Clark
  • Designer
  • Alumaframe
  • Global Art
  • MCS
  • Decor

Or most original equipment manufacturer (OEM) manufacturers.

RELATED: Metal Frame Picture Hangers Buyer Guide

Now let’s move on to the dos and don’ts when using metal frame hangers.

Picture hangers at back of a metal frame

What Are the Things You Should and Shouldn’t Do?

Some things to consider regarding metal frames are weight capacity, types of metal frame profiles, installation instructions, and more. 


🗸 Be conscious of the weight of the frame contents.

Before hanging metal frames, check the weight of the frame contents first to make sure they aren't too heavy. Some experts also recommend checking the frame manufacturer specifications because the weight capacity depends on how heavy the metal frame itself is, not the hanger.

Since metal frames are made of lightweight materials and have hollow construction, they weigh less than most wood frames. According to USA on Canvas, they generally weigh 0.2 lbs per foot, so a 24" x 36" metal frame weighs around 2 lbs.

No matter how large a frame is, how they are made remains the same. In general, metal frames are lightweight and are a good option for large pieces (e.g. posters) as long as the contents are not too heavy.

🗸 Choose the type of hanger wisely

Metal picture frame hangers have different styles and mechanisms, but they all hang artwork and picture frames securely if installed correctly.

To give you an idea of how each hanger works and looks, check out the list below.

⚒️ How to Install Euro Hangers, Solid Hangers, and 3-Part Hangers

The Euro Hanger is similar to the 3-Part Hanger and the Solid Hanger, so you can follow these instructions for both hangers as well.

You’ll need two of these metal frame snap hangers, which will go on the side rails at the back of the frame. 

1. Place the Euro Hangers into the two side frame channels.

2. Measure 1/3 down from the top and screw the hanger into the channels tightly.

3. Attach the wires into the Euro Hangers.

4. From the middle, pull the wire 2-3 inches up to give it some slack (This makes it easier to put a hook on the wall).

5. Hang the frame.

⚒️ How to Install a Metal Frame Snap Hanger

You’ll need two of these metal frame snap hangers, which will go on the side rails at the back of the frame. 

1. Insert and snap the hanger into the channel to attach it.

2. Tie picture hanging wire into the holes of the snap hanger.

3. Hang the frame.

To remove, place a flat blade screwdriver parallel to the frame and in the hole and then push while holding the frame securely.

⚒️ How to Install Snap-in Sawtooth and Notch Hangers

These hangers are attached to the upper rail of the frame. One sawtooth hanger in the middle is enough for small, very lightweight frames but we recommend using two hangers for bigger frames to ensure they're level.

1. Press down the sawtooth into the frame channel.

2. Hang the frame.

⚒️ How to Install Wall Buddies Hangers 

To install, you’ll have to partially disassemble your frame first so you can slide in the wall buddies onto the frame channel. Here’s how to assemble a sectional metal frame:

1. Place the frame facing down on a blanket on the table.

2. Remove the metal springs under the top rail and set them aside.

3. Loosen the screws on the steel corner plates.

4. Remove the top rail by gently pulling it directly back from the rest of the frame. Don’t let the side rails splay out when removing the top rail.

5. Remove the steel corner plate and backplate from each top rail end.

Installing the Wall Buddies:

1. Insert the left and right Wall Buddies Hanger into the top rail.

  • Replace only the tapped corner plates on top of the hangers.
  • Discard the two backplates.

2. Reassemble the top rail into the rest of the frame.

  • Be careful not to damage the glass or allow debris to enter the frame.
  • Retighten the set screws on the tapped corner plates.

3. Reinstall the metal springs under the top rail.

🗸 Choose the compatible profile (of metal frame) 

As mentioned earlier, all our hangers are compatible with the standard #11 profile. They are simple yet elegant metal frames that can hold a print, backing glass, and 1-2 mats. 

There are over 15 metal frame profiles to choose from, but #11 is the standard, used by 95% of the current metal molding market. They’re simple and economical, and can hold your artwork and photographs in a classic gallery look.

🗸 Use two hangers to ensure they hang level

By default, we use picture hanging wire with three out of the seven types of metal frame hangers. That means we need two hangers for each frame, especially for medium to large frames. 

For Snap and Notch Hangers, Snap-in Sawtooths, use one hanger for small frames, and make sure to attach it in the middle of the upper rail of the frame. 

Use two hangers for medium to large frames to ensure they’re level. Make sure to attach them on either side of the upper rail. See to it that they sit at the same distance from the edge so that they are evenly spaced.


🗙 Don’t drill pilot holes on your metal frame

Some metal frame hangers have screws provided, but they’re only for tightening the hanger into the channel, not for puncturing. Others have a snapping or clipping mechanism, thus not needing any screws or pilot holes.

🗙 Don’t forget to use a tape measure

It’s tempting to estimate, but doing this will most likely result in misalignment. Your hangers will be spaced unevenly, your frame will hang crooked, and the whole setup won’t be level. 

So, measure accurately; the extra effort is worth it. You’ll thank yourself later!

🗙 Don’t over tighten the screws

Tightening the screws too much will compromise the condition and strength of the frame and hanger. This can damage frame channels and screw threading, and end up snapping the screw heads.

 When installing metal picture frame hangers, rotate the screw only until the hanger sits snug into the channel. Shake it a bit to make sure it doesn’t wobble in place. If it doesn’t budge, you’ll know it’s installed securely.

Final Thoughts

We love metal frame hangers because there’s not millions to choose from and they’re very easy to use. Just review the hangers, place them in the correct place(s) and in less than 2 minutes you’ll have your frame hanging on the wall. It’s that simple! 

Simplicity wins folks, and that’s why metal frame hangers are among one of our favorite types of picture hangers!

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