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Everything You Need to Know About Gallery Systems

  • by Arthur Harrison
  • 7 min read

What if you could have your very own art gallery at home? Curated pieces. Proper lighting. Classy hanging method. All in the comfort of your own space. 

Yes, it’s possible with gallery systems! It only takes a few cords suspended from a wall track or rail molding to achieve that gallery-like elegant display of pictures and art.

Learn more about them in this article.

What are Gallery Systems?

Gallery systems are among the best choices for safely hanging paintings, abstract art, and expensive photographs. There are different types of gallery systems: one involves mounting a bracket to the wall while the other uses a standard rail molding which is usually found in older homes. We’ll discuss the picture rail molding in further detail later. 

How do Gallery Systems work?

Wall track, brass molding, or picture rail molding are usually positioned at the top of a wall, close to the ceiling. Meanwhile, the rods and cords are suspended from them and hang against the wall. Frames are then  hung on the hanging cords or rods using adjustable hooks. 

That being said, there are three elements to gallery systems:  

  • Track or molding

Tracks and moldings hold the whole hanging system together. They’re installed on the wall using the screws provided in the kit. 

  • Hanging cords or rods

There are two kinds of hanging cords for the picture rail gallery kits, wall track kits, and bullet hangers: steel and nylon. Steel cords can support heavier frames, while nylon cords are for folks who like a more subtle look. 

Our picture hanging rods are made of brass material and come in the Brass Gallery Rod Kit and can be purchased separately as well.

  • Hooks

Hooks refer to adjustable picture hooks for the hanging cords and rods and picture rail hooks for the Ogee moldings.

Another thing to remember is that not all picture hooks are compatible with all hanging cords. That’s why our kits with nylon hanging cords come with J screw side hooks while the kits with steel cords come with self-grip adjustable J hooks.

These elements make an art display look elegant. But another reason why gallery systems are loved by so many is that this method allows you to hang multiple frames at once without drilling multiple holes in the wall.

Gallery systems, in a nutshell, are a hanging method that require a one-time installation, are extremely versatile, and have a very classy look.

Types of Gallery Systems

Did you know that there are different kinds of gallery systems? At Picture Hang Solutions, there are four variations you can choose from.

Wall Track Kits

Our wall track kits come in two designs. Track 101 has an open-type C-channel, while Track 100 is a flat strip of metal that hides the hanging hardware. Although they differ in form, they function the same way.

There are other notable differences between Track 101 and Track 100, too. Here’s everything you need to know about them!

Track 101

As mentioned above, Track 101 has an open-type channel that can support up to 154 lbs and is 79 inches in length. The extruded aluminum profile fits the hook of the cable hanging wire perfectly. It comes with six pre-drilled holes for easy installation.

Track 101 cords have a hook attached to the upper end, and it’s used to hold onto the track. Nylon cords can support up to 11 lbs, while steel cords can support 18 lbs. Should there be any extra cord, you can coil it together and hide it behind one of the frames.

⚒️ How to Install Track 101 Kits

1. Install the track by inserting screws through the pre-drilled holes and onto the wall. Make sure it’s level.

2. Hook the hanging cord on the track.

3. Attach the hooks on the cords. 

4. Hang the frames!

Track 100

The Track 100 has a cleaner and classier look as it hides away the hooks, keeping them out of sight. Like Track 101, it measures 79 inches long and comes with the necessary hardware for installation.

The channel underneath is narrower; thus, the hanging cords for Track 100 have smaller hooks. The size of the hook makes it easier to insert them into the channel and hold the whole hanging system together. 

Another difference between Track 100 and Track 101 is the hardware provided. Track 101 has screws for installation, while Track 100 has additional locators and connectors. 

⚒️ How to Install Track 100 Kits

1. Install the locators on the wall, evenly spaced apart, using the screws provided. 

2. Snap the track onto the locators. 

  • Hook the upper part of the track on top of the locator
  • Press down the the lower half to secure

3. Insert the hanging cords onto the channel.

4. Attach the adjustable picture hooks onto the hanging cords.

5. Hang the frames!

Brass Gallery Rod Kit

Brass Rod Gallery Kits are another type of gallery system with a sophisticated and classy look. The kit includes a 6-feet J-molding wall channel, brass rods, and adjustable hanging hooks. 

Like wall tracks 101 and 100, the J-molding is fastened to the wall using the hardware included in the kit. The brass color gives a vintage feel to the hanging system; however, you can paint over it to get your desired color.

⚒️ How to Install Brass Gallery Rod Kits

1. Install the J-molding by inserting screws through the pre-drilled holes and onto the wall. Make sure it’s level.

2. Hook the brass rods on the molding.

3. Attach adjustable hooks onto the brass rod.

4. Hang the frames.

Picture Rail Gallery Kits

Have you ever been to a house designed before the '60s?

Many older homes have picture rail molding installed as the walls were made of plaster which made picture hanging quite difficult. Standard picture rail molding is known as OGEE or OG picture rail molding. These are decorative rails with an S-profile and two tangent radii semicircular arcs. Ogee moldings, a.k.a. cyma, are used for skirting, architraves, edges, etc. 

Have a newer home and want to add rail molding? No problem, you can purchase standard OGEE or OG rail molding at most major home improvement stores. 

Folks who have Ogee molding installed in their home are in for a treat because you can hang your pictures and art pieces without drilling a hole ever. All you need is a Gallery Kit!

The Picture Rail Gallery Kit includes the following:

Picture Rail Hooks 

These are S hooks that fit the molding perfectly, and can support up to 25 lbs.

Loop Hanging Cords or OG Rods 

Loop hanging cords are nylon or steel hanging cords with a loop on one end and can support up to 33 lbs.

Meanwhile, OG rods are brass gallery rods to which monkey hangers are attached. The monkey hangers can hold frames up to 30 lbs. For pictures over 24” in width or over 30 lbs, you can use two monkeys on two parallel rods.

Adjustable Picture Hooks

These are small hooks attached to the hanging cords or OG rods. 

Flat Screw Side Hooks and J- Hook Side Screws are compatible with both nylon and steel loop cords, while Self-Grip Adjustable J-Hooks are only compatible with the steel loop cord. 

Brass monkey hangers are compatible with the OG rods.

As you can see above, each component in a gallery kit has its weight capacity. So, you might be wondering, what weight rating should we follow?

The rule of thumb when hanging frames on a gallery system is that you must not exceed the lowest weight rating. In this case, the one with the lowest rating among all the components is the Rail Hook, which can only support up to 25 lbs. 

Picture rail hanging systems are a great way to hang light to medium frames and adjust layouts without drilling a hole. This makes it easier to achieve that museum-like display while keeping your walls in pristine condition.

To make sure you get the look you want, follow these simple steps on installing picture rail systems:

⚒️ How to Install Picture Rail Gallery Kits

1. Hang the picture rail hooks onto the picture rail molding.

2. Insert the loop cord onto the rail hook.

3. Attach the picture hooks onto the loop cables and adjust accordingly.

4. Hang your frames!

Bullet Hangers

If you have a smaller space, wall tracks and picture rail systems probably won’t work for you. But don’t worry, Bullet Hangers are an excellent option. 

Bullet hangers are stand-alone gallery systems that don’t involve long wall tracks and rails. Instead, they use a unique swivel cover that holds the hanging cord straight down. This mechanism allows seamless use on ceilings and sloped walls and requires lesser effort during installation.

This all-in-one gallery system can support up to 25 lbs and they’re perfect for smaller places or walls with limited space. They are available with steel or nylon cords.

⚒️ How to Install Bullet Hangers

1. Drill a hole and install the anchor in the wall.

2. Unscrew and remove the brass insert from the stand-alone hanger.

3. Insert the screw into the brass insert, and install them both into the anchor in the wall.

4. Screw in the stand-alone hanger with the cord onto the brass insert.

5. Affix a hook (sold separately) to the cord and hang your picture.

Final Thoughts

There are so many good things to say about gallery systems. They look elegant, they offer high versatility, and they require less effort with installation and maintenance. What more could you ask for? 

Let us know which gallery system you have or which one you are planning to get! 

Should you have any questions, feel free to leave them down below in the comments section. We’re always happy to help!

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