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Everything You Need to Know About Picture Rail Hooks

  • by Arthur Harrison
  • 6 min read


It’s no secret that there are a lot of ways to hang pictures on the wall and a lot of hanging hardware that can help make that happen. The problem is that most picture hangers require holes on the wall.

So, what if you want to keep your wall in pristine condition? 

Well, that’s what Rail Hooks are for. This guide will tell you all about it, including its types, uses, and installation process. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

What Are Rail Hooks?

Rail Hooks are S-shapedpicture hanging hardwarethat can be installed in just a snap. They work as a part of a cable hanging system that consists of Picture Rail Moldings (also known as "Ogee" or "OG" molding), Loop Cords, and Picture Hooks. 

wide picture rail hook on ogee molding

This is what an Ogee Molding looks like.

Ogee or OG molding, also known as a cyma, is an S-shaped profile that consists of two tangent radii semicircular arcs. It's a decorative molding found in homes and is used for skirting, architraves, edges, etc.  

A cable hanging system has 4 components:

  • Picture Rail Molding
  • Rail Hooks
  • Loop Cords (Nylon or Steel)
  • Adjustable Picture Hooks
    Side screw hooks attached to steel loop cables as part of a picture rail system

    As you can see in the photo above, the Rail Hooks sit onto the Picture Rail Molding. Then, the Loop Cords hang onto the hooks and the Adjustable Picture Hooks are attached to the cords. 

    The Rail Hooks hold everything together and connect them to the molding, making them an  essential to the cable hanging system.

    Here at Picture Hang Solutions, our Rail Hooks are made of steel and topped with a white, silver, or brass finish. You can buy them individually or as part of our complete gallery kit. But before we get to hanging, let’s dig deeper into the features and uses of Rail Hooks.

    gallery system lifestyle image

    What Are Rail Hooks Best Used For?

    Picture rail hooks are perfect if you don't want to drill holes in your wall and you already have OGEE molding or want to install it. Just hang the rail hooks  onto the picture rail molding, insert the loop cords, and attach the picture hangers. That's it!

    With these hooks, you can hang multiple frames and change layouts with ease. You can do the following to change things up:

    • Slide the hooks left and right along the rail
    • Adjust the picture hooks up and down the nylon or steel cord
    • Switch out pictures or art inside the frames, or change the frame itself
    • Add or remove hooks and frames anytime
    • Change hanging cord from nylon to steel, or vice versa
    • Change the color of rail hooks 

    Rail hanging hooks are also great for art enthusiasts who want their space to feel like a real art gallery.

    Let's say you're at home and you want to transform one room into a personal studio. You can use Rail Hooks to hang pictures or display artwork without drilling any holes. It's always a classy way of decorating your walls sans the damage. 

    In a professional setting, on the other hand, it's common to use the hanging system as a whole, not just the Rail Hooks. Art galleries and museums use this setup because of its adjustability and elegance. To top it all off, they also install proper lighting for a great viewing experience. 

    Wide Picture Rail Hooks

    Where Can I Use Rail Hooks?

    Speaking of elegance in picture hanging, an art gallery isn’t the only establishment you can use rail hooks in. You can use it in any space where you want to hang pictures and art. Here are some places we can think of:

    • Home
    • Office
    • Schools/ Universities
    • Coffee Shops
    • Restaurants
    • Hotels
    • Museums
    • Art Studios

    Varieties of the Rail Hooks

    At Picture Hang Solutions, we got a bunch of Rail Hooks you can choose from. 

    As mentioned earlier, our Wide and Narrow Picture Rail Hooks come in white, silver, and brass finishes. You can choose to buy them individually in packs or as a gallery kit.

    We created a weight guide to provide you with everything you need to know about railhanging hooks. Check it out!


    Picture Rail Hook Weight Guide


    As you can see, we have three variants of our Wide Picture Hooks: White, Silver, and Brass. Meanwhile, our Narrow Picture Rail Hook is only available in brass and zinc.

    Among these four rail hook variants, only 2 of them are sold as Gallery Kits. These are the Silver Rail Hooks and the White Rail Hooks. 

    The Gallery Kit with Zinc Picture Rail Hooks comes with a matching stainless steel wire and three types of picture hooks you can use with it. This set is perfect for folks who are going for a masculine or industrial look.

    On the other hand, the Gallery Kit with White Picture Rail Hooks comes with a transparent nylon cord and two types of picture hooks. Because the nylon cord is less visible (especially on plain white walls), this set is ideally used for when you’re going for a clean and more subtle look.

    illustration of a wide picture rail hook

    🔨 Important Note:

    Our Picture Rail Hooks can support up to 25 lbs. 

    Yet, you have to keep in mind that a gallery system is composed of different components. These are the Picture Rail Molding, Loop Cords, and AdjustablePicture Hooks. Each of them supports different weights.

    The rule of thumb when hanging frames on a gallery system is that you must not exceed the lowest weight rating.

    For example, let's take a look at the gallery kit inclusions. Based on the table above, you'll notice that the Rail Hooks have the lowest weight rating. This means that the frame you should hang should weigh 25 lbs or less, even if the other components can support heavier weights. 

    Picture rail system


    How to Choose the Right Rail Hook

    As seen from the weight guide, all our Rail Hooks have the same weight rating. That means choosing the right hooks is not as overwhelming as picking otherpicture hangers. 

    With this rule of thumb in mind, you only have to know three things:

    • Know the weight of each component in your gallery system.  

    Since the Rail Hooks are part of a cable hanging system, you have to know each component's weight rating. Take note which one has the lowest weight rating so you know how much weight your frames should be.
    With our gallery kits, the component with the lowest weight rating is thePicture Rail Hooks.
    • Know the weight of frames. 

    Avoid frames that weigh heavier than the component with the lowest weight rating. As mentioned earlier, don’t exceed the lowest rating when using a gallery system. So, when using our Rail Hooks, choose picture frames and art that weigh below 25 lbs.

    • Know your aesthetic.

    Take a look at the area where you want to hang frames and see what type of Rail Hook will suit your space the best. Is it the Wide Rail Hooks or the Narrow Rail Hooks? Is it the white, silver, or brass rail hooks?
    And if you’re leaning more towards the gallery kit, consider which pair is better. Is it silver steel hooks with steel loop cable or white ones with clear nylon loop cable?
    Now that you know how to choose the right hangers, let’s talk about installing them. 

    How to Install Rail Hooks

    Other picture hanging hardware needs power drills and lots of measuring. But hanging Rail Hooks is not rocket science. In fact, they’re one of the easiest picture hangers to use and install. Here's how:

    Rail Hooks

    wide rail hook in white

    To use the Rail Hooks, all you need to do is hook them onto the Picture Rail Molding.

    That's it! You can stop there if you only want to set it up in advance. But, if you're going to hang pictures, follow the instructions under the Gallery Kit section below.

    Gallery Kit

    A gallery kit is the best choice of hanging hardware to use if you want the vibe of an art gallery incorporated into your space. Art always looks its best on plain walls and topped off with a spotlight.

    white picture rail hooks set in white and nylon loop cables
    Here’s how to achieve that look:
    1. Hang the rail hooks onto the picture rail molding.
    2. Insert the loop cord onto the rail hook.
    3. Attach thepicture hooks onto the loop cables and adjust accordingly.
    4.  Hang the frames. 


    🔨Note: There are different types of adjustable picture hooks included in the gallery kit. Insert the loop cable to the hole and position your desired height. Tighten the hook by rotating the screw on the side.

    That’s pretty much it! Easy, right? 

    It’s no wonder a lot of folks like RailHanging Hooks. Not only can they be used in professional art galleries, but they’re perfect for residential and commercial spaces, too. They’re safe, flexible, and very convenient. 

    By now, you know everything there is to know aboutPicture Rail Hooks. The only thing left unanswered is:

    Where To Buy Rail Hooks

    Picture Hang Solutions carries various picture hangers sold in different packs and sizes. If you’re looking to buy Rail Hooks in smaller quantities, you can check out our Amazon store. For larger quantities, you can buy directly from our website.

    If you have other home improvement projects going on, check out our other products in store!

    See also: Related Products



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