How to Hang Pictures and Art Like a Pro

  • by Michael Jackness
  • 6 min read

 

 

Picture this—you have a bunch of photos and paintings lying around, taking up lots of space. You finally decide to take the plunge and get them hung up on the wall, there’s just one problem.

You have no idea how to hang them all up on the wall. 

That’s okay! In this article, we’ll walk you through the whole process so you can hang your frames like a pro.

3 Things You Can Do to Make Hanging Frames Easier

The goal is to have an easy, hassle free picture-hanging experience. To do that, we need to do a few things first. 

Figure out your arrangement 

Before making marks and holes on the wall, it’s best to know how you’d like to arrange your frames or decor. You can figure out the best layout by using one of the options below: 

1. Ask a friend to hold up your frames against the wall 

  • Feel free to rearrange and ask your friend to move things around so you know where you’d like to hang things exactly

 

2. Layout your picture frames, art pieces, or mirror and wall decor on the floor 

  • Arrange as many times as you want until you find a structure or arrangement that you think is suitable

 

3. Use paper templates

  • This is both a fun and creative way to figure out how you want to arrange things on your wall without doing the heavy lifting. Here’s how you can do it in 4 easy steps:
  1. Trace your frames on paper
  2. Cut them to size
  3. Use painter’s tape to tape them on the wall
  4. Arrange accordingly

 

Man removing a frame on the wall

Photo by Blue Bird from Pexels

Know when to practice restraint

Don’t fill in all the blank spaces you see on the wall. 

While figuring out the arrangement, remember the value and impact of negative space, or the blank areas between objects considered to be vital in interior design. 

Having negative spaces in-between frames and objects allow the eyes to rest. It also emphasizes what needs your attention;  the actual frames and artwork.

Find design inspiration from other creators online

There are a lot of DIYers, home decorators, and designers out there who love sharing their ideas about hanging pictures creatively. Some even share how a particular arrangement has an impact on the photographs and art themselves.

For example, a grid layout gives a more formal and sophisticated look. Meanwhile, letting frames lean against the wall gives a more casual and laid-back feel.

 

Cropped woman sitting near books, plants, and frames
Photo by George Milton from Pexels


A few picture-hanging ideas that you should consider include:

  • Create symmetry in your layout
    • Visualize your layout first
    • Use frames that are exactly the same in dimensions and design
    • Space out your frames evenly

RELATED: Creative Picture Hanging Ideas to Display Small Frames and Art

 

  • Mixing and matching 
    • Use frames of varying sizes and types
    • Consider texture in art pieces like canvas, wood art, paper, etc
    • Add in unique wall decor

RELATED: Creative Picture Hanging Ideas to Display Pictures Frames and Artwork 

Once you’ve figured out your design, you can then move on to actually hanging the frames. The following section will provide everything you need to do to hang your frames successfully. 

5 Things to do to Hang Frames Like a Pro

This part relies heavily on using the right tools and choosing the properpicture hanging hardware. Don’t worry, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know.

Here’s what you need to do:

Prepare the tools needed

Using the right tools will no doubt make your installation easier. But more than that, it helps to  hang your frames with accuracy, levelness, and security. 
The tools you’ll need to keep that will come in handy are the following:
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Painter’s tape
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Picture hangers (if not installed on your pieces already)
  • Wall hardware

Choose the most suitable hangers

As you might already know, there are many types of hangers, all with different features, weight ratings, and specifications. Knowing these specifics will help you narrow down your choices and choose the best one for your application.

There are three essential factors (along with examples) to consider so you can choose the right type of hanger: 

  • What is the weight of the frame or object? 

How heavy will the item you’re hanging be? Some hangers are made to hang  objects up to a certain weight so keep that in mind. It’s always a good rule of thumb to use a hanger that can hold 1-3 times the weight of your object to ensure it will hang securely on the wall. 

  • What type of wall are you be hanging your frames on?
Of course, brick walls will need a different type of hanger than  drywall, and plaster walls require a different hanger, etc. You have to know ahead of time, what wall substrate  you’re hanging your frames on. 
Different wall types include:
  • Drywall
  • Plaster wall
  • Concrete
  • Brick
  • What type of frame material are you using?

Lastly, you have to think about what your frames are made of. Metal frame hangers don’t work  on wood frames and vice versa,  so make sure you get the appropriate type of hanger for your art. 

Here are the different types of frame materials:

  • Wood frame
  • Metal frame
  • Foam board
  • Acrylic or styrene frames

 


Measure as accurately as possible

It’s tempting to just estimate where you want to put thehanging hardware and leave it at that. But for security purposes, we always recommend measuring accurately, and here’s why:
  • To ensure correct placement of picture hangers and wall hardware 
  • To implement proper spacing between frames for good design
  • To hang pictures and art pieces at eye level for a better viewing experience

 

Artwork on the wall
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

 

 You may have to put  a little more effort in, but trust us, it’s worth the extra time to avoid dealing with falling or crooked frames or lots of unnecessary holes in the wall in the long run.

Hang at eye level

We may sound like a broken record, especially if you’ve been following us for a while but we will say it over and over again—always hang at eye level.

This picture-hanging tip doesn’t only come from us but from other professionals with  picture-hanging knowledge as well as individuals with picture viewing experience.

We know that hanging frames at eye level might be challenging, especially with the measuring part, so we’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you.

For this example, let’s say we’re hanging a 15-inch painting using D-rings for picture hangers. Here’s what you need to do:

 

1. Find the midpoint of the artwork by measuring from top to bottom, then divide it by 2.

    • Frame height ÷ 2
      In our situation: 15 inches ÷ 2  7.5 inches (midpoint)

 

2. Find the distance from the top of the painting to thehanging hardware. Subtract this from the midpoint answer in #1.

NOTE: D-rings should be installed ⅓ of the way down the frame. In this case, the distance from the top to the hardware is 5 inches.

    • Midpoint -  (Frame height ÷ 3)
      In our situation: 7.5 inches - 5 inches = 2.5 inches

 

3. From that number, add the ideal eye-level measurement, which could be any of the following: 57, 58, 59, or 60. 

It’s up to you which height you want to go with but in this case, let’s use 60 inches as our eye level measurement.

    • Distance from the top of the frame to the d-rings + eye level measurement
      In our situation: 2.5 inches + 60 inches = 62.5 inches (final sum)

NOTE:The final sum is the height (measured from the floor) at which the hangers should be installed into the wall.

 

A visual guide to hanging frames on the wall

 

4. Measure 62.5 inches from the floor and pencil mark the area. 

5. Install the hanging hardware on the wall. (See next section for more details on this)

6. Hang the painting.


Follow instructions when installing the hardware

Always refer to the instructions when installing the hanging hardware. Doing so will safely secure your pictures and art onto the wall and avoid damage. 

 

Cropped hang of a woman holding a paper bag with frames on the background
Photo by Angela Roma from Pexels

 

Different hangers use different installation methods so following the instructions is very important. For example, D-rings are supposed to be installed at a specific angle and if you didn’t look at the instructions, you might easily assume that you can hang them straight up and down. 

To understand better, here’s a list of a few hangers and wall hardware with important details to take note of during installation.

 

Hardware and Installation TIps

These are just some of the small details that folks easily miss when they don’t review our website or read the included instructions. Our advice, again, always read the instructions and details on web pages.

Final Thoughts

Hanging pictures and art pieces like a pro isn’t as daunting as you think. It requires  a little research, effort, and familiarization to make it happen. Now that you have an idea of how to do it, you can free up floor space and make those walls livelier!



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