How to hang pictures

How to hang pictures

Hanging pictures

When it comes to hanging pictures in your home consider not only whether the pictures should be grouped or given pride of place on a feature wall, but also the way in which they should be hung.

You could hang them with a hidden wire alone, or with a cord and decorative tassels, a chain, or even with rope. For example, a formal arrangement of pictures can be softened by the use of wired ribbon tied into bows and glued onto the back of the frame. The ribbons do not support the pictures, they are merely decorative.

When hanging pictures there are a few basic points you should consider.


Step 1

Pick a suitable subject

Pick a suitable subject that reflects the style or ambiance of the room. For example, a shell print or an old fashioned ‘Pears Soap’ print would be suitable for the bathroom; a bowl of fruit or a basket brimming over the colorful vegetables works well in a kitchen.

Step 2

Consider the room’s features

Look around the room and notice what features are available to work with. For example, a small picture on a large wall would be lost unless they are grouped together.

Step 3

Choose the location

Choose a location that will display the picture to its best advantage. If a picture is placed on a wall facing the door it becomes the first thing someone sees when they enter the room. Hang a picture above the fireplace and it is sure to demand attention.

Step 4

Experiment with arrangements

Experiment with arrangements of pictures. One way is to arrange groups of pictures on the floor in front of the wall on which they will hang. By doing this, you will get an idea of how they will look when they are actually hung on the wall. Another option is to cut out templates the same size as your artwork using brown paper. Label them and blu-tack them on the wall. Move them around until you have the desired effect.

Step 5

Experiment with ways to hang pictures

Experiment with various ways of hanging your pictures. Try hanging them on chain, ribbons, cord or even rope.

Step 6

Consider the environment

Consider the environment where you are hanging your pictures. An oil painting should never be placed above a heater as the rising heat may damage the surface of the painting. Similarly, exposure to long periods of sunlight may fade many pictures, particularly watercolors.

Step 7

Hang at the right height

The best height to hang your pictures at eye level which is between 57 and 60 inches (145-152cm) from the floor to the center of the picture. If hanging a group of pictures, treat it as one hanging and the center of the group should be at this level. Many galleries and museums use 57 inches as a level-1 guide, as 57 inches is the average human eye-height.

Things Needed
• Tape measure
• Pencil
• Hammer
• Picture hooks
• Decorative materials (ribbon, tassels, cord, rope, chain, etc.)

Tips & Warnings
• When hanging a large picture, hang it from two hooks, placing them about 12-16 inches (30-40cm) apart, depending on the size of the picture. Hung this way the picture will never be crooked.
• Try to avoid hanging pictures on exterior walls as these are prone to dramatic changes in temperature. Over time, this could have a damaging effect on valuable artwork. On the instance where you must hang it outdoors, but undercover,create a gap between the back of the picture and the wall to increase airflow around the picture. Cut the cork from a wine bottle in half and fix the halves to the bottom corners of the frame. To compensate for this, ensure the picture hook or nail protrudes slightly further than normal so the picture is straight.


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