Guide in Hanging Art Like a Professional
Maybe you like to scour flea markets for portraits of strangers or even DIY pieces to save some cash—but then how to hang a picture once you have it? Yes, we’ve all taken a hammer and nail to the wall without measuring or worrying too much in a pinch (sometimes that’s the only way to get it done), but there are tricks of the trade to make the task of displaying your art on the wall a little more inviting, and the results more exciting. Quit ignoring that stack of frames on the floor beside your bed and have at it. Here are our best tips for how to hang a picture like a pro.
How to Hang a Picture
1. Decide on a strategy. The weight, size, and shape of the item you’re hanging and the material of your walls both need to be considered before you so much as get near a hammer. Can I drill into brick? What about tile? Will my plaster walls hold anything and what the heck is a stud? We’ve got you covered with these four common wall-hanging myths, busted.
2. Gather supplies. Besides a hammer, measuring tape, and pencil, you’ll need the following supplies to hang art on plaster or drywall (essentially more weight-bearing supplies for heavier artwork):
For light-weight pieces: small nails For medium-weight pieces: picture-hangersFor heavier pieces: a big nail and a stud-finder or wall-plug anchors, screws that fit them, and a screwdriver
If you’re hanging on tile or glass, you’ll need good-quality, low-profile adhesive hooks rather than nails and screws, and if you’re hanging on brick, use brick clamps. (More on mounting on those surfaces, here.)
3. Hang the thing. Yes, there is a semi-science to the art of getting the height of a piece just right—it’s called measuring (!). To be exact, the center of a framed piece of artwork should be 57 inches above the ground (that being the average human eye level, and the height galleries and museums use to decide where to hang pieces). Mark that height using a pencil, then measure to find the middle of the wall (from side to side), and mark where the two points meet. That’s where the middle of your artwork should go! Now, measure the distance between the middle of the piece and where it will catch the nail (either where the wire hits when bent to bear weight, or where the sawtooth hanger is.
Measure that difference from your mid-point mark on the wall—that’s where the nail (or picture hanger, or wall anchor, or brick clamp) goes. If you’re hanging a super-heavy piece, first use a stud-finder to locate a stud and see if it’s in a logical location for your nail to go. If it is, hammer a big nail in and be done. If the stud is in a weird location, use the anchor-and-screw method instead: Drill a pilot-hole, tap the plastic anchor into it, then screw a screw into that, leaving it to protrude just enough that you can loop the wire or saw tooth right over it the same way you would with a nail.
How to Get Creative With Your Display
If you’re not up for hammers and nails, just lean it. The laziest way to display art is also best for anyone who is afraid of putting nail holes in the wall: lean the frame against the back of a chair, or the wall, or on a shelf somewhere. (Even homes with lots of art hung up on the walls take well to a few casually leaned pieces—it actually looks very intentional!)
If you’re always re-arranging, consider a picture shelf. If you’re into the whole leaning thing and want to formalize a place for such activity, consider adding a shallow picture shelf in one of your rooms. It’s a perfect solution for those with constantly changing styles (or the rearrangement bug).
…Or a picture rail. If you’re into the idea of sparing your precious walls from holes but want a more formal look than leaning, consider a picture rail: a sliver of molding that goes up near the ceiling, from which you can hang your art on hooks and strings—and then change it out whenever you feel like it.
Leave some pieces unframed. Maybe you’ve collected some of those paintings on boards from the flea market—lovely peeling edges and all—and want to preserve some of that charm without paying for a fancy floating frame. Or maybe you just want to hang up wispy paper drawings and call it a day? Leaving certain artworks unframed is completely fine, even encouraged. Just follow these tips and gather these supplies to tack them up without fanfare.
Break some rules. When considering scale and placement and whether to lean or frame or, or . . . take a deep breath. Here are our favorite art-hanging rules that we love to break. Now go put all your art on display!
Blog Source: Architectural Digest | How to Hang Art Like a Professional