7 Tips for Hanging Pictures on Your Walls
Whether you’re hanging family photos, artwork or prints – how you dress up your walls reflects your personality and what’s important to you, as well as complimenting your furniture and decor.
Generally speaking, people usually hang art and photos too high. Read on to learn how to properly display your showcase on your walls.
1. Right Height
Museum curators generally use “57 center” rule as their guide (where the center of a piece of art is 57 inches from the floor). You can find simple, step-by-step instructions, and note that it also applies when hanging a group of photos: simply find the center of the middle picture, and then work your way out from the center. Others say hang it for the height of an average person’s eye level, which is between 5′3″ and 5′6″ or 63 – 66 inches. Use the same centering method.
2. Weigh Your Artwork
Might sound unusual, but the weight of your artwork will dictate how you hang it (and that can be a big plus if you’ve got several items under 5 pounds).
An easy way to weigh artwork is by holding and get on a scale. Then, weigh yourself and subtract the smaller number from the larger. The difference is the weight of the artwork.
If you have walls you might not want to put nails in, use adhesive hangers for the lighter pieces as they don’t leave marks on the wall when they are removed.
3. Know Your Walls
What material your wall is made of will determine what kind of hanger you’ll use, along with the weight of the pictures.
- Plaster: If you nail directly into the wall, you may crack the plaster. For light pieces, you can use small pinhead nails or try a specialty hook by Hillman called OOKS. If you have to use a larger nail or picture hook, you may need to pre-drill the hole before hammering in the larger nail.
- Drywall: Ideally, you’d find a stud in the wall and drive the hanging nail into that for the most security. If the artwork’s weight exceeds 5-10 pounds, you’ll want to use a drywall anchor.
- Brick: If you’re hanging on brick, the most straightforward approach is to use mortar nails and nail into the mortar, not the brick.
4. Plan Your Design
If you’re grouping multiple pieces, lay them all out on the floor. Trace their outlines on kraft or brown paper, then, you can move them around on the wall until you find a pleasing arrangement.
Tip: Locate where you want to place the nail for each piece and hammer it through the paper into the wall and you’ll have expert placement.
5. Aim for Balance
Planning on hanging a picture over a sofa? Hang it 3–6 inches above the sofa. If it’s any higher, the viewer’s eye will be to the wall, not the picture.
Don’t let one little picture get lost on a large wall. Fill the space by adding mirrors or a shadowbox to create a grouping. On the other hand, don’t overwhelm a small wall with a large picture.
Consider resting pictures on shelving hammered directly on to a wall. Enhance the hanging with decorative picture nails, various knobs and eye screws. Screw in the eye screws at the top of the frame. Then, dangle the frame from a wire attached to a screw in the wall. Instead of wire, consider using decorative ribbon to hang the frame from the wall.
7. Go for a Theme
For photos that will be displayed together, consider using the same or similar frames on all of them, or use different patterns of the same color or material, and use the same mat color to connect everything. Arrange the frames in a grouping for a gallery-style display.
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