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How to hang your framed art

How to hang your framed art

Framed art has become a staple in every household, be it in the bedroom or living room; here's how to hang them straight and centred every single time

There is one painting hanging on your living room wall. It is above the sofa, sort of, but a little bit off to the side. If you cock your head at just the right angle, you can almost pretend it is hanging straight. To guarantee beautifully and straightly hung art, try this technique. 

Don’t just start banging away

How to hang your framed art - Happy couple ganging picture on the wallCredit: gorodenkoff

Before you start pounding holes into the wall, make sure your final product is not going to come crashing down. A nail and hook is fine for smaller frames, but if you have a larger frame, you will either need to buy some hollow-wall anchors, which distribute the frame’s weight and grip the drywall more securely, or you will need to nail directly into a stud.

"Before you start pounding holes into the wall, make sure your final product is not going to come crashing down"

Use a stud finder to see if there’s one in the wall where you’d like to hang your frame. Expect to make or hear jokes along the lines of “The stud’s right here!” This is inevitable.

Finding the sweet spot

Your art will look best if you hang it so that the centre is approximately at eye level and so that it follows the lines of furniture or windows. Don’t hang a tiny picture on a huge wall—it’ll just seem lonely. One way to get an idea of how it will look is to trace around the picture on a piece of paper, cut it out, and then stick the paper version on the wall.

Now you can back up, gaze at it, and see if you like its position without driving a bunch of nails in, deciding you hate it, patching the holes, and doing it again. Once you’ve got it where you want it, mark the top edge with a pencil.

"Your art will look best if you hang it so that the centre is approximately at eye level"

Next, you need to measure the space from the top of the frame to the hanger. Be sure to pull the wire taut before you measure, or it will not hang where you intended. Measure out the same distance down on the wall from the top of the mark you made and make another pencil mark there.

Hammer time!

How to hang your framed art - Mother and daughter hanging picture on wallCredit: m-gucci

A rookie mistake to make at this point would be to pound the nail into this spot. This is actually the spot where the wire is supposed to rest.

"A rookie mistake to make at this point would be to pound the nail into the marked spot"

So put the bottom of your hook on the pencil mark, mark above it where the nail needs to be and pound your hook into the wall there. Hang the picture, stand back and marvel at the beauty

Painting won't stay straight? 

Some frames will have a tendency to droop, forcing you to constantly adjust them, thus driving you crazy in proportion to your need for neatness and order. There are two ways to keep a picture prone to tipping in its place:

  • The first involves the wire on the back. The painting will slide around if the wire is too smooth. You can fix this by wrapping a little masking tape around the part of the wire that goes over the hook. The texture will keep the wire from slipping.
  • The other technique is to secure the bottom corners with poster tack, museum wax, or rubber feet. These should provide just enough stickiness or friction to keep the picture in its place.

Banner credit: Prostock-Studio

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