How to Hang Art Like a Pro

Originally published April 19, 2013

The right artwork can transform any room in your home or office. Now that you’ve made a purchase, you’re ready to hang art on the wall. Here are some tips and designer secrets to get you started.

The problem for most people is figuring out how to secure the artwork without damaging the frame or the wall. Do you have to get out the hammer and nails?
Are you limited to hanging locations that have a solid stud?

If you are thinking like a pro,
you know that there are few limitations when it comes to hanging artwork so its remarkable qualities are adequately displayed for your enjoyment.

Secure with Hooks

Put the nails and hammer away. Pick up picture hooks instead. These hooks may not look durable enough to securely hold your best paintings, but they are surprisingly strong. The smaller hooks will safely hold a piece of art up to 30 pounds, while the medium sized hooks will hold up to 50 pounds, and the largest hooks can hold at least 75 pounds if not 100 pounds.

You need two hooks per painting, and they will keep your pieces secure without damaging your wall. Consider using D-rings rather than wire on the back of your painting if you do not like the idea of suspending your artwork by wire.

Attractive Arrangements

If you have a smaller piece of art, you need to find a small space to hang it, or find other items to arrange around it. Larger pieces may dominate a space on their own, but smaller pieces are well suited to combinations of picture frames, mirrors, sconces, and other decorative pieces. To see some great examples of art groupings on walls, click here.

When creating an arrangement, think about the style, color, and size of each piece. You do not want to overcrowd the wall, but you also do not want it to look incomplete. Arrange the pieces on the floor to experiment with different arrangements, and then have someone help you hold pieces up to the wall to determine final placement. It is easier to make changes and swap out pieces before they are hanging on the wall.

Perfect Placement

Even the most spectacular painting will lose some of its glory if it is not hung in the appropriate space. There is a general rule to hang pictures at a height of 60 inches from the floor to the center of the piece, but that does not apply to all situations. If you have a larger piece, you may want to hang it a big lower, and it may need to go a bit higher if it is smaller. If you will hang an arrangement of décor around the piece, then you may not apply that rule at all.

You also have to consider whether the painting will be mostly viewed
from a standing or sitting position. You do not want to look up to the sky,
straining to see a piece of artwork as you sit on the sofa. Stand and
sit in various positions throughout the room to determine the best
placement for your picture. Also keep the distance of the piece’s edges
from the wall in mind. It will help if someone can hold the picture for
you while you move around the room.

Hanging art like a pro may take some practice but once you hang a
few pieces, your eye for the perfect arrangement and placement on the
wall will improve. For more great examples of hanging art, click my
Pinterest board here.