The Art of Hanging Art

Imagine you’re standing in the center of a room in your home, surveying the open wall space around you. In your hands is a piece of art that has spoken to you. It’s exactly what this room has been missing and you are about to affix it to the space that’s just made for it. 

While some may consider hanging a picture or other piece of art on the wall about as foolproof DIY as one can get, the truth is it’s not quite that simple. Follow these steps to make sure you get it right.

Make a plan

The worst time to figure out your new piece is off center (or otherwise not quite what you expected) is after the nail is in the wall. Whether you’re hanging a collection of pieces or just one, spend some time envisioning exactly where your art is going. Use a true-to-size paper template and painter’s tape for a trial run. When you’ve measured, admired and confirmed you’ve got it right, then grab the tools and hangers.

Remember, the eyes have it

In most cases, the best height for artwork is eye level, which means the center of your piece should fall at about 58 inches above the floor. If your ceilings are relatively low, however, you’ll want to adjust this. In that case, a good rule of thumb is to imagine your wall divided into quarters with your art falling in the third quarter. Another exception is when you’re hanging a cluster of pieces. In this case, align the center of your gallery at eye level and work the additional pieces in around it.

More than a nail

Is your idea of hanging art on the wall grabbing a nail and hammer? You’re not alone. There’s a better way, however. A single nail in drywall isn’t going to tolerate much weight. You may know already that hanging a heavier piece is a job best well suited for a stud in the wall. However, if you don’t find a stud in a ‘picture-friendly’ location, that’s okay; you have options. Consider using self-threaded anchors, screws, picture hangers or even a finishing nail hammered in at an angle. These tools provide greater holding power than a simple nail hammered straight into the wall.

Hang it straight and use bumpers

Remember the first step? Don’t eyeball this process. Grab a level and let the bubble lead you. Before you hang the picture, consider adding self-adhesive rubber bumpers to the back of the piece. These will help prevent movement on the wall, keeping the piece level once you’ve placed it. 

Don’t be framed

Framed art is gorgeous, but it’s not your only option. Get creative in what gets hung on your walls. Hanging clipboards to hold photos or art you wish to rotate makes a fantastic alternative! Empty frames, mirrors and other collections can be unique and eye catching wall art. The only thing holding you back is your imagination!

by Anjie Cho