How to hang art

Jun 9, 2010

Most folks are intimidated by the idea of hanging art on their walls.  How high should it go?  Does it look good with the rest of the decor?  What kind of nail should I use? Today, I thought I would take the mystery out of hanging art by giving a few helpful tips.

First, let's start with the materials.  The materials that you need depend on the artwork that you're hanging.  Most of the time, I use a hammer and a hook and nail (shown in the bottom of the right photo).  If the work is heavier than 20 pounds, then I would consider using a drill and anchoring the screw in the drywall.

There are kits that you can pick up in the hardware section of a general store that give you a selection of hooks.  I like this particular kit because it includes hardware for unframed artwork and for walls.  The wire and eye hooks, for example, are for canvases.  I use the the sawtooth hooks (shown in the closet compartment) for my smaller canvas paintings and birch panel works.

If you need to attach a hook to the back of an artwork or frame, all you need to do is find the center of the top interior edge and nail the hook into place.

On all artwork I place on my walls, I add these slip resistant pads on the bottom corners.  To keep works from tilting on the walls, I've also used putty on the corners.

Now you're ready to hang art! The two biggest mistakes I see people making when hanging art is 1) hanging the work too high, and 2) leaving too much wall space around the art.  To hang art like a pro, just place art at eye level and group works together.  A measuring tape and a level may be necessary, but a lot of times I just "eye" it.  If this still makes you a little nervous, then you can trace the artwork onto craft paper and play around with placement on the wall with the craft paper.  Make sure that you look at the arrangement sitting down as well as standing up.

As far as picking art that looks good together, it really depends on your taste.  I tend to prefer a variety of mediums with a visual harmony in color or theme.  I also find it more interesting when the works are not framed alike.

Have fun with it, and remember, art can always be moved around.  If you don't have enough pieces to fill one wall,  consider hanging the pieces on a smaller wall.  The small collection shown above is on a narrow wall in my livingroom.    

For tips on how to frame art, go this post.  


honeyhuckabee said...

What a great post, so useful!! :)

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