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Hanging and Arranging Pictures


There is an art to hanging art. First, you have the challenge of placing objects on a wall in a pleasing way. It's similar to arranging furniture. Arrange them in rows, in a circle, or randomly until you find a pleasing combination. Generally, larger and darker pictures look better placed toward the bottom of a grouping. By breaking up pictures that feature particular colors, the eye is encouraged to travel around an arrangement.


Next, you must make sure your precious objects are installed securely Use proper hanging hardware to securely hang your paintings on the wall. You'll find a variety of picture hangers in the hardware department, including traditional hangers, hangers sold as “professional" picture hangers, wallboard anchors, and anchors available with hooks to hang pictures and mirror.  




• Use a stud finder to locate exactly where the studs are in your wall.




• Select a picture hanger that's the right size.  Keep in mind that the weight a hanger can safely handle is   marked on the package.

• To help prevent plaster from chipping in Step 4, consider applying a small cross of tape to the wall at the point   where you are driving the nail, and nail the hanger to the wall.




• To save yourself time and energy when hanging and arranging pictures, consider previewing how the picture   grouping will look on the wall by laying it out on the floor first so that  you can easily move things around while     you decide on an arrangement.




Step 1

Group the pictures on the wall

Group the pictures on the wall. Juggling pictures to get the right one in the right place can be difficult; instead work with pieces of paper. Trace the outline of each frame on paper that contrasts with the wall. Cut out the shapes, place masking tape loops on the backs, and experiment with grouping the pictures. (See photo above.) For the security of anchoring heavy works and mirrors into wall studs, first locate the studs with a stud finder. To support especially large objects, drive hangers into adjacent studs.


To see how a picture grouping will look on the wall, first lay it out on the floor. You're getting a bird's eye view, and you'll find it easier and quicker to move things around as you work out a preliminary arrangement.


Step 2

To position the eyes, measure the height of the frame and mark pilot holes one-third of the way down the frame

Install eyes and picture-frame wire. Screw eyes and braided wire are sold in a range of sizes to handle framed objects of different weights. To position the eyes, measure the height of the frame, and mark pilot holes one-third of the way down the frame. Drill a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the threaded portion of the eye. Drill carefully to avoid boring through the frame. Twist in the eyes by hand.


To determine the length of wire to cut for a picture, measure the picture width and add 50 percent. This allows enough wire to wrap each end around a screw eye and then around itself, while preventing the frame from dropping below the hanger.


Step 3

To securely hang heavy pictures, run two wires between the screw eyes and support each with a wall hanger Use double wire for heavy pictures. To securely hang heavy pictures where there is no access to a stud, run two wires between the screw eyes and support each with a wall hanger. Space the two hangers at least half the picture's width apart.

Step 4

Tap a nail through the hole just enough to mark the wall

Nail a hanger to the wall. To determine the exact position for the hanger, poke a pencil point through the paper cutout at the spot where the picture wire will be when fully stretched by the picture weight. When you find the best location for the picture, tap a nail through the hole just enough to mark the wall.


Traditional hangers (A) have a nail that runs through the top, with a hook that acts as a hanger. They work in both drywall and plaster but may tend to chip plaster.


Hangers sold as "professional" picture hangers (B) also work in plaster and drywall. They have a thin, sharp, hardened nail that is less likely to chip plaster. The nail is removable and reusable.


Wallboard anchors (C) are large nylon screws that house metal screws. Drive the pointed end into the drywall with a hammer; then screw the anchor into the wall with a standard screwdriver. Drive in the metal screw, and hang the picture.


Anchors are available with hooks (D) to hang pictures and with special hooks to hang mirrors.