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For something so simple, hanging artwork can be frustrating. Artwork and photographs hung too high or low is a common mistake that throws a room off balance, while multiple pieces of framed art that don't align can be maddening. This guide shows you how to hang artwork step-by-step so that your decor has a professional, polished look.
Picture Hanging Tools and Tips
You’ll need a stud finder, masking tape or painter’s tape, a tape measure, hammer, hangers, anchors (if necessary) and a level. Hanging art in your home starts with figuring out where, how and how high to place your picture on the wall.
57 inches is considered the ideal height for the mid-point of any framed piece, no matter the size of the wall art. If you’re hanging a gallery of family photos, apply this rule to the centermost picture. The 57-inch rule also works if you’re hanging a sculpture or other wall hanging. When hanging above a bed or sofa, the bottom of the picture frame should be eight to 10 inches above the furniture. A piece or group of pieces above a sofa should also span about two-thirds the furniture’s width. Finally, if you're hanging a picture in a hall, hang the middle of the frame at eye level.
Find a Stud
No matter the size or weight of your frame, it’s best to anchor the hook or nail in a stud. Find a stud with an AC stud finder. If there isn’t a stud near where you plan to hang your art, be sure to use a sturdy anchor. Locate studs in the area you are working in. You’ll want to secure the hanger directly into the stud. If not, use the appropriate anchor to support heavy items.
Measure the Wall
Measure up from the floor 57 inches to mark the vertical center of the frame. Next, measure the height of your art. Divide this number by two and then add the resulting number to your 57-inch mark. This will be where the top of your frame will be. Mark lightly with a pencil or tape. Set the level and designate the top edge of the frame with a light pencil mark or tape.
Plan Your Picture Placement
Now that you've found your center point, it's time to plan your picture placement. Have you been admiring all of those beautiful gallery walls online? Creating one is not as difficult as it looks.
- Trace each frame you plan to use onto kraft paper.
- Cut out the patterns and arrange on the floor. Mix the shapes and sizes until you find a composition you like.
- Tape the arrangement to the wall with masking or painter’s tape. Level and measure the spacing between the paper patterns as you go.
Hang the Picture
Carefully measure down from the level line to match the location of the hardware on the frame. The distance will vary based on whether you’re using a sawtooth, D-ring or wire. Secure the hanger into the wall with the hammer. Hang the picture. Use a level to make sure it is straight.
Hardware for Hanging Pictures
Some of the most common picture hanging hardware are sawtooth, D-rings and wire. Select one that suits the weight, size and hardware of your frame. Most hardware will list weight maximums on the packaging.
- A sawtooth hanger mounts to the upper edge of a lightweight frame and works well with a nail with a medium to large head.
- A frame with large D-rings pairs best with bear claw hangers or picture hangers.
- Picture cord and wire offer a fool-proof way to hang larger art. The length of wire makes it easier to snag the hook. The method also works well with readily-available picture hangers. Don’t forget to account for the bend of the wire when measuring for the location of the hook or hooks. Plus, check the wire periodically, because it can slip over time.
- For hanging large or heavy art, use a French cleat. This two-piece combination can handle frames that weigh anywhere from 50 to 400 pounds. This method requires mounting one plate to the wall and the other to the art. The pair overlaps, seamlessly locking together when the frame plate slides down into the wall plate.
Picture hanging kits make it easy to keep a variety of hardware on hand.
Hanging a picture in your home is a great way to personalize your space with minimal tools and materials. Whether you’re hanging a small photo or a gallery wall, make sure you take the time to measure properly. Use The Home Depot Mobile App to locate products and check inventory. We'll take you to the exact aisle and bay. And if you become too frustrated to complete the project, hire a pro from the Pro Referral Marketplace to finish the job for you.