How to Hang Pictures

Under 2 hours

Placement and making sure your art and photos won’t fall are the keys to successful decorating

How to Hang Pictures

There is an art to hanging art. First, you have the challenge of placing objects on a wall in a pleasing way. 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 with hooks.

This guide shows you how to best hang photos on a wall, including arranging, grouping and anchoring them.


Group the pictures
Group the pictures - How Hang Pictures

• Juggling pictures to get the right one in the right place can be difficult. So work with pieces of paper instead. Trace the outline of each frame on a piece of paper. Cut out the shapes, place masking tape loops on the backs, and experiment with how you’d group the pictures.
• To see how a picture grouping will look, you can also 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.
• To make sure heavy artwork and mirrors won’t fall, lodge anchors into wall studs, using a stud finder to locate them. To support especially large objects, drive hangers into adjacent studs.

Install screw eyes and picture-frame wire
Install screw eyes picture - How Hang Pictures

• 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.

When to use double wire
When use double wire - How Hang Pictures

• Use double wire for heavy pictures and mirrors.
• 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.

Nail hangers to the wall
Nail hangers wall - How Hang Pictures

• 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 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 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 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 to hang pictures and with special hooks to hang mirrors.