Tips & Tricks: How To Hang a Picture

Whether it’s a personal print picture of yourself or an artistically drawn piece, understanding how to hang a picture on your wall is an art of its own.

Of course, it is an easy task for just about anyone, but how you hang a picture can either dull the beauty of the piece or help it shine.

It could be an expansive gallery wall you have in mind or a single piece; either way, it’s a DIY project for anyone with basic home tools like a hammer, nail, and tape.

Before you go ahead with putting a hole into your wall, you should make a few considerations: what type of hardware to use, the type of wall, and the perfect height for your picture.

Let’s dive into the six tips to guide you through hanging a picture on your wall.

How To Hang a Picture

Find the Perfect Spot

Have a clear picture of what you want to achieve with your wall space. Do you want the painting to be the first thing you see when you enter the room? Imagine the practicality of how the wall will look once you hang that piece.

If it’s a large empty wall, a small picture frame would be lost, and a larger piece could dominate a small wall.

You need to understand that regardless of how grand a picture or painting like the Mona Lisa is, its magnificence reduces when placed in an unsuitable area.

Many professional art handling experts will advise you to think about how light will strike the picture when hung on the wall during the day.

When hanging pictures, lighting can make the piece a focal point and little of it can make it almost unnoticeable when you enter the room.

How’s the Wall Surface

Consider the type of wall you’re about to place your picture on. Usually, the most common walls you’ll run into are drywall, bricks, plasters, or tiles. Each wall type has its unique way of getting past it to hang your piece.

Drywall

You’re in luck if this is your wall type; it’s easy to bypass and penetrate. All you need is to find a wall stud. If you have trouble finding a solid stud, a drywall anchor will be your next bet.

Brick

This wall type is more tricky and will require a nail or drill. If you opt for a nail, a concrete-type version is best, as it will be perfect for piercing the hard wall.

On the other hand, a drill will be easier to put a hole through for screw fittings.

Plaster

Approach similarly as you would a drywall, only with better and more solid studs. The best idea would be to pre-drill a hole into the wall.

Tile

A less common wall choice for hanging picture frames, but a wall type nonetheless. To hang your pictures on this wall, you will need good adhesive hooks instead of nails and screws. It’s more secure and will prevent damage to your tiles.

Understand the Frame Weight

You have found the perfect spot to hang your picture in the room; the next step is knowing the weight of the frame. The weight will determine the type of hardware you need to effectively keep your painting hung on the wall.

Let’s divide the weight of your picture into three: lightweight, medium, and heavyweight. The best ways to hang these different weight types include;

  • For lightweight pictures: a small pack of nails (preferably <2 inches) or strong adhesives can handle this.
  • For medium-weight pictures: invest in picture hangers for stronger finishing.
  • For heavyweight pictures: you will need big nails (preferably >2 inches), wall-plug anchors, a stud finder, a fitting screw, and a screwdriver.

Know your Hanging Hardware

Flip your picture frame over; you might notice multiple hardware options for hanging. It could be D-rings, wires, sawtooth hangers, or even a mix of them. 

Choosing which method of hardware to use would be based on preference and what you are trying to achieve. Let’s see some hardware hanging options.

How to Hang Pictures With Nail

If the frame comes with a sawtooth hanger or hook, this is the easiest method for you.

If you are a pro with handling a hammer and a nail, then this method will leave the least amount of damage since it’s simply going to be a pin dot hole left on the wall should you ever take the picture off.

How to Hang Paintings With Wire

For a more stable hang on the wall, the use of wires is the best bet. Nails are usually placed in the top middle of the frame at the back and could casually cause swinging effects.

But, with a wire, it suspends the picture with the two D-rings opposite each, creating a more sturdy fix with less swing effect.

How to Hang Art on the Wall Without Nails

No one likes seeing holes in their walls, and it could even be a huge turn-off for buyers if you ever think of selling the house.

If you are against nailing or drilling holes, then the use of adhesives and straps is your go-to option.

However, this option only works best for lightweight frames.

Measure the Precise Height Level

The perfect height to hang any picture frame like a pro is to follow set rules: using eye level. The average approved eye level is about 57 to 60 inches away from the floor, and your picture should sit somewhere in the middle of this height.

A pro tip to help you find the middle is to get a measuring tape and get the precise length of the picture you intend to hang.

Then, divide it in half. Place the top half of the picture at exactly 57 inches from the floor.

Finally, use a pencil or tape and mark the point you measured.

Hang the Picture

Once you have gotten your desired height and preferred hanging hardware, all that’s left is to place the picture on the wall. If you are thinking of putting more than a single frame up on the wall, the best advice is to put the largest picture up first.

Wall decor experts would suggest putting the picture that takes up the most room first, then gradually adding the smaller frames around it. Visualize in your mind how you want the final look to be, then map out your arrangement plans.

A side note would be this: do not be afraid to play around with ideas that come to mind. Sometimes, the most obscure thing could turn out perfectly aesthetic.

Note

There are a few things you might want to avoid doing when hanging a picture, painting, or art on your wall—some of these things could cause damage to either your wall or the picture itself. 

  • Never place a picture painting in front of direct sunlight. This could cause irreversible damage to the paperwork.
  • Don’t hang in a dark room. Have a nice blend of sunlight entering into the space or artificial lighting that properly illuminates the area.
  • Avoid hanging the picture in a humid or hot area. For instance, the kitchen and bathroom should not be your first choices for where to place your frames.

Conclusion

Knowing how to hang a picture the right way can give your space the perfect feel that it needs. Although it might not seem like much, how a picture fits into the room can uplift or dull the aura of a place.

Take a deep breath, imagine what you term beautiful in your mind, draw it out on paper if you can, and practicalize it. Most times, you’ll be shocked at what unique design choices can create for a space, especially when it comes to art.

Good luck and happy hanging out!

Julie Higgins
Author
Julie is a Staff Writer at momooze.com. She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.