Picture shows a blue background which is half light blue and half darker blue. In the centre is a gold picture frame with the words "how to hang a picture" inside it. Unitas' company logo is at the top of the page in the centre.

How to: Hang a Picture

Image shows a red sofa with orange and blue cushions across it against a white wall which is covered in lots of pictures in frames.

Hanging a picture sounds, in theory, so easy it shouldn’t even need a “how to” article. But we’ve seen some attempts end not only in disaster, but in expensive repairs, so we’re sharing the things we’ve learned to ensure you don’t make mistakes.

Positioning

The old rule of thumb when hanging a picture is that eye level is the safest option – and in many instances that advice is bang on. Having the centre of the picture, art or -sculpture at approximately 57-60 inches off the floor means it will catch the eye of almost (using average heights) everyone passing it, and isn’t that what you want?

That being said, some rules are made to be broken and some rules don’t account for other fixtures, high ceilings or existing pictures, so we would always say, use your judgement when it comes to positioning. If it feels comfortable for you, and you are after all the person looking at these fixtures more often than a visitor, then go for it.

Positioning is also important when it comes to hanging multiple pictures or a gallery-style pattern. In this case, it’s generally a good idea to position the largest picture or piece first and then pattern the smaller sections around that.

It might also be that you’ve got an uneven number of pieces and that the centre is meant to be a focal point. If that’s the case, find the mid-point that suits your room – either as the middle of a feature wall, or the centre point between two fixtures such as lamps, and work your way out.

What we would always say though, is to plan the positioning before you even think about hammering. Think about how you want the finished article to look and see it in your mind before the nails come out.

Avoid

Putting a picture or any artwork in direct sunlight will kill it. This is a fact.

You’ll be battling against sun-bleaching, glare and other discolouration which won’t do your picture the world of good at all.

Particularly high and low temperatures, humid conditions and steam will also quickly damage whatever it is you’re hanging, so be sure to think through the conditions of your room.

Never, and we mean this now, hang something that you can’t lift. That is to say never hang it alone and without consulting a professional first. Because, let’s face it, a hammer and nail isn’t going to keep something that took two of you to carry into the house on the wall is it? Google “professional picture hangers” and find yourself an expert who’ll ensure the wall, you and the art all stay in one piece.

Image shows a green wall with darker green embossed vectors on it. To the right of the wall are three lightbulbs on copper pipes. Then to the centre and the left there are a number of different sized rectangular pictures.

Finally

Once you’ve planned and measured, you’re ready to go and you have options:

  • Option 1: hanging the picture with a nail. This is the easiest way and you literally need one nail and a good hammer. This is the method you’ll use if the picture/art came with a hook or a sawtooth hanger. Drive the nail in at a slight down angle so it points upwards will give a good, long lasting anchor.
  • Option 2: hanging with wire. If the art came with two d-rings and a wire, you’ll follow the exact process above, but twice, spacing the pins apart and ensuring you use a spirit level to make sure the two are level.
  • Option 3: Hanging without wires. If, and we understand it, you’re hesitant to make holes in the wall, or if you don’t want to damage a wallpaper pattern, adhesive picture hooks can be your best friend. All you’ll need to consider is that the manufacturer of the strips guarantees they can hold your picture and you’re good to go. Grab them from Amazon or your favourite DIY shop.
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