10 helpful tips for hanging picture frames

August 25, 2015

Pictures add to the unique qualities of a room and are better preserved and enhanced when they're framed and hung thoughtfully. Here are 10 helpful tips on hanging perfect picture frames.

  1. What's the right height for picture frames? In most standard 2.4-metre (8 foot) tall rooms, hang your picture at approximately 1.5 metres (5 feet) from the floor. For rooms with higher ceilings, hang your frames a little higher. This will visually lower the ceiling height.
  2. Choose the appropriate hook for your picture's size and weight. Single-pin hooks will support a typical picture in a frame measuring up to 90 x 60 centimetres (35 x 25 inches). A double-pin hook will support one measuring 120 x 90 centimetres (50 x 35 inches). Consider two hooks for pictures that are any bigger.
  3. Whether a picture falls off the wall depends on the strength of the weakest link. This could be the cord or the hook but often it's the small eyes screwed into the frame to which the cord is attached, and which may penetrate the frame only slightly. If a picture falls, or you want to be sure it'll stay up, replace these eyes with more substantial D rings.
  4. Tape pictures to their mounts with special linen tape, available from picture-framing stores. Try not to use ordinary sticky tapes since their adhesives can soak into the paper and damage the picture.
  5. To avoid marking and making holes in your walls, don't use hooks, use picture rails. These rails look great, especially in rooms with high ceilings. Hang S-shaped (or "swan") hooks on the rail and suspend your pictures with unobtrusive nylon cord or fishing line, or with fine decorative wire if you like the visual impact.
  6. You can hang a large or heavy picture on a solid wall using a round-headed screw fitted with a wall plug. Just remember that the heavier the picture, the larger the screw you use needs to be.
  7. Pinpointing the exact spot for a picture hook can be exasperating. But there is a trick to it. Cut a 25 centimetre (10 inch) length of wire off of a coathanger an file one end to a point. Then, use pliers to bend the pointed end into a 90 degree hook and bend the other end into a finger-sized loop. Slip the pointed end under the cord on the back of your picture frame and position the picture on the wall, holding it by the looped end of the wire. When you find a spot you like, push the point gently into the wall to mark the spot for the hook.
  8. Heavy frames can open up at the corners under their own weight. To prevent this, use D rings or drive two extra screw eyes into the bottom of the frame, then rig the wire through these and those near the top.
  9. Bind your picture frames' cords with duct tape on either side of where they sit on their hooks to stop them from sliding from side to side on their cord.
  10. To keep your frames straight, attaching loops of duct tape to the back of the frame at the corners, sticky side out, and press them to the wall.

Keep these ten helpful tips in mind to help you hang pictures like an expert.

10 helpful tips for hanging picture frames
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