Practical tips for picture framing and hanging

Pictures contribute to the unique qualities of a room and hanging them thoughtfully preserves and enhances them. Consider these practical tips for perfect framing and hanging.

  • If your picture frames rattle on the wall when a car passes, or fall to the floor when someone slams a door, try securing the corners with little pieces of Blu-Tack.
  • Place mounts around photos and prints to create a layer of air between the glass and the image. This will help prevent high levels of damaging humidity from building up and stop the artwork from sticking to the glass.
  • To hang a picture frame right where you want it, make a guide for your nail. Tape over the head of a thumb tack and position it directly under the picture's mounting bracket with the sharp point of the thumb tack facing outwards. Hold the picture in place and push on the frame until the point pricks the wall. The tiny mark will show where to place your hook.
  • Don't damage your wallpaper with picture hook holes. Instead, make three slits in the wallpaper with a utility knife to create a tab of paper where you want to install the hook. Then, moisten the area, and very carefully peel up the paper. When it's time to rearrange your pictures, gluing that paper tab back into its original position to disguise the hole that your picture frame left.
  • When framing a picture, use picture framing nails. They are less likely to split the frame and can be hammered in or stapled with a special tool.
  • The rabbet on a typical frame (the space enclosed by the moulding) needs to be deep enough for the glass, the picture, its mount, a backing board, plus 2 to 3 millimetres (1/16 to 1/8 inch) of clearance space for the picture framing nails that will hold everything in place. You will have to use a thinner mount and board if you do not have this much clearance.

Keep these practical tips in mind when you're hanging pictures in your home and you'll be better able to preserve and enhance them.

Practical tips for picture framing and hanging
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