Tips for hanging pictures
The National Art & Framing Council offers the following top 10 tips for hanging pictures:
1. Not too high! This is the most common mistake made when hanging pictures. Think in terms of eye level, so that the eye of the average viewer falls about one-third of the way down from the top of the picture. This should be about 55 to 58 inches from the floor.
2. Hanging a picture next to a lamp or low table where the viewer will be seated? It’s eye level again, except the level of the eye now will be much lower. The picture should look connected to the grouping.
3. Be sure to use hangers that are strong enough to hold the weight of the picture. Two hangers are better than one. The weight will be distributed and the picture will be less likely to shift. Custom frame shops will typically provide two hangers for framed items.
4. Is the wall strong enough? You may need special hangers for the wall that will not pull out or droop down. Wall board, metal walls, brick walls and old plaster walls may present a problem, but there are hangers for all types of walls; be sure to use the right one. 5. When hanging a pair or trio of pictures, group them together so they relate to one another instead of appearing to float in a large space on the wall. Keep the distance between pictures small — just a few inches apart.
6. When hanging a picture wall, create alignments so the viewer’s eye has lines to follow. These visual lines may be horizontal or vertical. Any two frames should have a common line, horizontally or vertically. Keep the spaces between pictures nearly equal — 2 to 4 inches apart.
7. All types of art can be hung together. Picture walls can be the gathering place for an interesting collection of art and photographs: drawings, paintings, collages, traditional subjects or modern.
8. Here are two ways to “audition” a picture wall: arrange and rearrange the pictures on a floor until satisfied with the layout before hanging on the wall. Or make templates by tracing around each frame on a piece of newspaper, cut out and hang the newspaper samples (taped to the wall with small pieces of removable tape) until satisfied with the arrangement. 9. Measure and mark the location of the nails on the wall. Remember to pull picture wire taut when measuring the distance between the top of the frame and the wire.
10. Avoid hanging valuable art in direct sunlight, which can damage many types of artwork. Use ultraviolet filtering framing glass to significantly reduce harm from light exposure.
This article was provided by the National Art & Framing Council.