Not as easy as it seems, we explore the best way to hang a picture.
Whether you’re a young person in their first apartment or a married couple in their first home, decorating may not be a priority. But you may discover rather quickly that there is something unappealing about blank walls. Nothing is as lifeless or dull. And your days of hanging centerfolds or posters with thumbtacks, or taping photos of your love interest to the wall have gone the way of partying in the woods. No, you don’t want to do that. You (presumably) have class. You want to make a good impression for visitors and guests of your home. And doing so is quite easy, really.
Breathe new life into the rooms by tastefully hanging works of art or family photos. Of course you can hang posters, but you want to do it right – they need to be framed or mounted. It’s easy to suggest choosing something that matches the décor or that is of general good taste, but the truth is everyone’s preferences are different. Images speak to us in different ways. Ultimately you are going to choose something that appeals to you personally. With the right frame, you are able to make the perfect complimentary statement. Then again, there’s always a chance that you’re just as content to leave the wall bare, but it’s your significant other who just isn’t having it.
You don’t need to be a carpenter, mathematician or any kind of related professional in order to hang a picture professionally, but knowing a few basic tips will help you hang things more tastefully – much to the delight of everyone around you. It’s not an exact science, but you can take advantage of combining your palate with the knowledge. You will find the task infinitely easier, so git yerself a pardner and let’s rock!
Now, you’re probably thinking all you’ll need is a push pin, maybe a ruler (for centering). The length of a push pin is entirely too short, and they don’t support much weight. That’s what you need to consider – the weight and size of your picture, the wall material, and the means of hanging (can be wire, ring, sawtooth hanger, etc…).
For the most part, a standard nail or hanging hook will work just fine. There are those that will insist upon wall plug anchors when hanging a pic to drywall, but frankly, people have been using nails alone for years without issue. There’s also the monkey hook that you can just push into the wall, its large hook sits on the drywall and secures it. No tools needed.
And what of smaller prints, you ask? Naturally, they’re the easiest. One nail or hook will suffice, you may want to bump that number up to two for medium sized prints to ensure that they remain secure and centered.
Now for larger frames (movie posters, for instance, are 27” by 40”) the frames tend to get heavier. You’ll need to work with an anchor in these cases, especially if going into drywall with no stud. The main anchor types for these purposes are plastic wall plugs and heavy duty toggle bolts. The latter carries the most load capacity but may also cause more wall damage (because you need to drill a large hole first). If the picture’s placement lines up with a stud – 2×4’s in the wall that you can find with a studs finder – all you’ll need is a heavy duty nail.
Very lightweight pictures can be hung easily with 3M poster hangers that use plastic hooks (or Velcro strips) that will not damage your walls. Something to note, this is the perfect way to hang pictures on brick walls, no fuss of drilling needed!
So, you have the general vicinity in mind for your picture, but can you get it in just the right spot? You need to measure across the wall to find the center and mark it with pencil or tape. Next, you want to determine how high it should be – this is where mistakes are often made. Generally, the picture should be at about eye level, which is considered to be at approximately 60-65 inches up from the floor.
Once you’ve narrowed down the perfect spot, just a little more measuring and taping is necessary. Use painters tape for easy preciseness. Have your accomplice hold the picture up to the desired placement, and put the tape along the top edge, going a little beyond the length of the frame. Mark the tape with pencil where the edges of the frame are. From that, measure and mark where your hooks go upon the horizontal frame. If it’s just a single nail you’re using, measure the width of the frame and split the difference. Then, measure down from the top of the frame to where the hook will be. If the frame has a wire, pull it out tightly, if it has d-rings or saw tooth hangers, measure to where the nail will go. Finally, measure the same difference down from the halfway mark in your tape, and hammer in a nail. Once the picture is hung, use a level device for establishing a horizontal plane (if you don’t have a level there are many available as free phone apps!) to ensure it is perfectly even.
That’s it. Now you can flawlessly add to the decor every time you want a picture on the wall!