Tips for Hanging Fine Art in the Home

tips for hanging fine art in the homeSelecting a Frame

If your artwork is the type that needs a frame, like a print or maybe a specific painting, make sure to be selective in choosing the appropriate frame for your piece of art.

If the frame is “stronger” or “louder” in appearance  than the actual artwork,  you could essentially detract from the potential of the art itself. The frame should only be an enhancement for the artwork, not draw the full focus of someones attention.

Selecting a Perfect Display Spot

It’s important to note that there really is no wrong or right way to display your artwork. It’s really what makes you happy in the end. According to Mark Leithauser, the senior curator and director of design at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, “Display of art is subjective”….”there is no right or wrong way to do it”. He goes on to say that, ”Art in the end should be pleasing to you first, and the rest of the world second.”
Most typically, it’s best to start by standing in the general area where you plan on hanging the art and visualizing how the art would look.  Take your time though. Creativity comes best naturally when you take time to imagine different possibilities.One you have a general idea of its destination, you can proceed.

Understand the Weight of the Artwork and What is Needed

Do not hang fine art with just nails hammered into a wall. Make sure that you understand what is appropriate for your specific kind of artwork. You can either ask for recommendations from the Artist or Art Gallery in which you purchased it. Or you can also refer to the picture hanging hooks or brackets packaging for the suggested weight thresholds.
Use picture hooks or brackets. Again, be sure you have the appropriate wire for the weight of your art.
Use D-rings for heavier pieces of art. Generally, the packaging of the D-rings will include the manufactures recommended weight guidelines. Follow these! There’s nothing worse than causing damage to your artwork AND the wall simultaneously.

Get Your Art Hanging Tools Together

Get all your tools for the job together before you start. This way, you won’t find yourself stuck on a ladder, holding your precious artwork and then realizing you need a hammer… Most commonly, these are the tools needed to hang fine art like a pro:

  • Wire, Wall hooks, Brackets or D-Ring Hangers
  • Hammer Pencil
  • Level
  • Measuring tape


Measuring and Hanging the Artwork

Mark the center:
Find the center point of where you plan on the picture going. Mark this center point with your pencil.

Get measurements:
Measure from the hangable area (top of the area where the art will hang from, not the top of the picture) to the bottom of the hangable area. Do this top to bottom and another measurement from left to right. Remember that frames sometimes can be misleading with measuring the hangable area of the picture itself. Don’t include anything but measurements from the places that are actually going to make contact with the screws, nails, or hanging brackets themselves.

Mark the wall:
Use the measuring tape and these measurements and place marks on the wall with the pencil indicating where the picture will hang.

Measure and mark for any special wall hanging hooks, brackets, d-rings or wires. Keep in mind that if the picture has wire hanging, the wire should be taunt enough so that it will not show above the picture once it is hung.

Use a level:
Use the level to make sure that marked spots on the wall are level. This will ensure that your artwork will hang evenly.

Drive in screws or hanging fixtures:
Once everything is level, go ahead and place your screws or nails in the wall and carefully hang your artwork.

That should do it! If you are worried about hanging professional artwork yourself, it may be best to go ahead and choose your location for the piece and then hire a professional to hang it for you.