How to Hang a Painting | A Free Guide From Xanadu Gallery – RedDotBlog

How to Hang a Painting


You ’ ve just purchased a dramatic painting. An artist exhausted years studying, refining his/her craft to create this masterpiece. A drift went to bang-up effort and expense to display the exploit indeed that you could see it in a pristine setting. now, you ’ ve got the influence home and. .. you ’ re on your own .
many collectors feel overwhelmed by the candidate of hanging new artwork. They worry that they won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate know where best to display the ferment in their family, or that they ’ ll make a mistake in hanging the work, and it won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate spirit as beneficial in their home as it did in the veranda, or that it won ’ thymine fit in with the other work in their collection. In this scout, I ’ thousand going to help you alleviate any of those feelings and give you tips that will help you hang artwork like a pro .
Before I begin, allow me to give a little of my setting. I ’ ve been surrounded by art since I was a young child. My father, John Horejs, has been a professional oil painter for most of my life. I grew up watching him create artwork. Our home was constantly filled to overflowing with paintings. Though I never wanted to become an artist, I excessively, fell in sleep together with art and followed him into the art universe. I began working in an art drift when I was 17 and have done so ever since. I opened my own gallery, Xanadu, in Scottsdale, AZ, in 2001.

It ’ south dependable to say, over my life, I have hung thousands of paintings. I ’ ve rehung the artwork in my drift countless times ; frequently, on a hebdomadally basis. I ’ ve hang artwork for my clients in their homes – many here in Arizona, but as far away as Boston ! If you can imagine a difficult scenario for hanging a painting, I ’ ve likely encountered it .
Over the years, I ’ ve learned a fortune about hanging artwork successfully. I have learned from experts in my industry, but even more through experience. I would like to partake some tips and techniques I use that will make hanging artwork much elementary .
The most authoritative thing you should know about hanging art is, in cattiness of the fact I ’ thousand going to give you some formulas and equations, hanging a paint is not an exact science. You should besides know that there is no objective right or wrong direction to hang a paint. The most significant thing, is to hang the art in a way that feels right to you. The steering I ’ megabyte going to give you here, will allow you to find what feels right, more cursorily .

1 | Tools of the Trade

Tools You'll Need to Hang a Painting

Any job is easier with the right tools. Investing in the right field tools will not only make the job easier, it will ensure better results. fortunately, it ’ randomness easy to obtain tools to hang artwork, and the investment required is a small one .
The first four tools are pretty straightforward and can be picked up at any hardware supply or home improvement storehouse .


When it comes to hanging a paint, equitable about any mallet will do the job. Some prefer to use a minor framer ’ randomness hammer, as it is less likely to bend your nails. I prefer a traditional hook hammer that has some weight to it. With practice, you won ’ t be bending the pinpoint anyhow, and I like to have a little weight in the hammer. Weight helps you drive the nails in more cursorily. An periodic bended nail is a child troublesomeness, and worth the tradeoff to have the driving office of a full moon size mallet .

Tape Measure

A good magnetic tape measure is besides invaluable. It ’ s improbable you ’ ll be hanging a piece of artwork at extreme heights or need to measure extremely across-the-board walls, so a 12 or 15 foot tape should be more than adequate. Cheap tape measures will bend and jam – spend a few extra dollars and get a sturdy one .


Some people can sense how level a painting is by pure instinct ; I ’ m not one of them, and I, therefore, like to have a floor handy at all times. Invented in the fifteenth century by Melchisedech Thevenot in France, the level has to be on of the greatest inventions of the last millenium. absolutely simple, but boundlessly utilitarian .
respective years ago, I purchase a laser level. The laser creates a line that extends the duration of the grade, and it makes you feel high-tech. Truthfully though, I ’ ve line up I very rarely end up using the laser affair. My batteries died in the level several years ago, and I ’ ve so far to replace them. In early words, an previous fashioned, first gear technical school level should meet all your needs


Any pencil will do for marking your wall. I use a simpleton, number 2 spark advance. It ’ s comfortable to erase if you make a error. This is a job where you don ’ thyroxine necessarily need a sharp write cock, but it doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate hurt to have a dependable sharpener around, fair in case .
The next four tools are specialized hanging tools. You ’ ll probably have to order them online if you don ’ t have a peculiarity artwork supply or framing add finale by. I include links to the suppliers I use, for your public toilet .

Floreat™ Hangers

Floreat Hangers
Painting hooks are available at most hardware and home improvement stores. The diverseness they carry is all right, but once you ’ ve used a Floreat hanger, you ’ ll never be able to use another brand again. Floreat hangers are manufactured in Germany, and the mastermind and design is exceeding. These brass plated steel picture hangers are potent and durable. The nails are extremely bully, however identical constrict, about pin-like in gauge. They leave very small holes in your wall. Unlike other brands, Floreat hanger nails won ’ thyroxine flex easily, and can be reused if you need to move the artwork .
The hangers come in 10, 20, 30, 50, and 75 pound evaluation varieties. I typically have the 20, 50 and 75 pound hangers in my toolkit. The hooks can be doubled or combined to take higher weights ( more on heavy pieces late ) .
I order the hangers online from Ziabicki Import Co., and if you order one box of the 50 pound hangers, you should have adequate to last you for many years .
hypertext transfer protocol : // world wide web. ziabicki. com / deluxe – floreat – hangers

Strap Hangers

Strap Hanger
Most paintings that you purchase will come wired on the back, ready to hang. however, it ’ mho always a beneficial idea to verify that the hardware the artist or gallery provided is hardy and well mounted. recently, a quite large paint in my own home came crashing down. In cattiness of the fact I had used the right hang hooks, the picture wire on the back of the piece pulled the climb hanger out of the human body, and down the piece came. We were fortunate that the damage was entirely child, and even more fortunate that it happened in my own home, not the dwelling of a node. But I learned a valuable moral about the importance of every component in the hanging process .
When hanging belittled, unhorse pieces, the hanger international relations and security network ’ t as critical, and much a childlike screw-eye hook will be more than sufficient. As cultivate gets heavier, however, it ’ mho crucial to have a sturdy hanger in locate .
I use heavy, two hole, strap hangers from United Manufacturer ’ second Supplies. several other designs and weights are available, but this one is well-engineered and will work for about any scenario .
hypertext transfer protocol : // world wide web. unitedmfrs. com / cart / detail. cfm ? detail =709

Tuflon™ Coated Picture Wire

United Manufacturer ’ s Supply besides has a capital photograph wire. Their Tuflon coated telegram is heavy, and the coat prevents the wire from fraying and rending, which can lead to catastrophic failure .
You can get a roll of the # 6 wire for around $ 20 at the meter of this spell, and the roll should meet all your hang needs for many years to come .
hypertext transfer protocol : // world wide web. unitedmfrs. com / cart / detail. cfm ? item =5746

Nail Hole and Corner Filler – Gold, Dark Gold & Silver

Nail Hole and Corner Filler
ultimately, whenever you ’ re hanging a firearm of artwork, it is about a certainty that you are going to ding up the frame ( hopefully only minor dings ). countrified frames can take a bit of abuse, but a more flowery skeletal system is identical sensitive to any scuffs or scratches. Every precaution should be taken to avoid damaging the frame, but if damage does occur, it ’ s a good idea to have a way to cover nicks and scratches. United Mfrs Supply, has just the right cock. Their complete hole and corner makeweight comes in a wide kind of colors and finishes and is designed to be applied to a wood inning to cover any blemishes. even though the color won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be an exact couple, it will be close enough to make the imperfection disappear .
The filler is a discolor putty that is guaranteed not to dry out or crack. To apply, you will get a small total on the point of your finger and smudge it lightly onto the skeleton, blending it into the surface and filling any holes or gouges .
Of course, large cracks or gashes may require the services of a master framer .
hypertext transfer protocol : // world wide web. unitedmfrs. com / cart / detail. cfm ? item =2277

Drywall Anchors

Drywall Anchors
Some artwork, particularly contemporary pieces, may not be presented in a traditional frame, or the mount may not work with wire and hook. In those cases, or if the slice is heavier than about 120 lbs, you may need a heavy-duty wallboard anchor in holy order to mount the part. A number of unlike types are available. I prefer the expanding metal screws that are driven into the wall with a hammer, and then screwed in, to expand a kind of flange behind the wallboard .
Plastic wallboard anchors, and alloy wallboard screw mounts are besides available, but I haven ’ metric ton found these to be vitamin a stable as the expanding screw. Follow any instructions carefully, and ask your hardware shop for advice about which ride is appropriate for your lotion and how to do the facility .

Mortar/Concrete Anchors

Mortar Anchors

As I mentioned in the insertion, I ’ ve had the affair to hang artwork in some fairly awkward locations. Some of the most unmanageable hangings have been above fireplaces that have stone or block mantles. My first word of advice in this kind of situation is to get professional facility serve. These installations can be very slippery, and a professional will have the know and tools requisite to handle about any scenario .
If you do choose to mount the artwork yourself on a surface other than wallboard, you will likely need to use mortar or concrete anchors. Again, your local hardware store can be a big resource for finding the correct anchor for your installation .

2 | Preparation

A few elementary preparatory steps will make the actual hang easy .

Clear the Wall and your Work Space

quite than moving your couch out of your direction, it may seem easier to climb onto it to hammer in the hook and hang the painting ; you can trust me, it isn ’ thyroxine. If at all possible, I advise you to clear everything off the wall and move any furniture out of your way. This includes lamps, plants and other pictures. Give yourself the best potential access to the hanging space to avoid wrong to artwork and furniture .
Clearing your quad is specially authoritative if the piece is fleshy and requires more than one person to hang it .

Determine the Wall Composition

In the first chapter, I provide you with a kind of wall cling hooks and anchors. It ’ s authoritative to select the right one based on the material composing of the wall. Most walls are built of wallboard these days, and wallboard is the easiest material to work with. I ’ ve cling artwork on plaster, obstruct, and wood walls, all of which require screws, and much anchors alternatively of dim-witted hooks .
Because most homes are wallboard, and because plaster and auction block walls frequently require a customs facility process, I ’ molarity limiting the instructions in this guidebook to drywall initiation. other materials about constantly require a master initiation. Better to bring in a professional than to have to hire one to do a compensate on damaged artwork !

Take Initial Measurements to Determine Approximate placement of the Artwork

I will give exact measurement guidelines for measuring and placing artwork in the adjacent chapter, but for now, you want to have a rocky idea of artwork placement. If you have a estimable mind of your estimate placement, determining the concluding placement will be much simple .
Each initiation will be different, based on the blueprint requirements of the board, your personal taste and the individual slice ’ sulfur writing and scale .
As a rule, you can start by centering, and then refine the placement from there. A big piece will typically be approximately centered on a wall, or, if the wall is divided visually by some early component ( a man of furniture, a column, etc. ), you might center the work in the ocular space. If the artwork will hang above a sofa, you will typically hang the while to center on the couch .
again, this is only a seat to start. sometimes, you will need to work to create balance on a wall, offsetting early artwork or other ocular elements .
entire courses exist in design school on how to place artwork and furniture, but typically, if you follow your instincts, you will place the work about perfectly. You are going to be living with the artwork ; your satisfaction is what counts most .
If the artwork is a particularly significant piece, have your designer serve you place it, or ask an artist or gallerist to help you place the nibble. I ’ megabyte glad to offer placement reference ( at no charge ). If you live in the greater Phoenix area, precisely give me a call and I will come by and help you hang the artwork. If you live outside of Phoenix, email me an image of your newfangled artwork and of the outer space you are considering for the piece, and I can help you with placement over the internet .

Check the Wire, Straps, and Picture Hooks

I mentioned the importance of checking your hardware in the former chapter, but it bears repeating hera. Before you start hanging, check, and then recheck all of the hardware to make certain everything is solid .
Pick the painting up by the visualize wire and lower it and raise it in your hands a few times, as if you were lifting weights. Do this cautiously, and make sure you do it over a gentle airfoil – carpet, for example, or a blanket. Raising and lowering the artwork puts a minor extra try on the hang electrify. If I hear any creak or feel any give in the wire, I replace the hang straps and wire without reluctance. Remember, the slice may be hanging on this rampart for years and years to come. Better to spend a few extra minutes now, to make surely the hardware is dependable, than to have problems in the future .

3 | Getting Down to Business

now that you are prepare, and have all of your tools, it ’ second meter to get this picture hang. You ’ ve already determined roughly where you are going to place the plaza of the artwork. now it ’ second clock to determine height. Determining the right altitude for the artwork is critical – it can besides be a sting catchy. I ’ thousand going to give you some tips that will help .


Two independent factors will be taken into consideration as we prepare to hang the artwork. First, will the artwork hang above some other object, such as a mesa, sofa or other token of furniture ? Second, what is the stature of other objects displayed on the wall in the room ?
The goal in hanging the artwork is to create harmony throughout your space. Creating a common altitude will help. I strive to align the centers of all of the artwork in a room to achieve the common height .
so, our first decision is to determine what the center field height of the artwork should be – in other words, how high off the floor will you place the plaza of your artwork ? Eye charge would be the arrant stature, and if you live alone and will be the only one viewing the art, by all means, measure the acme of your eyes and use that as your scout !
Most of us don ’ triiodothyronine hot alone, however, and unless everyone in your family is precisely the same height, you ’ re going to have to compromise. I feel that 60 ” is a dear middle ground. I ’ ve found that five feet from the shock is close enough to eye level that the altitude won ’ thyroxine offend either the very tall or very unretentive, and to most viewers it will feel arrant. You may decide you want to hang a little higher or lower to have the heigh palpate right, and this is very well. merely be sure to use the same total to calculate the altitude of all of your art .
Getting the center heights aligned is easy if you have a blank wall with no furniture, so lashkar-e-taiba ’ s begin there, and then we ’ ll throw some furniture into the desegregate to show you how to deal with it .
On an evacuate wall, we ’ ll meter the height of the paint, divide that act by two, add the numeral to our ideal altitude ( 60 ”, or whatever altitude you decide your ideal altitude is ) and then minus the distance between the acme of the artwork and the highest sharpen of the picture cable. The leave number is where you will place your hook .
Wow, that looks actually complicated written out as it is here, but the formula is reasonably simple once you get the hang of it ( pun intended ). Working your manner backward, you ’ ll see that in order to get the center of the painting to align with your ideal middle altitude, you ’ re going to have to determine how much higher the wire is than the middle of the painting. My formula does precisely that .
Written mathematically, the rule looks like this :
1/2p + i – west = henry
where phosphorus is the acme of the painting, i is your ideal stature, and tungsten is the distance between the top of the frame and the highest orient on the word picture wire .
Alright, that didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate in truth help simplify things either. Let ’ s try an exercise and exemplification and see if it makes the serve easier to understand .
Let ’ s say your new artwork measures 24 ” high ten 36 ” wide, and that the cable is 3 inches from the top of the skeletal system. To get our hook height, we would take the acme of the paint, 24 ”, divide it by two, to get 12 ” ( in other words, 12 ” is the upright middle of the painting, which we want to align to our ideal middle acme ). We would then add that phone number to our ideal height, 60 ”, to get 72 ”. This is where the top of our painting will be on the rampart. now all we have to do is subtract the telegram distance, 3 ”, to get 69 ”, which is the height we need to place the hanger. easy ! immediately you can measure 69 ” up from the deck, make a pencil stigmatize on the wall, and egyptian pound in your hook .
Important Measurements for Hanging Art
If we were to now hang another piece of artwork on the same wall, we would see how this formula forces the conjunction of the artwork. If the second gear piece of artwork were 40 ” senior high school adam 44 ” wide, with a wire that came to 4 ” inches below the crown of the ensnare, our calculation would be :
Dividing the height of the paint, 40 ”, by 2, we get 20 ”. Add that to 60 ”, the altitude where we want the center of the painting, to get 80 ”, the altitude of the peak of the frame on the wall. subtract 4 ” to get the peak of the electrify at 76 ” .
How to Hang Paintings in Alignment

Use our Online Painting Height Calculator

now that I ’ ve explained the work, I ’ ll give you a childlike way to darnel : use our on-line paint stature calculator at hypertext transfer protocol : // world wide web. xanadugallery. com / Height – Calculator .

Click Here to Use Xanadu Gallery's Height Calculator

Extremely Tall Pieces

My formula works extremely well for artwork of any acme astir to 120 ”. once you get to 120 ” you run into the floor ( if you are using my 60 ” middle altitude ). With improbable pieces, I prefer not to hang right on the floor, but quite up 8 ” -12 ”, depending on the size of the piece .
Measuring for our hook on a improbable firearm is actually reasonably easy. We ’ ll measure from the penetrate of the piece to the top of our hanging wire, and add that number to 12 ” to get the acme of our hook .
How to Hang a Large Painting

Hanging Groupings

now let ’ s say you purchased two smaller pieces and you intend to hang them together, one above the other on the wall. Well that ’ mho just great, you had to go and throw another crook at me, didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate you ! ?
Hanging groupings is actually no harder than hanging a single musical composition, and in fact, I consider any group to be a single slice. Any measurements will be taken from the overall group, not the person pieces .
For smaller pieces, I normally allow about 4 ” between the paintings. I carefully lay the artwork on a board or on the floor, measure the total altitude of the two pieces, including the space between them, and then run our calculation. The resulting number will be the acme of the addict for the top paint. Go ahead and hang the top nibble .
now measure the distance between the telegram and the top of the second base slice. Add four to that number, and then measure down from the bottom of the first firearm by that total. This will give you the overcharge placement for the second firearm. You may have to take the first while off the wall once you have the acme of the addict so that you can place the second hook immediately below the first ( a level comes in handy for this job ) .
How to Hang a Grouping of Paintings

In our example, we used paintings alike in size. If the paintings are of different sizes, the middle height might not be right in between the pieces as it is in the exemplification. That ’ mho all right, you precisely want the mid-line to be in the middle of the group .
If the pieces are different sizes you will besides have to decide whether you want the larger nibble on peak or underneath. There ’ second a bang-up argue on this subject. Some insist that the larger should always be on the buttocks, others say it should be on circus tent. I ’ ve attend both ways and recommend you do what feels most natural to you .
If you have more than two pieces, you will use the claim lapp proficiency of creating a group and using the grouping to make your measurement calculations .

How to Hang a Grouping of Paintings


thus far we ’ ve been hanging on a blank wall, not dealing with furniture. What if we have a sofa or table that will sit under the artwork ? If the furniture international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate in conflict with the artwork using the methods above, I would basically ignore the furniture and hang the artwork using our middle-line method acting. ampere long as you have sufficient space between the furniture and the artwork, this will look best. If the furniture, or artwork, is excessively grandiloquent to allow for this, do the lapp thing we did with improbable artwork : create a space ( I like 8 ” -12 ” inches ) and standard up to the wire .
How to Hang a Painting over a Couch

How to Hang a Painting Above a Couch
You may use the lapp access to hang a paint over a mantle or in a niche – quantify up from the desire bottomland of the installation .

Using Multiple Hooks

If a part is grave, or if you want to help prevent the artwork from shifting off flat, you can use more than one hook to hang it. All of the measurements and formulas remain the like, but rather of placing one hook or screw on the wall, you will use two or more, separated by 4 ” -5 ” .
Using multiple hooks help distribute the system of weights. If the wire is on two hooks it becomes much more difficult for the painting to shift and become crooked due to vibrations or bumps .
How to Hang a Painting Using Two Hooks

Alternate Method: Trial and Error

If all the mathematics and formula seems like besides much attempt, you can always use the trial and error method. Hold the piece up on the wall at a acme that feels right to you, estimate where the overcharge would need to be in order to get you to that altitude and pound in a hook. Step back and look at the musical composition. You can measure the altitude of the middle of the firearm from the shock, and if you are off importantly from where you would like to be, take the painting down and move your hook accordingly .
This method acting normally lone requires moving the piece one or two times to get it right. You would be surprised how many gallery owners, artists and other art professionals use this method acting. With the Floreat™ hangers your nail holes are so small that they are about inconsequential. You won ’ metric ton feel that you are destroying the wall if you have to move the hook a few times .

4 | Other Considerations

Protecting the Artwork


Artwork is delicate. When you are handling the artwork it ’ s a good idea to avoid fingerprints and smudges. Consider wearing white cotton gloves while handling your artwork. The gloves will prevent damage to the surface of the artwork and they ’ ll make you feel like you have your own personal museum !


You may besides place a fold across-the-board on the floor under the artwork as you are hanging it in order to protect the work from likely wrong. This will give you a soft surface on which to let the artwork rest ; it will besides act as a shock absorber and shock absorber if your newly acquired hanging skills fail you, and the firearm falls off the wall .

Work with an Assistant

If the artwork is heavy or delicate, it ’ second always advisable to have a second fit of hands. Besides helping lift the painting, an adjunct can help support the artwork as you place the wire over the hook ; always a unmanageable tax .

Getting the Wire on the Hook

If the piece is particularly bombastic and the wire on the back of the frame is rigorous, it can be difficult to get the telegram over the hook by reaching behind the slice. We have an old wood yardstick with a notch cut in one end that we use to reach behind the artwork and raise the wire over the hook .

Make Sure the Wire is Firmly Set in the Hook

once you ’ ve hang the firearm on the hook, don ’ thymine immediately step away from the artwork. Pull your hands slowly off from the artwork, keeping them poised to catch the piece if the wire didn ’ t firm set in the hook, or if the hook international relations and security network ’ metric ton firm in the wall. You can besides pull the artwork away from the wall and glance behind to see that the wire is indeed in the hook and not resting on the nails .

Never, Never, Never

Never Use Adhesive to Hang Artwork

never try to use adhesive to mount the artwork. I ’ ve seen artists attempt to hang artwork using credit card hooks and industrial adhesive material. I suppose some of them may have been golden and had success with this proficiency for very light artwork. This kind of fortune doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate defy out, however. finally the artwork is going to fall. I have no doubt that some adhesives are potent enough to take the weight of artwork. The trouble, however, is the surface you are trying to adhere to. If you glue a hook to a painted rampart, you are, in perfume, placing all of the weight of the artwork on the key. The paint will finally peel away from the wall and your artwork will end up on the floor .

Don’t worry about holes in the wall

Better to make a few extra holes in the wall to get the placement just correct, than have the piece hang falsely. Holes are easily patched and painted over .

Never use defective hanging hardware

Throw away bent nails and hooks. Trying to use damaged hardware will only lead to frustration, bruised thumbs and damaged artwork .


Hanging artwork can be a batch of fun. If you follow the steps I ’ ve shared in this guide, there ’ s no reason you can ’ t become an expert artwork hanger and the curator of your collection .
We have a node for whom we hung a few pieces several years ago. When he saw how easy it was, he said, “ I can do that ! ” He late told us that on many Friday evenings he will have a few margaritas, and he and his wife will completely rearrange their collection .
If you do ever run into difficulty with the hang, don ’ triiodothyronine hesitate to contact a professional art installer, a gallery, or Xanadu, in Scottsdale. No hanging challenge is insuperable .
Enjoy your modern artwork !

Suggestions for Artists

While this web log post is geared toward collectors, there are a number of ways that artists and galleries might use our How to Hang a Painting usher .

  1. The ideas shared in this article apply to artists hanging their work for shows or display in galleries (or in your own home, for that matter).
  2. Print a copy of this guide from our pdf page and give it to a collector who has just bought one of your pieces. You may freely print and distribute the pdf as long as you don’t alter it. Be sure and attach your business card to the print out.
  3. Email a link to the pdf version of the guide to your collector list. Your collectors will appreciate the information in the guide, and they’ll appreciate the effort you went to to forward it to them. Be sure and include a link to your website in the email – you’ve just given your collectors a great excuse to think of you and your art.
  4. Post a link to the pdf download page, or this page on your website or blog, and on your social media pages to provide this resource to your followers. You also have my permission to download the pdf, and post it directly on your site or email it to your mailing list as long as you don’t alter it in any way.

Share Your Thoughts by Commenting on This Post

Do you have extra tips or ideas about what you ’ ve read in this post ? Do you agree or disagree with something that was said hera ? Did you find the information valuable ? Let us know ! Make your voice heard by posting a comment below. Please note that, because of the comment spammers, we have to review all comments. It sometimes takes a few hours for your remark to appear. We in truth appreciate your feedback – it makes the posts even more valuable !

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