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How to hang a picture

Angi How To Properly Hang Artwork

Date Published: May 19, 2014

Time: 15 Minutes

Whether you want to hang a single piece of artwork or make your place look like the Louvre, knowing how to hang a picture is a great skill to have in your home improvement toolbox. Follow this step-by-step guide to mount your masterpiece properly on your wall.

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Tools & Materials Needed 
Hammer or screwdriver
Tape measure
How to hang a picture (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
1Choose the right hardware for your artwork, and gather the necessary tools.

If you’re hanging a light piece, a small finishing nail will work. A heavier piece might require a screw or a hollow wall anchor.

How to hang a picture (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
2Use the studfinder to locate the studs behind your wall, which should be about 16 inches apart.

The studs will give your piece more support. If your artwork is light or you’re using a hollow wall anchor, skip this step.

How to hang a picture (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
3Hang your piece about 57” in the center of your wall unless you’re hanging art in a cluster or opting for a less conventional display.

Measure 57” from the floor and use a pencil to mark the spot. Fun fact: Most art galleries use the 57” standard because it corresponds to average eye level.

How to hang a picture (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
4Measure the height of your piece and divide by two.

Pull the wire of the picture hanger on the back of your art taut and measure the distance between the top of the wire and the top of your picture frame. Subtract that number from half the height of your piece. Measure that distance from your 57” mark and mark with your pencil. That’s where your nail or screw will go. Tip: If you’re trying to hang the picture in the center of a wall, measure the distance across and divide by two. Adjust your mark to the intersection between the 57” plane and the center point.

How to hang a picture (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
5Install the nail or screw as appropriate.

If you’re using a nail between studs, hammer it at an angle of at least 45 degrees upward to bolster the support. If you’re using a hollow wall anchor on drywall, apply moderate pressure with a screwdriver to insert it slowly until it’s flush with the wall.

How to hang a picture (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)
6Hang your artwork.

Place the level atop the frame to make sure it’s straight. The horizontal tube should be parallel with the edge of your frame and the bubble should sit in the center of the tube between the two lines. TIP: If you don’t own a level, you can find free mobile phone apps that work as level tools!