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How to Hang a Picture: 5 Tips for Hanging Photos on the Wall | Architectural Digest

Enough of staring at blank walls—it’s time to learn how to hang a picture. Maybe you like to scour flea markets for portraits of strangers or even dabble in DIY art projects to save cash, but you don’t know the best way to hang pictures, so they sit listlessly on the floor. Whether you want a gallery wall, or you’re just hanging a solo piece of art for a minimalist impact, the instructions are basically the same.

Take hammer and nail to the wall with these tricks so you know how to hang a picture like a pro.

Step 1: Decide on a strategy

Although you can likely hang your picture on just about any wall, consider the weight, size, and shape of the item you’re hanging as well as the material of your walls before you pick up a hammer. Can I drill into brick? What about tile? Will my plaster walls hold anything, and what the heck is a stud? We’ve got you covered with these common wall-hanging myths.

Step 2: Gather your supplies

You know that you need a hammer, measuring tape, and pencil for hanging pictures on wall, but other supplies will come in handy. Before you get started, make sure you add these to your toolkit as well. For plaster or drywall, the weight of the item will determine exactly what you’ll need.

  • For hanging light-weight pieces:

The best way to hang pictures that are light in weight is to invest in a pack of small nails.

  • For medium-weight pieces:

If it weighs more than a few pounds, add a few picture-hangers to your cart.

A heavy picture or heavy mirror will require a big nail, a stud-finder or wall-plug anchors, screws that fit them, and a screwdriver.

If you’re hanging on tile or glass, you’ll need good-quality and low-profile adhesive hooks rather than nails and screws, and if you’re hanging on brick, use brick clamps. (More on mounting on those surfaces here.)

Check the back of the picture before getting started to see what type of hanging hardware you’re working with. When you flip to the back of the frame, you’ll usually find hanging wire, D rings, or a sawtooth hanger. Although this shouldn’t impact you too much, make sure you don’t buy nails that end up being too big for your D rings, for example.

Step 3: Make a game plan

Well-arranged framed pictures can take your home decor to the next level, but if you don’t actually know how to arrange them, you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle. The best way to hang pictures doesn’t follow a steadfast rule, but there are guidelines.

The center of a framed piece of artwork should be 57 inches above the ground—the average eye level, and the height galleries and museums typically hang their pieces. Mark the height using a pencil, then measure to find the middle of the wall from end to end, and mark where the two points meet. That’s where the middle of your artwork should go!

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