We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.
Whenever I look at the gallery wall in my living room, I’m constantly reminded of how much artwork brings me joy. I took studio art throughout high school and majored in art history in college (along with media studies), and I’ve slowly been collecting pieces to fill my walls with over the past ten years or so. To that end, I loved the above shot of my salon-style arrangement from my apartment house tour last year, but I’d be lying if I said the inner perfectionist in me wasn’t a little annoyed over the fact that the frames are most definitely askew. It’s more noticeable on the right side, and I swore I straightened them before the shot. This is a real home — not a staged one — and, I guess, things just sometimes have a mind of their own and shift.
I’ve made my fair share of mistakes hanging art; when you get in up close on this wall, you can see a few holes that didn’t quite work, and I’m still searching for the right anchor piece to replace those two geometric textiles in the middle of the arrangement. Perpetually crooked frames, though? That has to be fixable, I thought after seeing this photo. Turns out the answer is yes, and had I not been doing a million other things to my apartment for its close up last summer, I would have discovered — and implemented! — the solution sooner: The Museum Putty, which costs less than $7 a package and is available on Amazon Prime.
Maybe you remember putting up posters or magazine tear sheets on your walls as a teenager or in your dorm room with Fun-Tak, that blue sticky stuff? Museum Putty’s basically the adult version of that; it functions the same way, securely anchoring a picture or canvas in place. Generally, Museum Putty is a little bit stronger and promises not to damage walls or chip nicer frames. Even better, this putty comes in a neutral white-gray color, so I won’t spot it out of the corner of my eye when I enter my living room and am looking at the pieces from their sides.
To activate the putty, which can also be used to hold collectibles or vases in place on a shelf or table (and is utilized in earthquake zones for this exact protection), all you have to do is pull a piece off the block, mold it into a ball, and press that evenly into a corner on the back of your frame. That ball then makes contact with the wall, and voila, no more shifting once you’ve gotten your piece level and pressed it in. I used four pieces on each frame total (one in each corner), but you could probably get away with just reinforcing two opposite diagonal corners. Removal is as simple as gently twisting the putty off of the surface you put it on, and it can even be reused on another piece after this.
Now that I have this wonder product, I feel like it’s something everyone should get to keep in their toolbox. That way, you can straighten pieces as you’re hanging them and never have to worry about wonky frames again!