How to Hang a Picture Frame

When you find the perfect picture frame for your artwork, the next step is to properly hang it. Hanging the picture improperly can result in a number of problems, including cracked or falling picture frames, unlevel frames, and even damaged pictures. Here are some tricks for making sure that you hang your picture just right.

It's Easier to Erase a Pencil Mark Than a Nail Hole

When you're preparing to hang your picture frames, you need to find the right place first. If you're using a one hook picture frame, you can figure out approximately where you want to hang it and then nail or screw in the fastener. But when it's time to mount a picture frame that has multiple brackets, things get a little trickier. Put the picture frame up on the wall where you want it, then check to see whether it is level. You could try eyeballing it, but to be accurate, you'll want to get an actual level. Once you have it level, mark the corners of the picture frame on the wall. Next, measure the corner of the picture frame to the point where the brackets should attach. Mark this in pencil as well. This is where you'll drill or tips to hang picture framesnail in the fasteners or brackets.

If it turns out that you marked the points incorrectly, you can easily fix them. Use a clean rubber eraser to remove them from the wall. It's a good idea to wipe the wall down with a dampened rag to make sure it's clean. Always let it dry completely before you attempt to hang anything. Pencil lead can streak on wet surfaces.

Brackets and Hangers Must Be Fastened in a Stud

Some rules are made to be broken, but the old "only hang a picture in a stud" is one that you shouldn't break unless you want a big mess. Securing a picture frame in a stud allows you to have something solid to brace the fastener in. Open door frames are one exception. The wood is strong enough to hold up the frame without difficulty. Sometimes you can get away with fastening the picture wherever you want if it is light enough. Thumbtacks and print images can be hung up almost anywhere, but as soon as you add in the weight of even a regular metal picture frame, you run a big risk that that frame will fall and break. While you can thump on the wall to find the stud, you'll be more successful in your search if you actually use a stud finder.

Quality Fixtures Are a Must

Sure, you could use thumb tacks. You could even use finishing nails. But the fact is, if you want your picture frames to keep cradling your beloved artwork, you need to give them something solid to hold onto. Cheap plastic brackets and plated metal brackets typically won't do the trick any more than inexpensive finishing nails. Find good quality fixtures to hang your frames on, and pay particularly close attention to the weight. Most good brackets come with a breakdown of the weight you can safely hang on one, two, or more brackets. Do not go over this weight. You might not think a pound or two will make that much of a difference, but it can. Also remember that there's nothing wrong with using a stronger bracket than you need.

When you get a piece of artwork in a beautiful picture frame, make sure that you hang it properly. Following these tips will help you to do it right the first time and leave your walls just as beautiful as before.

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One thought on “How to Hang a Picture Frame”

  • Leviticus Bennett
    Leviticus Bennett March 8, 2017 at 7:38 am

    I like your point that it's easier to erase a pencil mark than a nail hole. I just repainted my bathroom and want to hang up some framed pictures. I'm a little bit obsessive when it comes to keeping things level and evenly spaced, so I'll be sure to plan everything out with a pencil first.

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