If you're looking to add color or visual interest in a room, hanging wall art is always a safe bet. While choosing just the right photos, frames, artwork, and mirrors themselves are based on your personal aesthetics or your goal for the space, actually hanging them isn't always as intuitive. From the material of your walls, the right tools, selecting the right wall and height, there are many variables that you should consider before you become hammer - happy and have walls full of holes and poorly hung art.
Before you attempt to hang your wall art, it's imperative to consider the size of the wall and surrounding furniture or features. In general, it's best to hang art on proportionately sized walls; hanging large pieces on small slivers of wall space looks ridiculous. Conversely, hanging too-small pieces on expansive walls will look strange and leave your room looking bare and uninspiring. Hang larger pieces in spaces with minimal furniture and lots of wall space to allow viewers to appreciate the piece with minimal distraction.
The Height of the Issue
Selecting the right height for your artwork is important; if you choose a height that is too low or too high, it will not be in the eye - height of most people and will probably not be fully appreciated. The standard used in many galleries and museums is to hang artwork at 57 inches on center. This means that the center of the piece should be 57 inches from the floor. Hanging all wall art in your home at this height will add cohesion across rooms because all they will all be hanging in relation to one another from their centers, not their sides. Since people tend to hang their pictures too high, 57 inches is a good measurement to keep in mind when you go to hang your artwork. Since this measurement is from its center, you will need to add the inches between the middle of the piece and the location of the hook when choosing the right height to start hammering.
Hanging groupings of photos or art is more dramatic and interesting than hanging a sole piece, especially in larger spaces. An easy way to do this is to take a large sheet of paper and play around with your pieces. Label each frame with a piece of painter's tape and a number so you can remember which piece was where once you've settled on an arrangement. Trace the frames on the paper and write the corresponding number in each spot, and tape the paper to your wall as a guide to make the holes. Remember that the center of the grouping should be 57 inches from the ground.
If you have plaster walls in your home, you've probably found it difficult to hang wall art. It is especially important that you mount hangers and art appropriately to avoid damaging your walls. For plaster walls, it's often necessary to use a stud finder to locate the studs and wood laths in your walls. Larger pieces should be anchored in the studs. If you think it may be necessary to drill a hole into a stud, you may want to enlist the help of someone that has a lot of experience with drilling into plaster. If you screw a mount into a lath and break up the dried and molded plaster around the lath, your entire wall could fall down. With smaller pieces, use picture hooks and small nails. Angle the nail so that the picture hook is flat against the wall and hammer the nail at an angle. Remember to tap softly and take care to not splinter the plaster. Drilling pilot holes may be necessary with larger pieces, and should be drilled at an angle of about 45 degrees. The drill bit should be slightly smaller than the screws. Hand screw, or use a screwdriver on a slow speed, to anchor the screws. They need to be firmly set, otherwise the weight of the piece may pull them out of the wall. Hand screwing is generally preferred unless you have lots of experience drilling into plaster.
What You Need
Make sure you have all the tools you need before you start the project. You'll likely need picture hooks, nails, and a hammer, or screws and screwdrivers for larger pieces. A level, measuring tape, and stud finder are all handy tools. Picture - framing wire is also useful if you are hanging wall art that has two hooks, but you only want to make one hole. This method is especially useful if your home is older and has floors and walls that aren't perfectly flush and level. Note that this should only be used for lighter pieces that do not require the two - hole hanging method to distribute weight.