3 simple steps for hanging a picture frame
Here’s what you need to know before drilling or hammering in those picture hooks.
It’s easy to add a pop of colour and personality to your space with artworks and photographs, and the polish of a framed and perfectly hung picture creates an air of easy elegance. Whether it’s treasured memories - such as that family holiday, wedding photos or mementos from the past - or a beautiful abstract print in a contemporary palette, you could call in the experts to help you hang them, however you can quickly and easily hang photo frames yourself at home. Here’s how…
In the frame
First, choose your picture frame. The most common sizes range from 4 x 6 inches to 20 x 24 inches, as well as A4 (210mm x 297mm), A3 (297m x 420mm) and A2 (420mm x 594mm). The shapes include horizontal, vertical or square, and are also available in premade clusters, ideal for showcasing a range of photos. The orientation of some horizontal/vertical frames can be switched to match your picture, but check the back first to make sure. Choose a frame slightly larger than your image to allow for some white space around the image, if you like - and bring a tape measure to the store, along with your picture’s measurements. Then it’s time to find your position. It might be in pride of place above the mantelpiece or dining table, that empty niche in the kitchen or the expanse of wall by the front door - just ensure you hang it where you want to be able to see it. Do you want it in eyeline of the sofa, the kitchen bench or while standing?
Wall to wall
Depending on what surface you’re hanging your pictures on, your equipment needs will vary. For small or very light frames, the most you’ll need is an instant 3M hook. On brick walls, drill a hole with a masonry bit and insert expansion spaghetti and your screw for a secure hang. Timber-panelled walls will only need a nail or self-inserted hook. Hanging heavy works on plaster walls may require finding a stud to ensure it’s secure. Investing in a stud finder might be a good idea, but if you know where they are located, you can insert the hook directly into the stud. If the studs aren’t located in the position where you’d like to hang the frame, don’t worry - hollow wall toggles or anchors, available from most hardware stores, will expand, spreading the weight when the picture frame is hung to prevent any cracks in the plaster.
Measuring the spot - you’ll need:
Have a helper hold the picture up where you’d like it to hang and mark the top edge on the wall with the painter’s tape - use the pencil to mark the two corners of the frame on the tape. For one nail, divide the width in half, and for two, divide it into thirds. Take your frame and measure the length between the top and the point where the hook will be - that is, where the wire will be sitting when taut, or where the D-rings or sawtooth hangers are located. Mark that length on the wall beneath your hook markings on the tape, and drill or hammer the hooks into the marked spot. Then hang your picture using the level to make it straight, and enjoy!