Magnolia Blog

How to Hang Art Prints: A Step by Step Picture Hanging Guide

Hanging single works of art

1. Select an appropriate location for the picture

A small picture won't be presented at its best if it is hanging on a large empty wall. A sizeable work or a group of smaller pieces will be more effective, and you should use the furniture closest to that wall to act as a visual marker for positioning.

2. Select the height at which the picture will hang and mark the wall with a pencil just above the top of the frame, in the centre

The usual height used by museums and galleries for hanging art is 160cm. This is classed as eye level for the average standing adult.

3. Select a suitable hook for the weight of your print and the thickness of your wall

Additional support and an even appearance can be obtained by hanging the artwork on two hooks or nails, rather than one. A variety of sizes are available that are designed to support weights from 2.25kg up to 45kg. However, we recommend that D rings be used to hang heavy pieces for improved stability.

4. Determine the correct position for your hook or nail

Place the print on the floor, facing downwards, and pull the hanging wire towards the top edge of the frame at two equidistant points. Measure the length between the two points and the distance from one of them to the top of the frame. Note that the wider the gap between the two points, the closer the picture will hang to the wall. Apply the measurements to the wall by measuring down from your earlier pencil mark.

5. Nail the hook into the wall at the pencil mark

Avoid chipping paint or plaster from the wall by sticking a small amount of masking tape over the area where you are about to nail the hook. Hammer the hook or nail at an angle to ensure the wall bears the majority of the weight.

6. Ensure the picture is hanging straight

Stand back from the picture and see how it looks so that you can straighten it up if it is leaning too far to one side.

Hanging multiple works of art

1. Select complimentary pieces of art that work well together

Choosing a variety of sizes, with both horizontal and vertical pieces can create visual impact.

2. Choose the most suitable wall-space

Grouped art is better displayed within the parameters of visual markers, e.g. the centre of mantelpieces, between windows, the middle of chimney breasts, equally placed between door frames, etc.

3. Create templates of each of the framed prints

Use ultra low-tack masking tape to carefully affix the templates to the wall. This enables you to find the best position for assembly before you damage the wall with nail holes that you subsequently may want to change.

4. Play with the layout to create the best visual response

By viewing the group of pictures as one large one, you will be able to see them as a cohesive unit. It usually works well to make the largest print the main focus at the centre of the display, placing it at eye level with the smaller pictures branching out from it. It is important to ensure the grouping remains tight.

5. Don't be tempted to hang it too high

When hanging a collection of pictures it can be easy to let them spread higher than intended. Use the mantle or piece of furniture closest to the wall as a guide to ensure the complete unit can be viewed easily from standing eye-level and doesn't disrupt the balance of the room.

6. Stand back to observe the final arrangement and ensure the composition is right

When you are happy with your selection and positioning you can start hanging the framed prints. Use the templates to establish where each print needs to go, nailing through the paper and then removing before hanging the artwork.

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