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A simple guide to hanging artwork

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and ...

How to hang artwork

You've chosen a piece of art that you love. Now you just have to figure out where to put it and how to get it on your wall. Fear not — the process is much easier than you think. Follow our step-by-step guide and you'll be admiring your new painting in no time.

How to hang artwork



Before you choose a spot to hang your piece of art, note the dimensions of your photo or artwork. That will help you determine the best place to hang it. You don't want to hang it too close to another piece of art, or in a space where it will look cramped — you want the work to stand out, not get lost in a corner or among other paintings.


Choose a mat

Next, it's time to choose the size and style of the mat you're going to use. Mats have the ability to enhance your artwork and can be matched to your decor or used to draw out a certain color in your painting or photo. Choose a mat based on what you're trying to achieve — make a smaller piece look larger, draw out a certain shade or balance out a larger piece. In general, a wider, neutral-hued mat is the best option if you're not sure what to opt for.


Determine the style of your frame

The style of your frame is important and should work with both the style of artwork and your overall decor. Aim to choose the right look for your space so the painting works with rather than against your decor. Three main types of frame include transitional, traditional and modern. A transitional offers a look that is timeless and classic, a traditional frame is warm and inviting, and a modern frame is sleek and trendy.


Choose your hardware

Now it's time to choose the hardware you're going to be hanging your artwork with. Keep in mind that different weights are used for different installations. Use nails for paintings or photos that are 8 by 10 inches or smaller (use one to two nails). Use picture hooks for works that are 8 by 10 inches or larger (use two), and go with heavyweight hooks for pieces that range between 20 and 100 pounds (in this case, use two in a stud).


Eyeball it

When it comes to where you artwork is going to go, don't just put it anywhere. Placing a painting too low or too high will detract from the art. So where should you hang your piece? It's standard practice to place the center of your art piece at eye level.


Sketch out where you're going to hang it

Before you start hanging your art, make sure you get it right by marking the exact spot you want your photo or painting to go. Make a template with paper to mark the holes so you don't make a mistake. The last thing you want to deal with are unnecessary holes in your wall caused by being unsure of your exact hanging spot.


Put up your art

Now that you've dealt with sizing and placement and finding a mat and frame, it's time to actually hang up your art. Place the hardware you're going to use and then hang up your artwork.

Now you're ready to enjoy your artwork, so sit back, relax and admire your handiwork.

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