Congratulations, you have committed to a beautiful new work of art to hang in your space! Once it is all ready to go, we know how intimidating it can be to actually get it up on your wall.
In the context of your space
The #1 most important part about getting the art up on the wall: you want it to fit in with everything else you have going on. Here are some of our favourite tips:
- Gallery walls are like a giant puzzle. Use butcher or wax paper or a tape outline on the wall to help guide you, using consistent space to keep everything connected. Some websites have guides using standard frame sizes, but this is an intuitive process, you gotta work with what you got.
- Artwork should take up at least 2/3rds of the width of what it is hung above or when hung alone in the wall. You don't want your artwork to feel lonely!
- Think about the context you will seeing the work in. The different sight-lines in your house can help give direction with where to hang works. Try to trace one colour down a hallway, using some objects like vases and carpets as well as art works, to bring the space together.
- Art does not have to be hung on the wall! Pieces can rest on dressers, on shelves, or above door frames and moulding. Get creative with where it sits!
- Think about the environment, you want to make sure the work is safe from moisture, grease, or punctures. We recommend keeping art framed in kitchen and bathrooms, and keep work away from high traffic areas for heavy, moving things.
The nitty gritty
Before you begin, make sure that you have the exact measurements of the work of art: the distance from the floor, width of the painting, and the distance for the top of the frame to the hanging point. Using tape on the wall to identify these points can help you visualize. Measure twice and hammer once!
60” on centre
This is an industry standard, bringing the midpoint of the work to an average eye level once it is hung. At this mark, it will be easy for those of many different heights to take in the work and appreciate it. 60” is the industry standard, but it can range anywhere from 58-62" depending the heights of those around you or what feels right.
The easiest way to find this point is to divide the height of your frame in two and add 60. This will give you the measurement from the floorboard to the top of the work.
If the work is going above a piece of furniture, 4 -6” of space between the work and the sofa (for example) is customary.
When hanging multiple works, treat them as a unit and still hang them 60 inches from the floor to the centre of the grouping.
Okay, now let's get it up!
There are so many different hanging mechanisms when a work is framed, but here is an overview of the most common:
Find the point where the wire is at it's tightest, either right at the centre or at the same number of contact points you will have on the wall. Use this distance from the top of the frame to help guide your measurements, this is where the artwork will actually sit.
Make a mark at the points where the hooks will be, centred with the desired location and spaced out according to the taut level of the wire. Hammer the hook in with a nail or apply the “wall side” of the Command hook liner, matching the bottom of the hook to the desired location that is marked. Lower the artwork on top of the hook and shift the work around until it is level. Now go reward yourself, you did it!
Hook and Nail
Mark the point where the hook will rest in line with the measurements you have taken. Hammer a nail sturdy enough to hold up the work while still fitting into the hook into the point. Place the work on the wall, fitting in with the hook.
We are huge fans of the Command strip here at Sweetpea. This option doesn't leave any holes, is easy to redo when you get it wrong, and makes hanging a breeze.
Clean the wall with rubbing alcohol and wipe away gently. Press strips together until they click. Remove the inside liner and press onto the frame, using as many strips as you need to match the weight of the work spread out along the frame. Remove the outside liner and press frame on to the wall along the marked top point of your measurements. Hold for 30 seconds. Now give the adhesive some time to cure by separating the two strips and removing the frame from the wall. Press down on the wall liner for 30 seconds, then wait 1 hour before reattaching the frame.
You can use velcro strips on any artwork with a coated and non-textured backing. This includes frames, MDF board, some kinds of wood, and many kinds of paper.
Make a mark where the centre screw hole of the cleat should be. Place the beveled opening upwards and screw the middle hole until the bar is attached. Ensure that the bar is straight before installing the additional screws. Raise the work above the bar and lower until the cleats attach and are locked in place. This is the sturdiest but most intimidating option, so good for you we are proud!
Multiple Hanging Points
When you need to use more than one hook, it can be challenging to ensure they are centred and in line.
Measure a length of masking tape that is just longer than the distance between the two hooks and apply it to the back of the frame. Using a marker, mark the point at the top of the hook where the nail would sit. Pull the tape from the frame and cut at each end of the mark, then apply to the wall using a level to ensure it is balanced. Press the tape on the wall and hammer at each end of the tape. Place the frame on to the wall and the hooks will pop on to the nails. You can save the tape on the back of the frame for future rehanging!
Have any more questions? Have a work you are struggling with placing? Send us an email and we can help!