Sunday, December 13, 2009

How to Hang a Picture

You’ve found the right art, you’ve found the right spot and now it’s time to display your beautiful piece for all to see. First, check your hanging surface. If your work of art is a large heavy piece that is going on drywall, you may want to use two picture hooks to make sure it gets plenty of support. Drywall, the most common surface, it is also the softest and inserting a picture hook is fairly uncomplicated. However, because drywall is the softest, it is recommended that you use an electronic ‘stud finder’ to locate a vertical beam of wood in the wall and hang your picture there, using a screw instead of a nail.
For bigger pictures hung on drywall, a fastener may be required. Besides using two picture hooks, a more reliable way to provide support is to install a toggle bolt. A toggle bolt has ‘wings’ that slide through a hole drilled into the wall and expands after it has been pushed through. It grips the wall from the inside as it is tightened.

Although plaster tends to hold fasteners better than drywall, when it comes to plaster, forget about the nail and hammer. You’ll want to drill a hole and use a wall anchor in this case. A wall anchor is a sleeve inserted into a drilled hole that will expand as a screw is driven into it. This will give a little extra grip in supporting the frame and makes sure the screw doesn’t slip back out. Brick or masonry will be the same as plaster- except this time; a little bit of epoxy might be inserted into the drilled hole. When you insert the screw or hook this time, be sure it is large enough to support the weight you need. Once it goes in and the epoxy dries, it’s not going to easily come back out.

Now that you have decided on the location your art should hang, it’s time to take a look at the wire that will be supporting the weight of the frame. The heavier the frame the, thicker the gauge of wire needed. This wire should then be attached to screw eyes, which are driven into the wood of the frame about 2/3 up from the bottom. The wire should extend up into the middle of the space between the top of the frame and the screw eyes. If you can see the wire over the top of the frame, you’ve gone too high. This is where it can be really handy to have a second person’s help. While the other person holds the frame up to the wall, you can stand back and decide which height is best to display your picture and then mark the wall lightly with a pencil at the top center of the frame. Flipping the frame over, push the wire on the back of the picture up towards the top of the frame and measure the distance from the peak of the wire to the top of the frame. Then take the same measurement and mark an X below your marker line on the wall. Now hang your picture and, with the help of a level, adjust it to your taste. If the picture seems too high or too low, adjust the wire on the back of the picture to achieve the desired result. Now your favorite art piece or your family picture is ready and on display for all to admire!