How to Hang Wall Art Like a Pro

Though it seems like an easy enough task, hanging art can devolve into an exercise in frustration. How do I hang it securely? How high should I mount it? How close should it be to furniture? Here are the basics you need to hang your wall art without the stress.

Use Appropriate Hardware
Don’t just grab any old nail. Instead, use a tool made for the task: a picture-hanging hook. Inserting the nail through the hole in the hook holds it at the optimal angle for stability. For heavier art, choose a picture hook designed for bigger loads.

Size It Right
Art that’s too small is a common mistake. There are formulas to help (like multiplying your wall width, in inches, by 0.57), but a general rule of thumb is to fill up one-half to two-thirds of a bare wall. You can do this with a single frame or a collection that you treat as a unit.

Don’t Go Too High
Common wisdom suggests hanging art at eye level, but eye level varies. A no-fail range to try is the one used by most museums and galleries: Hang your frame so that the middle is 57 to 63 inches from the floor.

Work With Furniture
Art should also relate to furniture and other elements in a room. Pieces over a sofa should be about two-thirds the length of the sofa and 8 to 10 inches above it. Dining room art should hang lower than the standard to account for seated viewing.

When in doubt, make a paper template of the piece you want to hang and tape it to the wall. It’s a low-commitment way to see how your final art piece will look in the room.