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Can You Hang? How To Hang Your Artwork

Posted by Elizabeth Toy on

Have you ever hung an artwork on your wall, only to find that it didn’t quite look right even though you couldn’t quite figure out why?

Whether you’re hanging a family portrait, a poster, a large piece of art or a gallery of artworks, there’s a proper way to do it and we hope that this brief guide gives you a little bit of direction when it comes to where and how to hang your artwork.

1. Consider the size and plan accordingly

Are you hanging one large-scale piece of artwork? A collection of smaller pieces? (if so, check out How to Create a Gallery Wall) A medium sized portrait? The size of the piece should be taken into consideration when it comes to placement to be sure you have enough room to show it without blocking any part of it.

2. Does it have a frame?

Whether you’re hanging it in a frame, on a matboard or the canvas directly on the wall, you must account for the frame as part of the artwork. Be sure to have the artwork mounted or framed before hanging.

3. The rule of thumb for height: eye-level: 57” or 58” from the ground, on center.

Fifty-seven inches is the average human eye height (that’s just a little under 5 feet) and it’s the perfect viewing level for most people.

“On center” means that the center of the artwork is at 57” so the hooks, nails, or frame will be placed higher than 57” on your wall. While this number may seem low, keep in mind that people will also sit and when they do, you don’t want your artwork to be far too high on the wall.

Even if you’re planning to hang a gallery wall, select your focal piece (usually the largest) and follow the rule of thumb, then build on the focal point with the other pieces you plan to hang.

4. Do a practice run
Before you start prepping your wall for hanging, consider again the size of the art. Even though 57” on center is the ideal height to hang, it does not account for furniture or other decorations that may distract from the artwork.

If possible, hold your artwork up where you plan to hang it - does furniture block any part of it? If so, you may want to adjust accordingly so that the artwork is visible, but also not too high that there’s a big gap between your artwork and say, the sofa.

5. Step-by-Step How to Hang:

  1. Measure the height of your artwork and divide it in half to determine the center point of the piece. (We will call this A)
  2. Measure the distance between the wire and the top of the frame/artwork. ( B)
  3. Mark the 57” point on your wall (C)
  4. Add the measurement of half the artwork's height (A) to the 57” point (C), then subtract the distance between the wire and the top of the frame (B) to determine where to put the nail (D).
  5. Put a nail in the wall at (D)
  6. Hang your artwork on the nail(s)

Good Luck!

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