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How to hang artwork

Art Lovers | 18 July 2019

Written by Jim Fleming (Australian Art Installations)


Just renovated, moved or you have new photos or frames to put up in your house and you’re not sure where to place them or how high they should go?

We have all been through that daunting moment. Do I get a professional or shall I head down to Bunnings and give it a go myself? There is something about having a go and succeeding which is always self gratifying. There is also a situation where you’ve spent a lot of money and don’t want your new walls looking like swiss cheese and divorce papers being filed. This is when I highly recommend a specialised picture hanger who is insured and can show previous work.

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Gathering Light – RACHEL PRINCE (120 x 120cm, Acrylic on canvas)

Here is a how to guide if you want to give it a crack.

#1 – Location Location Location

Whenever anyone asks me about location I suggest they take the time to unpack the paintings and place them around the rooms where they think it may suit and spend the next few days looking at them and changing locations as you feel.

Once the pictures are hung changing location will only start the swiss cheese process. Watch for pieces that are not too big for a wall and not too small.

Arrange pieces to sit next to each other or on top of each other . Let it sink in.

Once you have decided that you are comfortable with the location then it’s time for a trip to the local hardware store.

#2 – Materials

To choose the right hardware you will need to know the approximate weight of your frames and artwork. Using a household set of correctly adjusted scales ( for the people who like to appear more trim that what they really are). Place the artwork on and take note of each frames weight.

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You will also have to make note of wall materials be it drywall, concrete or tile.

There are alot of hardware options. Each product will have a maximum weight strength . The traditional hook and nail is adequate for almost all light frames. (Under 5kg)

Once you go into heavier frames you have a couple of options. Hollow wall anchors and fixing to a stud.

Fixing to studs you will use a screw or nail and a hook suitable for the load. This is where a small investment into a stud finder can be a real help

Hollow wall anchors come in different forms.

The simple self taping screw anchor and a few different toggle type anchors. The toggle type fixings, if fixed properly, have the most holding power.

Again check the load bearing weight and choose from there.

With all fixings, I stress again, the strength lies in how well you have fixed the anchor. Strength can be quickly lost through over tightening and loose fits.

#3 – Hanging

Professionally I always hang from 2 points giving the fixed frame extra stability and strength. For smaller frames 1 point can be enough.

Hold the frame so that the centre is at eye level and then place a piece of painters tape at the bottom of the frame marking the centre point with a pencil.

Next turn the picture over, pull the wire up until it is tight and measure from the bottom of the frame to the tightened part of the wire.

If you are using 2 fixings pull the wire with 2 hands equally (the further apart the more stable the frame becomes) and measure the distance your hands are apart as you will need to replicate that distance in the next step.

Measure from the bottom to the tightened wire.

Now you have a distance from the bottom of the frame to the hanging point.

Measure from the painters tape vertically from the pencil marked centre point on the tape and you will have the fixture point.

If you’re hanging your frame on 2 fixtures measure vertically from the centre point and mark with a pencil, then the distance you held the wire apart can be transferred using a level

If you are fixing into masonry you will need a masonry bit and masonry wall anchors. Impact drills give the best, fastest and cleanest result.


About me

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I have been hanging art for around 20 years now and I get a lot of pleasure out of my job.

From the moment I meet my client I try to get to know them and work out what is best for them. Do they like art high or low?.

What is the most important piece they have? How important is family in their life?

What kind of sentimental pieces do they have and where are the best place for all these things.

I start by introducing myself and ask to see the pieces . While looking at the pieces I will check wall space and colour. The light hitting that area. Furniture in the room. What the room is primarily used for. What pieces are already up and how they are hung. I will also try to gage how important a piece is and how best I can show it. Next I will make any suggestions I have by moving the pieces to where i feel may showcase them better, often holding the pieces up at different locations and heights. I like to start in the back rooms and bedrooms as I can then “get a feel” for the house. As I work my way through i can tell how old the house is and how it is built. I see if the wall board is soft or hard and if there has been renovations, leaks etc. All this helps me decide which fixings to use as I go through.

I offer a full and professional service and like to have a bit of a laugh along the way.

Need art hung?

Contact Australian Art Installations

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Call: 0424 511 456


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