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Hang Pictures on a Wall

Show off your artistic side. Whether you just need to know how to hang a single picture or want to learn how to hang a gallery wall, these instructions will help you create an eye-catching display.

Tools & Materials

Products, costs, availability and item numbers may vary online or by market.

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Hanging Individual Pictures

The Center of the Picture Should be at About 57 inches.

Decide on the placement for each of your pictures. The key is to hang the center of the picture at eye-level, usually about 57 inches.

Creating a Picture Wall

For Multiple Pictures, Place the Center of the Group at 57 Inches.

If you need to hang a group of pictures, such as for a picture wall or gallery wall, hang the center of the grouping at 57 inches. With groupings, the largest frame is usually best in the center or at the center bottom.

Picture Rows and Columns

You Can Also Hang Pictires in Rows or Columns.

You can also hang the frames in a row or — especially useful on a narrow wall — in a column.

Good to Know

A laser level can help you line up rows or columns of pictures. It also can work well for lining up pictures on an angle along stairs.

Arranging Picture Placement

Use Paper Templates of Frames to Plan Placement.

If you want to check the placement, cut out the frame sizes from paper and tape them to the wall with painter's tape. Use a level and make any adjustments as needed. When you're happy with the placement, mark the top centers of the frames on a piece of tape attached to the wall.

Hardware and Wall Considerations

Assorted Picture Dardware: D-Rings, Plated Nail Hangers, Picture Wires, Removable Pads,Specialty Hooks, Sawtooth Bars, Anchor Screws and More.
  • The hardware you use depends on the weight of the picture and the type of wall, which could be drywall, plaster, concrete or masonry. Not sure if you have drywall or plaster? Push a pin in the wall. If it goes in, it's drywall. Masonry walls require a drill with a masonry bit and masonry screws.
  • Look for hanger packs that contain assorted hardware for different uses.
  • For heavy pictures, secure the hangers to wall studs if you can. Take a look at How to Find Wall Studs for tips on locating the studs.
  • The weight ratings for picture-hanging hardware are based on securing the hanger into a stud.

 

Below are steps for hanging pictures with several different types of hardware. Always follow the specific instructions for the hardware you choose.

Good to Know

Some fasteners include separate hooks for hanging the picture. When installed, the hook will sit below the fastener. Remember to account for this when you plan so your picture hangs at the desired height.

Caution

Be aware that there may be more than just empty space in your wall. Take a look at What's Inside My Wall? and take steps to work safely whenever you nail, drill or cut into a wall.

Plated Nail Hangers

Plated Nail Hangers Work for Small Pictures.

Locating a stud is not necessary for smaller pictures. Small, plated nail hangers will support them.

Step 1

Measure from the top of the frame to the hardware on the back of the picture.

Step 2

Transfer the measurement to the wall, using the center mark you made on the wall as a reference.

Step 3

Tap in the Nail on the Plated Hanger.

Tap the nail in with a hammer.

In homes with plaster walls, take a couple of additional steps to help prevent the wall from cracking. Place a piece of tape over the desired location for the hole. Drill a pilot hole through the tape and into the plaster.

Specialty Hooks

Some Specialty Hooks Don't Require Studs to Provide Strong Support.

Heavier pieces will require more support. You can find specialty hooks that don't require tools or studs.

Simply push the hook into drywall. It will curve up against the back of the wall to create a strong support.

Anchor Screws

Anchor Screws Act as Drywall Anchors.

Another option is an anchor screw that acts as a drywall wall anchor.

Good to Know

Both specialty hooks and screw anchors work with many types of frame hardware.

D-Rings

Two D-rings work well for heavier pictures.

Step 1

Measure Between the D-Rings and the Top of the Frame

Measure from the top of the frame to each of the rings.

Step 2

Mark D-Ring Locations and the Frame Center on a Strip of Painter's Tape Applied to a Level.

Place a piece of tape on a long level and transfer the center point of the frame and the ring locations to the tape.

Step 3

Transfer the D-Ring Locations to the Wall.

Hold the level to the wall, using the center marks you placed on the wall earlier and the distance you measured in Step 1 above as references. Transfer the ring locations to the wall.

Step 4

Mark the Locations for the Hanger Screw Holes.

Hold each hook on its mark and mark the screw hole. If they're not in line with studs, use a screw anchor and hook.

Step 5

Drive in the Hanger Fasteners.

Drive in the fasteners.

Picture Wire

Pictures and other artwork are often suspended with wire. Here's how to hang a picture with wire.

Step 1

Pull the Wire Taut with a Tape Measure and Note the Distance to the Frame Top.

Pull the wire taut with a tape measure and note the distance to the top of the frame.

Step 2

Transfer this measurement to the wall to indicate the hanger position. Use the center marks you made when planning the layout as reference points.

Step 3

Attach Pads to the Bottom of the Frame if the Top Hangs Out Too Far.

If the frame leans forward a little when you hang it, use felt pads at the bottom to even it out.

Sawtooth Bars

If you have a lighter frame without hardware, a sawtooth bar works great.

Step 1

Attach the Bar Centered on the Frame Top.

Center the bar on the frame and tap in the nails.

Step 2

Use Two Bars on Large Pictures and Reinforc the Corners.

If you have a larger picture with two bars along the top of the frame, it's good to reinforce the corners with brackets.

Removable Pads

If you want an easy-to-remove option, consider an adjustable system like removable adhesive pads.

Step 1

Apply the Pads to the Frame.

Peel the backing off the strips and apply them to the frame.

Step 2

Press the Frame Pads Against the Wall Pads.

Clean the wall, then peel the other backing off the strips and press the picture against the wall. Follow the package instructions for adhesion time.

Step 3

To adjust, pull the frame off to separate the strips and reattach.

Step 4

To remove, just hold the strips and pull down…no marks or holes.