The best way to hang pictures on a wall
Learn the tricks to hanging your wall decor so it looks good – and doesn’t damage the plasterboard. Create an effortless-looking display by taking the time to consider spacing, proportion, frame styles and colour palettes.
Bunnings magazine January–February 2020
Hanging a picture is a job you want to do once and do well – you don’t want to create more work patching up holes that missed the mark. Take your time to work out the best location and arrangement for your art and study our hanging guide, so you know which fixtures to get and how to use them.
The best place to hang an artwork is where you’ll get maximum enjoyment from it, but out of direct sun and fluorescent lights, which can fade paintings and photos. Instead, consider placing a mirror opposite a window to reflect views and natural light.
The scale of your wall and the size of your art will influence what piece works where. “A little picture on a big wall will look lost, so move it to one end of the wall or group it,” says Rob James of Right Hook Picture Hanging Service.
Larger pieces can look striking on a generous blank wall, while smaller pieces are often better suited to more intimate zones like a hallway or above a desk.
To get a better sense of scale, Rob advises cutting cardboard to the size of the picture and sticking it to the wall with Blu-Tack. “You’ll know if it looks right and it’s an easy way to tweak the position,” he says.
Watch the video: How to install wall hooks
A curated collection of prints, photos and art makes an eye-catching focal point. An eclectic mix hung in relaxed ‘salon style’ exudes personality, while a linear layout with a theme – whether it’s black-and-white photos or similar frames – will create a unified look.
To plan your gallery, 3M senior brand manager Jen McDonnell recommends mapping it out on the floor first: “Use your main image as the starting point and build around it. To define the wall area to hang within, mark it out with masking tape, aiming to leave the same amount of space blank on either side of the wall for balance.”
Rather than default to the centre of a wall, Rob recommends taking cues from the furniture layout. “A sofa or dining table can zone a space, so centring your wall hangings above furniture means they’re connected to the surrounding elements.”
“Just over halfway up the wall at eye level is an ideal hanging height for most pieces, but it’s dependent on personal preference,” says Jen. “Wherever you choose, it should be pleasing to the eye.”
Hang it all
Two hooks hold better than one. To ensure they’re in the right spot, Rob suggests making two marks on the back of the picture the same distance in from the sides. “Hold the picture up by the wire exactly at those marks and measure the distance from the top of the frame to the marks – this is where the hooks need to go,” says Rob. “If you are hanging two pictures together, the wire heights will always be different, so measure both.”
Wall studs are rarely where you want them for optimum aesthetic appeal, so don’t stress about finding them. “Two hooks with two angle drive pins will hold a good weight in sound plaster,” says Rob.
For heavier pictures of around 6kg, use hollow wall anchors such as those made by Ramset. “For heavy duty – over 10kg – you probably need interlocking aluminium strips, using several wall anchors,” advises Rob. “On brick walls, use a plastic plug and at least an eight-gauge screw, preferably with a Ramset wall hook.”
Watch the video: How to hang a picture frame from a track
If you’re renting and nails aren’t an option, there are ways to display without leaving a mark. Command removable picture hangers can hold artworks up to 2.2kg, while four sets of the Command large picture-hanging strips form an interlocking hold of up to 7.2kg.
“For the best results, ensure the wall is prepped correctly by using isopropyl rubbing alcohol, and that pack instructions are followed carefully,” says Jen McDonnell.
Stick within the recommended weight range and, when you need to remove them, never pull the strip away from the wall or towards you – always pull the strip downwards, gliding your hand against the wall to ensure damage-free removal.
Safety tip: always check to make sure there are no wires or other services running through the wall before you drill.
Now you know how to do it, it’s time to start hanging those pictures! Check out our full range of picture hanging accessories to find what you need.
Photography credit: Cath Muscat
Health & Safety
Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.
Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety
page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.