How To Avoid Art Hanging Disasters

Urban Road   >  2 September 2016

You find that perfect painting or picture for your home, bring it home and then you have the arduous task of putting it up. Now comes crunch time. We have discussed in earlier blogs about the do’s and don’ts of hanging art in your home – the placement and too big, too small, too high or too low issues – but there is even more to think about.

Yes really. Here are some important things to consider when hanging art in your home that could be the difference between disaster or divine!

Where: We all know that placement is key in terms of creativity, but it is equally important in terms of caring for and keeping your painting in great condition. Don’t hang paintings where they are likely to get damaged. We realise this seems so obvious, but remember to avoid places that have lots of moisture such as the bathroom, places that get hot like the kitchen and places that have direct sunlight, so the colour remains vibrant. It is also likely best to avoid hanging art in high traffic areas, where people may knock or lean on it. Art in a large frame needs space to breathe, so if you want to avoid the dreaded mould, add something small and flat – like a matchbox – to the back on the frame, so it sits just a little off the wall.

Secure: This is a big one. Often we have seen paintings hung using something that just doesn’t hold the weight, which can lead to a damaged painting, wall and furniture if it falls. Never just use a single nail. Use something strong for the painting that will effectively support its weight. Always use picture hooks as adhesive hooks just don’t cut it, and you really don’t want to be endlessly re-sticking. If you live in rented accommodation this can be an exception, however you may want to check with the landlord to put up hooks – most will agree to a few securely placed. Also, if you have just moved in to a new home, don’t just re-use existing holes, make sure you fill those in and secure your own holes.

Plan: This is more for if you are grouping images together – so two or more images side-by-side. You need to plan out where the hooks will be so that the final look is even and balanced – unfortunately even the slightest millimeter out will be obvious and it will become a lifelong bugbear each time you look at it. A great way to do this is to draw the outline of the paintings on a large piece of paper on the floor and mark exactly where the hooks will be. Attach the paper to the wall, secure the nails on the markings over the paper and then rip the paper away. Crooked is not the new black!

Too Much: It is probably best to avoid hanging art on every wall in every room. If you fill every wall then your eyes will become almost blind to the art, which is exactly the opposite of why you put it up. So give your eyes a rest and leave a couple of walls painting free, so that the art you love gets the attention it deserves. If you have so many paintings and not enough walls then plan a schedule to rotate every six months so each piece gets its moment of glory.

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