How to Hang Pictures on a Wall

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Measure carefully before hanging your photo or painting.
Measure carefully before hanging your photo or painting. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Don't put a bunch of holes in your walls trying to find the perfect spot for your photos and paintings. Do the job right on your first attempt. Taking the time to learn how to properly hang pictures will protect your walls while saving you time. Weigh your pictures before hanging them. Use these measurements as a guide to buying the proper wall hooks and wall anchors. Heavier wall decor will require sturdy hangers.

Things You'll Need

  • Pictures
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Painter's tape
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Hammer
  • Wall hooks or anchors

Decide where you want to hang your pictures. Big pictures look best on larger walls. Group small frames with other photos or decorations. Hang a single picture on a small or narrow wall if you want it to serve as the wall's focal point. Hang the center of your pictures at eye level -- about 60 inches from the floor -- unless you're grouping several frames together.

Place a picture on a piece of paper. Use your pencil to trace the frame. Cut out your paper pattern.

Tape the paper pattern on the wall where you want to hang your picture. Lightly mark off the spot with a pencil before you remove the paper.

Turn the picture over. Hook the tape measure's tab in the center of the picture's hanging wire. Pull the wire taut. Measure the distance from the tab to the top of the frame. Use this measurement to lightly mark the corresponding spot on the wall -- this is where your hook will go.

Use a stud finder on the spot where you want to hang your picture. Hammer the wall hook's nail into the stud. If your chosen spot lacks a stud, attach your picture with a wall anchor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Black and white photos are a great way to decorate and show off family pictures.
  • If you have plaster walls, consider using a drill instead of a hammer to hang hooks.

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