Perhaps the most important decorative elements in your home are the pictures and paintings hanging on your walls. As soon as you enter, well-placed pictures can draw your eye up and around, making you feel comfortable and "at home." Bare walls, or poorly situated and hung pictures, can compete with your room or make it feel cold, impersonal and even uncomfortable. Vertical pictures, which are taller than they are wide, can present a special challenge. Properly hung, they will make your room feel spacious and inviting.
Things You'll Need
- Paper, cardboard or cloth pieces
- Masking or clear tape
- Tape measure
- Stud finder (optional)
- Drill or hammer
- Anchors (optional)
- Nails or screws
Lay each of your pictures on a paper sack, sheet of paper, cardboard or even a towel or cloth large enough to accommodate the picture, as long as you do not mind cutting it out. Outline the pictures on the material and cut them out with scissors.
Hold the pictures up to the wall and tape into place with masking or clear tape. This will allow you to stand back and look at the pictures as if they were already hung, while moving them easily to test other arrangements and positions.
Arrange the pictures in an initial layout. You can place them one on top of the next in a vertical stack if the pictures are small enough and the wall tall enough, or you can line them up side by side.
Move your pictures, applying fresh tape, until you have them hanging in a manner pleasing to you. Keep in mind that vertical pictures provide a sense of height to a room. In addition, balance is important. Match the dimensions of the picture to the wall -- putting vertical pictures on vertically oriented walls. Try to fill about 2/3 of the empty space when you hang a picture and position pictures 5 to 9 inches above couches or furnishings to draw the furniture into the scene. Always put the picture at about eye level -- around 55 to 60 inches high -- and center pictures as appropriate. Consult decoration guidelines for more information.
Look at the back of your vertical pictures to determine where they mount. Some may have a wire from which the picture hangs, while other pictures may have a small recess into which the nail inserts. Measure from the top of the picture frame down to the hanging apparatus and width-wise to the edges of the picture. Record the measurements on the paper cutouts, still attached to the wall, representing the nail as a large dot or "X."
Leave the paper images of your pictures in place and check to see whether there is a stud in the wall behind your desired hanging location. Use a stud finder, or tap on the wall to see if it sounds hollow, which indicates the lack of a stud. Adjust pictures slightly, as desired, if a stud is really close to the pictures or use alternative hanging methods such as anchors.
Drive an anchor into your wall directly over the mark that shows where the nail or screw goes, using a drill if you lack a stud. Hammer the nail in if you do have a stud. Each anchor operates slightly differently, but all must be inserted as if they are a screw or nail. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for any deviations.
Insert a screw into your anchor, using your drill, or pound a nail through the wall and into the stud using a hammer. Tug gently on the nail or screw to make sure it is secure before hanging your picture.
Rip away the cutout representing your picture and discard. Replace with your vertical picture, straightening it until you are satisfied. Repeat for each picture you wish to hang.
Tips & Warnings
- When hanging your vertical pictures on a concrete or brick wall, use a drill to drive masonry screws into the surface instead of using nails or anchors.
- While decoration tips can help you hang your pictures the "proper" way -- that is, placing them according to the rules of home decor -- how your room looks is ultimately an expression of personal taste.
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