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Home > Projects & DIY Toolkit > Learn How to Hang Art

Learn How to Hang Art

Get It Right the First Time

  • Decide the height and width of your art display and select what artwork, frames, and other objects you'll display there. For a bold statement, define with painter's tape the section you want to decorate. Then paint the section a color that contrasts with your existing wall color (we used Bay Waves, #4008-1A). The painted zone defines the space, and the bright background causes artwork to stand out.
  • Figure out how many hangers you'll need and whether you have drywall or plaster walls. (Newer homes tend to be built with drywall.)
  • Trace outlines of your objects on sheets of brown paper, and mark where the hangers are located. Group and move the shapes around on the floor until your arrangement feels right. Then use painter's tape to stick the papers on the wall.
  • Once you're happy with the arrangement, screw or hammer the hangers right through the paper (if you have plaster walls, drill pilot holes through the plaster and lath before inserting anchors or nails).

For a Symmetrical Arrangement

  • Size matters. Hang similar-size art in pairs or small groupings.
  • Use a level to line everything up; use a ruler to make sure each piece is evenly spaced.
  • Think outside the frame. Small groupings of tiles, postcards, sconces, or whatever can still be arranged symmetrically. Hanging artwork in a grid creates a feeling of unity between the individual pieces.

For an Asymmetrical Arrangement

  • Pick a color palette. Colors should include a few main shades and some bold accents.
  • Look for big, small, and in-between. Large objects anchor a collection; smaller objects fill out the space.
  • Think beyond framed art. You'll get more interest from unusual objects - think plants, tools, or a special trophy.
  • Arranging an assortment of random art can be tricky. Start with your largest piece or pieces and work out from there. Add a shelf to display items that you can't hang.
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