How to Hang Your Artwork
57 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER
How you hang your artwork can make a huge difference. The gallery standard is for the center of the piece to be at eye level: 57 inches. No matter the size of the piece or the wall, this will feel right because it matches average height. Note: I’m sorta average height and lean towards the 60 inch mark, but do what feels right between 57–63.
Scroll on for more instructions, or tap below to hire a pro.
STEP 1: TOOLS
Hammer + nail for small, lightweight pieces (8x10 or smaller)
Drill, bits, anchors and screws for larger pieces
STEP 2: HORIZONTAL MEASUREMENT
To center a piece on the wall:
Measure width of wall
Divide width by 2
Draw a vertical line on the wall ( | ) at the center point, right at your eye level
Weird Wall? Light switch or pipe in the way? In most cases, measure from edge to edge and ignore wall interruptions. Just be consistent on both sides. If there’s a big pipe or something on one side, center the piece between the edge of that dumb pipe and the other wall to make it feel balanced.
STEP 3: VERTICAL MEASUREMENT
Bear with me, this is the math portion of our day.
A. Divide the height of your piece by 2
B. Measure the distance from the top of your piece to the hanger
Note: If your piece has a hanging wire, pull it up and taut (into a “frown” instead of its resting “smile”) and measure it from the center to get an accurate number.
C. Measure your center point: 57” is the standard
Then, do the math!
A - B + C(57) = Hammer here!
Draw a horizontal line ( — ) through your vertical line to make a ( + ) on the wall.
Now you’re ready to nail/screw!
STEP 4: HANG IT!
When in doubt, go with a heavy anchor/screw combo for common drywall. But I always recommend consulting a pro. The size and weight of your piece + the type of surface = the best hanging hardware. Bring measurements and type with you to the hardware store and someone can help you choose the best type of anchor/screw for your space. Common tricky surfaces below.
Plaster walls: don’t try a hammer and nail, you’ll need some special screws + hardware to prevent big holes. Here’s a handy how-to video.
Brick or stone: you’ll need masonry bits and proper screws and anchors for that material. Here’s a handy video for tips.
Really heavy stuff: this is a great how-to from Lowes.
On a stairwell / up really high: hire a pro. It is typically $100-$200 to have someone come out and is well worth the peace of mind that the piece is hung securely.
Gallery wall: here’s a great how-to from Studio McGee.
Damage-free hanging: Command strips are an excellent alternative for damage-free hanging, just consult the weight limits carefully.