How to Hang a Picture

hanging a picture frameHave you ever gone to someone’s house and noticed a picture just a wee bit “off”? It takes everything in your power to resist the urge to walk over and straighten it. And sometimes, even if you do, the darn thing will stubbornly, on its own, slope right back over to its original position. Or maybe this is happening in your very own home.

It’s enough to take you to the verge of insanity, especially if you live the stressed-out lifestyle most of us do. Well, if you’re sick and tired of constantly straightening out that confounded picture, here are some steps you can take to re-hang the thing and finally get that obsessive-compulsive desire to straighten it out of your life – and your mind!

A Friend in Need…

First off, unless you can enlist the aid of friend to hold the picture for you while you take a few steps back to look at it, be prepared to make several adjustments. Assuming you do have such a friend, let’s go from there….

Getting the Level Right

With your friend holding the picture against the wall, now’s the time to decide how you want it placed. Forget all the rules you’ve heard that pictures MUST be hung so the center of it is at eye level. Unless all people are exactly the same height or unless everyone who visits your home and looks at that picture all have the same eye level, this rule pretty much makes no sense at all.

So the best advice is to hang the picture where YOU think it should be hung. (One hint, however: If you have several pictures hanging in a room, it does look better overall if they’re all hung at the same height, whatever height that happens to be. Also – if you have more than two or three pictures near one another on a wall, make the distance between them all the same. Trust us; it’ll look better.)

Mark It and Nail It

Once the picture is where you want it, have your friend continue holding it until you can get to it yourself. Without moving it from its location, hold the picture by the wire in back at the center. Carefully make a light pencil mark on the wall to indicate where you will nail the hanger.

Put the picture down while you nail in the hanger. Of course, if your walls are something like concrete or stucco, you’ll need to use plastic anchors; regular nails in stucco or cement will just fall right back out, possibly taking chunks of your wall material with them.

Ta Da!

Now hang the picture. You may have to adjust it by sliding the wire over the hanger until the picture is hanging just right. If the picture is too low or too high, there’s no way around it except going through the above steps again. But, to keep your sanity intact, the extra pains will be worth it.

And that’s about it. You’ve now hung a picture the way you’re supposed to and if the thing’s still not hanging straight, next time don’t crack open that brewski ‘til AFTER picture-hanging time!

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photo by Steve Ryan - CreativeCommons