How to Hang a Picture
Framed artwork and photos make your house look unique and personal. And if you're going to hang pictures, you want them to be as level, true, and solid as possible. Doing so isn't all that hard with the right materials and a few basic measurements.
Before You Begin
Picture Hanging Materials
- Frame Hangers: Sawtooth hangers are small metal brackets that attach to the back of a picture frame with small screws. Five notches in the hanger allow for multiple positioning points. You can use just one frame hanger mounted at the center of the frame or two frame hangers at opposite corners of the frame.
- Wall Hangers: Use picture wall hangers instead of nails. Wall hangers regulate the angle and the depth of the nail. Wall hangers' flat backs, too, prevent them from sinking into the wall. These should always be used when hanging heavier items.
Picture Hanging Methods
The single sawtooth hanger method places the hanger at the top center of the back of the picture frame. This method is best for picture frames that weigh 20 pounds or less.
Easy leveling of the picture on the wall.
No complicated measurements are required.
Pictures may shift out of level over time.
Greater possibility of tear-out from the picture frame.
The double sawtooth hanger method places two hangers at the top two corners of the back of the picture frame. While best for pictures that weigh between 20 and 40 pounds, it can be used for lighter pictures, too.
Greater stability and strength
Pictures never shift out of level
Hangers must be perfectly aligned
Wall hangers must be precisely placed on the wall
Wall hangers are weight-rated and range from 10 pounds to 100 pounds. Purchase the correct wall hanger for the weight of your picture. Sawtooth frame hangers have a 20-pound maximum rating. Do not hang heavy items like mirrors with sawtooth hangers.
|Estimated Weight of Framed Picture With Glass|
|5-inch by 7-inch||12 ounces|
|8-inch by 8-inch||1 pound|
|11-inch by 14-inch||2 pounds|
|16-inch by 20-inch||5 pounds|
|18-inch by 24-inch||6 pounds|
|42-inch by 42-inch||9 pounds|
|40-inch by 60-inch||15 pounds|
|50-inch by 75-inch||20 pounds|
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Tape measure
- Clean towel
- Bubble level
- Small hammer
- Sawtooth picture frame hangers
- Wall hangers
How to Hang Frames With One Sawtooth Hanger
Determine Center of Frame
Lay the picture frame face-down on a towel. With the ruler or tape measure, determine the width of the frame. Divide the resulting number in half. Then, with the ruler or tape measure still in place, measure to that halfway spot on the picture frame. Mark it with a light pencil mark.
Attach Sawtooth Hanger to Frame
With a Phillips head screwdriver, use the two provided screws to attach the sawtooth hanger to the back of the picture frame. Center the sawtooth hanger horizontally at the pencil mark. Do not place the hanger too high on the frame. Instead, keep it vertically centered on the frame's top rail.
Determine Placement on Wall
Find the spot on the wall where you want to hang the picture. Mark the spot with a light pencil mark.
Attach Wall Hanger to Wall
With a light hammer and using the provided nail, tap the wall hanger into place on the wall. Aim to have the bottom of the hanger hook over the pencil mark, not the nail itself.
Rest the picture's sawtooth hanger on the wall hanger. Lay the bubble level on top of the picture frame and tilt the picture left or right until the bubble centers between the two marks on the level.
How to Hang Frames With Two Sawtooth Hangers
Measure Position of Sawtooth Hangers on Frame
With the picture frame resting face-down on a clean towel, measure the thickness of the picture frame's top rail. Divide that number in half. On the left side, mark downward that distance. Repeat on the right side. Use a ruler to draw a light pencil line across the two marks.
For example: The picture frame's top rail is 1 1/2 inches thick. Half of that is 3/4 inches. So, you will measure downward 3/4 inches on the left side and again 3/4 inches on the right side. Then, draw a line from one mark to the next.
Attach Sawtooth Hangers to Frame
Position the holes of one of the sawtooth hangers over the pencil line. Place the far end of the hanger about 1/2 inch from the right side of the frame. Screw the hanger into place. Repeat for the left side.
Determine Center Mark of Picture on Wall
Determine the placement of the picture on the wall. The midpoint of the picture should be at about eye level or about 57 to 62 inches above the floor. Lightly mark the wall.
Mark Hanger Placement on Wall
On the picture frame, measure the distance from the center of the left sawtooth hanger to the center of the right sawtooth hanger. Divide that number in half. On the wall, use that resulting number to measure rightward from the pencil mark on the wall and mark it.
Add Right Wall Hanger
Tap a wall hanger firmly into place on the right (not center) mark from the previous step.
Place Left Wall Hanger
Using the same rightward distance as before, mark leftward from the center mark and place a light pencil mark on the wall. Have an assistant hold the bubble level on top of the righthand wall hanger. Lay the left side of the bubble level on top of the lefthand wall hanger. Move the left hanger up or down until the bubble level indicates level. Tap the left hanger into place.
Hang Picture on Wall
Hang the picture on the two wall hangers. You may need to place your head against the wall to see behind the picture, in order to place the picture hangers on the wall hangers.