How to Hang Framed Pictures on Walls

Updated on November 30, 2017
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Discovering the therapeutic benefit of indoor water features with my aquarium, I soon found that tabletop waterfalls gave me the same effect

Any interior designer should be adept at ascertaining the type of artworks needed for their interior projects and the effective and best ways of hanging artwork.

Even though the final choice must be to the satisfaction of the client, designers must still present picture hanging ideas, sizes of chosen artwork, the colours and style of frames and the scale of each in proportion to the wall it's to be hung on.

The art of hanging artwork
The art of hanging artwork

Rooms with heavily decorated walls, scenic paper, heavily patterned wallpaper, special paint effects, murals etc. do not require additional artworks as wall enhancements. The artworks and pictures will end up being lost in the background.

Walls with too many hanging artworks can be stressful and heavy to the eyes, especially if the frames used are ornately decorated. In this case, for example, very simple frames must be used. With larger sized paintings that possess unusual detailed decorative features, ample wall space for hanging must be considered.

There is also great aesthetic enhancements when just one painting of great beauty is hung on the most significant wall in a room. The painting or artwork can be changed occasionally for added variety.

Best Ways to Hang Artwork

Plain neutral walls are best for hanging artwork.

When large framed paintings are chosen as important art hanging features, it is good if the colour scheme of the painting is repeated in the decoration of the room.

Many times it's best to relate the subject matter of the artwork to the character of the room.

Hanging smaller sized framed pictures, on the other hand, can be regarded as colour accents to a wall and may even be inharmonious with the general scheme.

But when a number of small framed artwork are used in a cluster, they must not be arranged indiscriminately. They should be arranged in a form of simple geometric patterns such as:

However, when a number of small framed artwork are used in a cluster, they must not be arranged indiscriminately. They should be arranged in a form of simple geometric patterns such as:

  • a triangle
  • a square
  • a straight line
  • a rectangle

And where a number of artwork of various shapes and sizes are used, it’s a bit more difficult to balance. In this case, the posters, pictures or artwork should be placed close together in a form of a mass arrangement. This way they will appear as beautiful scenic wallpaper.

Picture Hanging Ideas: Do's And Don'ts

One of the most popular picture-hanging ideas is to place a single framed artwork on a wall or a group of smaller ones on important wall surfaces.


  • Groups of 3 pictures could either be hung with the largest in the centre, or two of the same size on both sides of the third. It is good if the 3 artworks are related in character and colour scheme.
  • Small pictures look better when hung at eye view level. Larger paintings that will be viewed from a distance are best hung at a higher level.
  • A group of artwork arranged asymmetrically can be placed on wall surfaces that are not a central point of the room.
  • Do make sure that hanging artwork ropes or wires do not show when paintings are hung on walls. It looks so tacky when hanging elements become obvious.


  • Do not hang oil paintings and watercolour paintings in close proximity. It will become inharmonious unless they are similar in colour tones.
  • Hanging artwork with vibrant colours next to black and white sketches is inappropriate. They must not be placed close together on the same wall to avoid a situation that's odd and inconsistent.


Pictures and framed artworks can be hung on wall surfaces using hooks, nails, or screws driven well into the wall.

They must be fixed near the top of the picture frame. This ensures that the picture is hung as flat as is possible against the wall surface.

How Do You Hang Your Artwork?

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Hanging Artwork In Clusters
Hanging Artwork In Clusters

Comments Are Welcome

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    • JanMaklak profile image

      JanMaklak 4 years ago from Canada

      Great article. As a photographer I always want to come up with interesting ways to hang my work.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 5 years ago

      Thanks ignugent, and thank you for visiting.


    • profile image

      ignugent17 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the tips. It is very useful :-)

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 6 years ago

      Thanks Angel, i appreciate your visit and nice comments.


    • angelaglancy profile image

      angelaglancy 6 years ago from Seattle

      Excellent hub with some great tips. Thanks for sharing.