Hanging Artwork

In the last few weeks a collection of clients, friends and family have excitedly been looking to hang artwork in their homes and asked for our advice. We’re sharing our key tips and things to avoid to ensure everyone’s walls are picture perfect.

Firstly – make a plan

At APM we love planning – hanging artwork is no different.

1. Make a list of possible locations where you could hang artwork.

2. List the sizes, shapes, styles and colours might work for the space.

  • Wall size/ artwork size (single large pieces of artwork tend to be more appealing)
  • Consider colour/ style etc.
Diagram showing layout options for hanging 1-2 artworks at eye-height on a wall. Diagram by Absolute Project Management

3. Collect your existing artwork or enjoy selecting new artwork to suit.

4. Draw up a plan for key areas or make yourself a spacing template

  • Gallery wall
  • Gaps should be identical
Diagram showing how to lay out a gallery wall with a mixture of different sized artworks - by Absolute Project Management
An example plan for a gallery wall with identical spacing…
Gallery wall with gold and black frames on a grey painted wall in living room designed by Absolute Project Management.
…and the finished result!

Frame it

Adding a frame and mount adds value to your artwork- whether it’s a postcard or a Banksy (except when there’s a built in shredder…). If you’re putting together a gallery wall you can even adjust the mount and frame sizes to help line up your artwork with equal spacing.

  • Canvases/ woodblocks can and should be mounted wherever possible to protect and enhance artworks
  • Paying extra for non-reflective glass is well worth it. Consider UV treated glass if you’re planning on hanging artwork in sunny areas.
  • Mounts should be the same width on all sides and, ideally, professionally cut. On larger artworks you could adopt a double mount to add interest
  • While they do not need to match exactly, ideally frames and/or mounts should be coordinated in some small way- for example same colour mount, same style or colour. 
  • Use different colours or larger size frames and mounts, on artwork which you want to stand out.
Close up of picture mount with small black border and white mount inside black frame

Get Hanging

Height

Rule of thumb is to hang small – medium artwork at eye height (centre of artwork around 1570mm) and slightly lower for larger portrait artworks. See below left.

Alignment

Ideally art is centred on the wall or in a space. A collection of pieces should be treated as one and centred accordingly

Consider furnishings or important architectural features when aligning your artworks- for example you would centre artwork between the door frame and another wall- but I don’t include the light switch in my spacing measurements (equally you shouldn’t cover faceplates). See below right.

Diagram showing how to hang a small artwork at eye level - by Absolute Project Management
Hang smaller artworks at eye level
Two square artworks in black frames on a grey wall in a stylish living room design by Absolute Project Management
Consider walls, doorframes and furnishings when aligning artwork

Spacing

  • Ideally collections should be spaced equally.
  • Closer spacing between two artworks works better above furnishings

Consider the view

  • Consider the artwork from different points in the room before hanging.
  • If there’s a few options- decide from where you will view it most often and hang accordingly.

Getting it level

There are a couple of ways to do this successfully:

  • For large artworks, you should have two attachment points levelled- this will avoid crooked artworks and ensure there is enough strength to hold the piece
  • Top Tip from an Art Handler: For smaller artworks, you can use clear sticky cupboard door dampers like these, on the bottom two corners of the frame- these will protect the bottom of the wall from the frame and will make it more difficult to skew the artwork.