Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The correct way to hang a picture on a wall

• It depends on the weight of the picture and the density of the wall.

• You will need picture hooks, which come in singles, doubles and trebles depending upon the weight of the picture, and a supply of hard wall hooks. You will also need a hammer, drill, raw plugs and screws for anything very heavy.

• Test the fixing by pulling down hard on it by hand before you hang anything on it.

At what height should paintings or pictures be hung on a wall?

• Most people hang pictures too high; you should not have to strain your neck to see them. The general rule is to make the center of the picture roughly five feet from the ground. You should not end up looking down or up at it.

How do I ensure that a painting or picture is hung straight?

• You could use a spirit level but if the floor and ceiling levels are not true then the picture will not look level even if it actually is!

• Simply stand a certain distance from the picture to determine whether or not it is straight.

• Always use two wall hooks, parallel to the floor, rather than one, to prevent pictures moving about.

How do you decide where to hang painting or prints?

• Bedrooms will take pretty, pastel-colored images and a dining room more darker, serious pictures.

• Hallways and less important areas can often take a series of prints.

• An important oil painting should occupy a strong focal point within a room such as over a fireplace.

• A large painting hung on a staircase will give maximum impact.

• Do not hang a picture where it looks squashed or place a small picture in a vast space.

Mounting pictures

How should I mount my picture?
• If you are framing a print, you will want a mount around it as a border. Use one that is no more than half the width of the picture. Any wider will swamp it and distract.

How do I choose the right frame for painting, print or photograph?

• Select a frame which suits both the style and period of the picture and the period. The more contemporary the picture the simpler the frame.

How can I create a wall arrangement using several pieces of artwork?

• Start with the large central artwork as a main focus and then hang other pictures around it, possibly in pairs. Symmetry is essential. Try to balance the room as you cast your eye round it. For sets of prints, use the same frames if they are to hang together.

Choosing artwork

What factors should be taken into consideration when choosing artwork?

• Think about the essence of your home and what you like doing in and around it. If it is a contemporary beach house you will not want to fill it full of stuffy old-fashioned pictures, nor will you want lots of beach scenes in your Highland retreat. However, there is no hard and fast rule here and you can often put an 18th-century portrait in a contemporary setting, where it will look magnificent.

• Choose paintings, photographs or prints you personally fall in love with as they are the ones you will want to live with and see again and again in your house.

What is the best way to light pictures?

• If you buy old-fashioned ones select those that screw into the frame and not the wall as otherwise you will have to repair the wall each time you want to move the picture. 

• The picture lights from Hogarth have a very thin wire, which you stick on to your wall and paint or paper over - useful if you need a light somewhere where there is no socket.

• The best way to show off your Monet is to light it by halogen spotlight: no wires, holes or screws.

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