How to hang paintings and picture frames

You have finally finished making a picture frame or have purchased the painting of your dreams and aren't confident on how to hang it. Let's walk you through it.

Tools and materials

Electronic stud finder


Spirit level

Drill & bits (masonry)

1. Where to hang your paintings

The most common place to hang a painting is on a wall. However, there are areas on each wall which may be damaging to hanging paintings and ones which are better in terms of preservation. This is a major decision, both for the aesthetics and longevity of the painting.

Ideally you would want to hang your painting on a wall which has a wall stud where you can securely anchor the wall hooks, away from any heat source with reasonable humidity and not in direct sunlight. Many of these are common sense factors when deciding the position, but must be considered as frames come in many different colours, sizes and weights.

2. Hanging your paintings

If you are hanging a heavy picture on your plaster walls, make sure you source a wall stud or beam. Light weight pictures can hang from hooks that stick with adhesive to the wall or with using a nail.

3. Locate the wall studs

To find wall studs, simply rap your knuckles along the wall until you feel and hear a solid backing. If you can't guarantee your findings, you may like to use an electronic stud finder that beeps or flashes when it passes over wall studs or ceiling joists.

Wall studs are usually placed 400 or 600mm apart. If the best position for your painting isn't near the wall stud, you can choose to use a toggle, which once drilled and screwed in, it will expand and spread the pressure on your wall. Make sure to inform a Bunnings' Team Member the weight that you are planning to use for your toggle.

If your walls are brick, simply drill a hole with a masonry drill bit and then hammer in a plastic plug and insert the screw. Once you have decided if you need to use the wall stud to accommodate the paintings weight, now decided if the paintings will be suspended on a metal hook secured to the frame or from the paintings wire.

4. Hanging wire

The hanging wire should be looped through eye screws, secured in the right and left sides of the frame positioned a third of the way down from the top of the frame. It is your choice how long you want the wire, but as a rule the wire shouldn't be seen so measure prior to tightening the wire to the eye screws.

5. Mark and nail

Measure and mark the top of the frame when you have it positioned correctly on the wall, you may need a ladder or chair. Now hold the picture wire up with your finger and measure the distance from your finger to the top of the frame. Measure down that distance from the pencil mark you made on the wall and mark that spot. Nail the picture hook into the wall where you've just made a mark. Carefully hang the picture and adjust it so that it is straight.

Note: Bunnings sell a picture hanging kit, which outlines the hanging weight capacity.


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