Dress Up Your Walls + Art Hanging Tips

By Shelby Deering | Styling and Photography by Shanna Wolf | Tandem Press Images courtesy of Tandem Press

Hanging wall art is, well, an art form. Perfect your art collection with these tips from Marty Smith, owner of Middleton Art & Framing.


Even if you’re aiming for a creative look for your gallery wall, you can still make it look purposeful and streamlined. Smith refers to something called “visual weight” as it pertains to wall art — some framed pictures appear heavier than others. While reds, greens and blues are visually heavy colors, according to Smith, they can be balanced out with lighter hues, such as yellows, pinks and whites.


“A picture light attached to a frame gives the work the most direct light,” Smith says. He adds that it’s important to know that light and heat can damage original art over time, which is why it’s key to use LED bulbs instead of UV bulbs.


Smith advises using paper to create true-scale templates of your picture frames, “then use painter’s tape to figure out the best arrangement,” he says.

So, what’s the no-fail method for hanging a piece of wall art so you don’t end up with dozens of nail holes from multiple attempts? Follow these steps from Smith.

  • Aim to hang the picture at a height of 57 inches from the floor to the bottom of the frame.
  • Use two hooks, which will pull the picture tighter against the wall.
  • Utilize hooks with nails that go through them and confirm how much weight the particular hooks can hold.
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