8 Must-know tips for hanging pictures

Nick Henshilwood, of Hangitnow in CT, gives professional advice for hanging artworks

How to hang pictures

1. Position your pictures on the floor before hanging them to check the composition. For an informal grouping, try to break the lines of the frames so you end up with an array of shapes and not rows.

2. Before drilling, check for electrical conduits and water pipes – there are gadgets which detect their presence.

3. The key to keeping pictures straight and neatly aligned is to hang each frame from two fixed points or screws. If this is not possible, use some Prestik or double-sided tape. Hang heavy pieces from two fixings per picture. Also, use quality plugs and screws rather than nails.

4. Don’t hang valuable art where it will be in direct sunlight. The UV rays will fade watercolours and prints in months. UV-resistant glass is now available at most good framers, but it’s pricey.

5. The spacing of pictures depends on personal preference, the situation and the artworks. As a general rule of thumb, a pair of pictures or a triptych shouldn’t be more than 75mm apart, but can be as close together as 20mm.

6. A grouping of small frames shouldn’t be more than 50mm apart, but can be as close together as 20 or 30mm if the frames are the same depth and thickness.

7. In a salon-style hanging, a row of larger pictures on a wall can be spaced 300mm apart.

8. When placing pictures side by side and above each other in a block of four, six or more, keep the spaces equal so your finished look is of one big grouping. If your spaces are wider between than above, you will end up with two rows of two instead of a block of four.