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Art prints & frames, handmade in England since 1982

We've been in the business of making framed art prints since 1982, so when it comes to hanging them, we know a thing or two. Here's our step-by-step guide on everything you need to know about how to hang a frame.

What you'll need:

  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Power drill for masonry walls
  • Spirit level
  • Wall fixing suitable for your wall type (see step 4)

1. Choose the perfect wall position

Unless it's a very large statement art piece, avoid hanging your framed picture in an empty space. The best position is usually above a piece of furniture or feature, such as a table, sofa or fireplace. Art prints look great at eye level, it's the reason art galleries and museums display works like this. So hang your artwork approximately 1.4m from the floor to the centre of the art print. If you're hanging a group of prints, check out our guide to hanging a gallery wall.

Top tip! Do not hang your frame on newly plastered or decorated walls. Moisture may be transferred from the wall to the picture and could ruin the frame. Avoid areas of potentially high humidity, for example bathrooms.

2. Measure the frame hardware position

Frames can come with a variety of hanging hardware. The most common way to hang a frame is by a hanging cord but some larger frames come with metal hangers.

To measure, lay the frame flat and measure the distance between your hanger and the top of the frame. If you have a hanging cord make sure you pull it taut first.

Good to know: King & McGaw framed prints up to one metre square come with a hanging cord. Extra-large items are fitted with one or two hangers, depending on the frame size and weight. The serrated hanger has been specially designed so you can adjust the final hanging position both vertically (by slackening the screws) and horizontally.

3. Mark the fixing position on your wall

Next you need to make a mark where the fixings will go, a friend comes in handy here. Hold the frame up to the wall and make a pencil mark at the top corners of your frame.

If your frame has a hanging cord, you need to make a second mark in the middle of the first (see photo above).

Next, transfer your hardware measurements (from the previous step) on to the wall. Measure down from the pencil markings you've just made, so you now have the exact spot where your hanging fixing will go.

4. Choose and insert the right fixing for your wall type

Different wall types require different fixings. Knock on the wall or use a stud detector to find out what type of wall you're dealing with. A hollow sound indicates a stud wall (otherwise known as a drywall) consisting of a wooden, brick or metal frame with plasterboard panels on top. A solid sound suggests your wall is a masonry wall, made from brick, breeze-block, concrete or stone.

Double headed hanger screw

If you're using a double-headed hanger screw with a stud wall, there's no need to make a pilot hole first. You can insert your screw using a screwdriver directly into the wall where you've made your pencil mark. The double-headed hanger screw is an option for both lightweight and medium weight frames.

Alternative fixtures for stud walls

Double headed hanger screw & wall plug

Whatever masonry wall fixing you use, you'll need to drill a hole to fit the wallplug you are using. Make the hole using a power drill with a suitably sized masonry drill bit and then push your wall plug in. We like B&Q's handy guide on fitting a wall plug.

Once you have your wall plug flush against the wall, insert your screw all the way in. The double head will be left protruding from which you can hang your print.

Alternative fixtures for masonry walls

Safety tip: Before drilling, check there's no hidden pipes or electricity cables behind the wall. As a general rule, don't drill directly above or below light switches or plug sockets as cables run vertically up from light switches and down from sockets. For peace of mind you should use a detector to scan the wall (a 3-in-1 cable, pipe and stud detector is very useful here!)

5. Straighten your frame

Hang your picture by the hangers or the picture hanging cord. Use a spirit level to make sure your picture is straight and, if you want to, place wall mount tape on the back of the frame to keep it from sliding around.

In summary, here's how to hang framed art prints:

  1. Choose the perfect wall position
  2. Measure the frame hardware position
  3. Mark the fixing position on your wall
  4. Choose & insert the right fixing for your wall type
  5. Straighten your frame

Alternative Stud Wall Fixings

Lightweight frames (less than 2.25kg)

Picture Hooks

Brass picture hooks & nails

Plastic picture hook with integrated nails

Plasterboard picture hook

Traditional picture hooks are a popular choice as they don’t leave huge holes in the wall. If you’re using a brass or plastic picture hook with nails or pins, use a hammer to attach to the wall. Alternatively a plasterboard picture hook, is a molded one piece hanger, which can be hammered directly into the wall.

Adhesive hangers

Adhesive hanging strips are an easy way to put up lightweight frames. If you’re living in rented accommodation they’re a good way to avoid leaving holes in your walls. First, ensure the surface is flat, dry and free of dust. Attach your strips to the frame and the wall. Let them rest for 30 minutes and then stick them together.

Medium to heavy frames

For heavier weight frames, you have two options. Either locate the stud (the timber or brick frame which sits behind the plasterboard) and skip to the masonry wall section. Or if you’re going straight into the hollow wall choose one of the following.

Hollow-wall anchor aka molly bolt

A hollow-wall anchor is a combination screw surrounded by a casing. Start by drilling the correct size hole into the plasterboard, then push the anchor through the hole. Once in, tighten up the screw, this will cause the anchor to expand and grip against the inside of the wall.

Toggle bolts and snap toggle bolts

Drill your hole first. Fold your toggle tabs in and push your toggle through the hole. As you screw your toggle, the tabs will fit securely against the wall. Remember if you want to remove your screw at a later date you will lose your fixing behind the wall.

Alternative Masonry Wall Fixings

Lightweight to medium weight frames

Masonry screw & wall plug

A matching screw and masonry wall plug or rawlplug (6mm is usually ideal). Drill a hole and then push in your wall plug. Insert your screw, leaving it protruding a few millimetres from the wall surface.

Adhesive hangers

Adhesive hanging strips are an easy way to put up lightweight frames. If you’re living in rented accommodation they’re a good way to avoid leaving holes in your walls. First, ensure the surface is flat, dry and free of dust. Attach your strips to the frame and the wall. Let them rest for 30 minutes and then stick them together.

Heavy frames

Masonry screw and wall plug & strong wall hook

For large or heavy frames, follow the same instructions as the masonry screw and wall plug, then attach a strong wall hook to the screw.