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First, select the proper hardware.
Picture hook: best used for lightweight artwork and used in plaster or sheetrock walls. To minimize chipping of the wall finish, tape an “X” with masking tape on the wall over the spot to be nailed before hammering.
Plastic anchor: best used for medium-size pieces of artwork. These anchors have two pieces – a plastic sleeve which is inserted into a hole drilled into the wall, followed by inserting a screw into the sleeve.
Toggle bolt: used to hang heavy pieces of art in sheetrock or plaster walls. Once installed in the wall, the “wings” of a toggle bolt will open and provide more support for your art.
Mirror hangers: use two mirror hangers to hang heavy or soft woods, or when the piece has hanging hooks instead of wire. Never add wire to a picture that is designed to be hung with hooks only.
Second, determine the right level.
Eye level is the generally rule of thumb when hanging art. However, eye level is different for everyone. Here’s the simple formula used by most professionals:
- Measure up 60 inches from the floor
- To this, add half the height of the framed picture
- Subtract the height of the wire (the height of the triangle that the wire would form if the frame were actually hanging). That’s the ideal spot for your picture hanger – regardless of the height of the ceiling or even you.
On The Level
To make sure that a picture or mirror is level, and you don’t have a level, hold a half-full glass of water along the top of the frame. Use the water surface as the level.