Hanging a Picture
The Basics

Picture Hanging Tools

Hanging a picture frame requires some, but not many, tools.

You'll learn how and when to use each of them when you check out the different hardware and hanging pages.

For now here is a simple checklist of the most common things you'll need or are helpful (but not crucial) to have when hanging a picture frame:

Hanging a Picture -  Rule(s) of Thumb

There are many opinions out there about what the perfect height may be for hanging frames in your home.

Some say the mid-point of the art work or picture should be "eye level", meaning of course your eye level. What about the others you live with? What about their eye level??

Others have a magic number like 54" or 66" from the floor to the middle of the frame. Still, others will say "whatever you prefer".

In the end they could all be right. Or, they could all be wrong.

I don't claim to be an interior decorator, so I will just offer up some of the things I have come across over the years that seem to make the most sense me when hanging a picture frame.


I start with 60" from the floor to the middle of the frame. I simply split the difference between the 54" camp and the 66" camp. I suggest you start there and find the actual height you prefer - which may change depending on the artwork, the wall you hang it on and what is nearby it.

For some places in your home it makes more sense to go a little higher or a little lower depending on the use of the room.

For example; rooms, where you generally sit more than stand, would benefit from lower hanging picture frames. While areas of your house, like entrance ways for example, would look a bit nicer if the frames were mounted a bit higher on the wall. 

Take a look at what's near the art work. If you are hanging a large painting above a couch, it may look better if there is less space between the couch and the frame, say no more than 12". If you have 2 or 3 smaller frames above a couch, they would almost look silly if they were that close, move them higher up on the wall.

Most of us have heard about cutting out paper templates of the frame sizes we want to hang and taping them on the wall to get a better feel...

It truly is a great idea!!

Just cut some craft paper to size and use painters tape to hang on the wall at different heights and in different groupings to see what looks best.


You can hang just about any frame, no matter how heavy it is. Whether it stays on the wall or not is another question.

You need to know the following to do it right:

  • how heavy is it?
  •  what type of surface are you hanging it? Dry wall or plaster?
  • is there a stud nearby? 

Once you have this info and know a little bit more about hanging a frame on dry wall, or plaster you can get  to work.

This chart spells out what is possible for each type of wall and how much weight they can handle with and without studs and or anchors.

Leave any questions, thoughts, tips or suggestions below!

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Updated November 18, 2022