How to Hang Art (the Cheater Way)

July 15th, 2013

If you’re in my line of design work, installs are hard.  You’re in for only two or three days, and have all art accessories and furnishings placed in two apartments and various clubhouse amenities.

Sometimes, installers are a bit slow. Which means you, the interior designer, better pick up a hammer.

One of my mentors taught me her quick way to hang art during my first year as a junior designer, and I have never looked back.  I was helping her on a job in California that was running way behind, so we decided to hang all of our own art.  I reached for a measuring tape and the designer quickly said, oh no, put that down.

Here is her method.

To start, art should be hung with the middle of the piece at eye level (unless it is a specialized location).  I would hold the piece to the wall where the middle is hitting your line of sight, and mark where the top of the piece hits the wall with a pencil (or you could scratch the place with a nail, not that I’ve ever done that).



Next, put the art piece down on the floor and pull the wire (hopefully there’s hanging wire) taut.


Measure the distance between the top of the wire (when pulled taut) and the top of the art piece with the handle of your hammer.  Mark that distance with your finger.


From there, take your hammer and hold it upside down against the wall, with the top on the mark you placed for the top of the artwork.  From there, take the distance you measured from the top of the art to your wire.  That is where you need to place the nail to ensure your artwork hangs in the spot you marked.


Once you mark the spot for your picture hook, remove your hammer and nail it in.  I always use at least a 20lb picture hook, rather than a nail alone.  These are much harder to slip out of the wall, protecting you and the artwork.  Keep in mind that the spot you marked should be the bottom of the hook (not the top).  If you place the top of the hook here it will be lower than you intended.


Once your hook is in place, hang your picture and Viola!


MUCH faster than pulling out your measuring tape, level, etc.

*All imagery via personal to DBK.

Katy Signature-01

2 Responses

  1. Lauren says:

    I still get so impatient that I hang some art by mysed instead of waiting for an installer to get around to it! Another trick one of the FDG ladies taught me when hanging a cluster of things was to lick your finger and press it on the wall to mark your placement.

  2. […] Are you hanging art this weekend? Here’s my favorite short cut […]

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