The best ways to hang your pictures up on the wall

In a decorating mood? Read our guide to hanging pictures on walls to avoid mistakes and make the most of your wall space.

Updated 11 September 2019

Playroom space that's been decorated by hanging pictures on walls

Key steps

To hang pictures in your home, follow these key steps:

  1. Assess your wall type first and choose the best method.
  2. If you’re hanging multiple pictures, lay out the arrangement before you start.
  3. Always hang heavy pictures on two points rather than one.

Hanging pictures on walls is a great way of adding a personal touch to your home but different types of walls require different mounting methods. If you’re not sure of the best way to hang pictures, take some inspiration from our guide.

Check your wall before hammering anything in to ensure it is safe and there are no struts or supports that you could hit.

How to hang pictures on walls: by method

There are two main ways of hanging pictures on walls: drilling holes and using picture hooks or using adhesive strips and hooks.

Hanging pictures using nails

  1. Measure the wall and decide where you want your picture. Mark the spot in pencil.
  2. Drill a pilot-hole and tap in a wall plug or anchor. You may need two holes for heavy frames.
  3. Screw in a picture hook.
  4. Hang your frame and centre it. Use a spirit level to get it even.

When hanging pictures on plaster walls, you may be able to hammer a nail directly into the wall without drilling a hole but only for lightweight frames.

How to hang pictures without nails

Use adhesive strips or hooks to put pictures up without cutting the wall. The exact method will depend on the brand you choose so always check the instructions. Generally, you will need to apply them to a clean dry surface and push the frame onto the wall firmly.

The best way to hang pictures on different types of wall

Not all types of walls are the same and how you hang pictures will depend on which type you have.

Hanging pictures on thin, plaster walls

Avoid heavy frames and consider alternative fixing methods that don’t involve cutting the walls. Adhesive hooks could be a safer option.

How to hang a picture on a brick wall

Drill deep enough to fit a sturdy wall anchor into the brick. Place the picture hook into the wall anchor to keep it in place.

How to hang a picture on a plaster wall

Try using adhesive picture hooks or place a small piece of sticky tape onto the wall before drilling to limit the risk of cracks.

Dos and don’ts of hanging pictures on walls

DO

  • Arrange your frames on the floor before hanging them on the wall.
  • Check for cables or struts in the wall before drilling any holes.
  • Use a spirit level to keep everything straight and even.
  • Get someone to help you hold the picture in place and check its position.
  • Use specially designed picture-hanging hooks rather than standard nails or screws.

DON’T

  • Hang too high. Aim for your frame to hang around 160cm off the ground.
  • Hang heavy frames from a single point. The pressure could cause it to fall down.
  • Hang a tiny piece of art on a big, empty wall. Big spaces work well with big pictures.
  • Place frames too far apart. Aim to leave around 5cm between each picture.
  • Rush the process. Take your time and make sure you have the right tools at the start.

Those are our top tips when it comes to hanging pictures on walls. A bit of art or a personal photo can really make a difference when it comes to decor, so don’t wait, get hanging!

Originally published 5 August 2019