How to hang a painting (minimal math involved)
For many of us, the act of choosing a painting is easier than hanging it. The DIY side of things is often perilous and more like a chore. In the end, the hole in the wall is always bigger than it needs to be, handling the drill has proven to be awkward and the painting just won’t hang straight! Not to fear though, those days are now behind you. KAZoART has come to your rescue with our best tips and tricks on hanging your painting…properly!
The golden rules on how to hang a painting:
Always at eye level
Yu should always hang a painting so that its centre is right at eye level. When the wall is bare you should count 1 and a half meters (1 meter and 52 centimeters to be exact) from the floor to the centre of the work. The same rule applies if the painting will be hung over a bench, dresser or chair that does not exceed 76 cm.
This rule of thumb corresponds to an aesthetic standard commonly adopted by art galleries and museums for their exhibitions.
Unfortunately, it is a beginner’s mistake to hang a painting too high. By fixing your art at eye-level, it allows the works to resonate with the rest of your interior (i.e. the furniture, carpets and objects that make up your living space).
This standard height of 1.52 meters lets you to create harmony throughout your interior by placing all your wall decorations at the same level…except in the case of a gallery wall of course. But let’s keep it simple for the moment!
Take the time to measure
- Measure your wall from the ground up to 1.52 meters and mark it with a pencil.
- Measure your work from top to bottom and divide by two. Now you have the centre.
- Measure where the hook is placed in relation to the top edge of the artwork.
- My work is 66 cm tall
- The hook is placed 11 cm from the top of the frame/canvas.
- I calculate the center of the work to be 66÷2=33
- I subtract the hook space, which is 33-11=22.
- I add 22 to my initial 152 cm, i.e. 152+22=174 cm.
There you have it. Nothing too complicated in terms of mathematics. (It’s OK to use a calculator, I did!)
When there are several paintings to hang, they must be treated as a unit. It is therefore the centre of each painting that should be at a height of 1.52 cm.
The space between each painting is measured using 3 fingers or a hand…about 6 to 10 cm. The whole should remain airy while maintaining visual consistency.
Above a couch
In order to make good use of the space, a painting must not exceed 2/3 of the size of the sofa it overhangs with a minimum space of 13 to 25 cm between the bottom of the painting and the top of the sofa. This is not only aesthetic but also practical as you can avoid bumping your head on the painting when seated.
Try it out with paper
A good trick that works one or more paintings is to make a simulation using paper. Kraft paper lends itself very well to this task because of its size, consistency and neutral tone. It allows you to adjust the “paintings” without putting needless holes in your wall.
When deciding how to hang a painting, it is important to choose the set-up that you like best as you’re the one who will be living with it.
In the end, these rules are just guidelines. Some of us have the eye to play with perspective and therefore break the “rules” while others feel safer sticking to the experts’s advice. No matter your preference, this should be done according to your tastes. It’s your home or place of work so make it pleasing to your eyes…but also hang the paintings straight.
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