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How do I... Hang a painting properly

Simple as it sounds, there's more to getting that picture-perfect print on your wall than meets the eye. So don't just bang in a nail, hoping your picture doesn't fall down and leave your wall resembling the cratered surface of the moon.


Gina Cross, owner of A Little Bit of Art (alboart.co.uk) recommends avoiding direct sunlight (where it will receive damaging exposure to UV), heat sources and damp walls.

"You'll also need to consider whether the print or painting should hang on its own or with other works," says Cross. Try using cut-out sections of newspaper to get an idea how much space it will take up on your walls. "If it's a statement piece it's best to give it room to breathe," Cross adds. "Or perhaps you want to create a 'salon' effect with several small framed pieces together."

Then you'll need to consider the type of wall you are dealing with. As a rough rule use a power drill, wall plug and screw for a masonry wall and make sure you avoid pipes and cables (usual concealed by plasterboard). To hang a small picture or unframed canvas use a picture hook or a 3cm nail (angled up slightly) banged into the wall so 1cm of nail sticks out.

Something larger or framed will need a picture rail hook (make sure you use a wall plug) and picture wire. If you don't have a picture rail use a medium-duty wall plug for brick or a toggle bolt for plasterboard to hang wire from.

"Always make sure you use the correct hooks," recommends Cross. "If it's a heavy piece, and in an area where's there's likely to be a fair amount of coming and going, it's wise to hang it with mirror plates to avoid it ever coming off the wall and smashing."

And remember, this is a two-person job. One to hold the piece against the wall, while the other decides the exact placement with a spirit level.