Basics of Hanging Framed Art

Three Frames on a Wall

Oftentimes we have artwork sitting around the house instead of on the walls. Framing can seem a bit intimidating when you’re not too sure about custom framing options.  Do you want a cream mat with a brown frame? Or should you choose a brown mat with a cream frame? It can seem like there are so many choices we just let the art sit. However, framed art is a versatile decorative piece that can be used to accent your décor. Here are a few pointers on hanging framed art so you can get those pieces up for the world to enjoy.

Hanging Framed Art 101

Just for the record, we are talking about hanging framed artwork specifically. If you have heirlooms or expensive masterpieces, discuss those with an experienced custom framer to be sure you can accommodate properly. For framed artwork though, there are quite a few basics to help you out.

Hanging Framed Art in Your Home

Most people collect some wonderfully unique artwork. It may be an inherited, sentimental piece, something you found online or at a flea market, a child’s painting, vintage posters, or one of many other types of cherished artwork. These types of pieces deserve a custom frame. But you aren’t hanging them in a museum, so you don’t have to take the most expensive route to enjoy nicely framed art.

Long-Term Protection

Framing your artwork will preserve it over time. Matting materials need to be acid-free and the back should have a dust cover. Most of the time, glass is used on the front, but acrylic is popular too since it is shatterproof as well as lightweight. However, acrylic is easier to scratch than glass. The main thing is that the material should be treated so it can protect the artwork from damaging UV rays.

All Art is Not Created Equal

Canvas pieces need a little different care than others. Oil paint on canvas is usually more stable and a bit more hardy. Just make sure to hang them out of direct sunlight. You can also dust them lightly without damaging them. You can skip the mat and glass for this type of artwork, but you will still want to frame it.

Sunshine or Shade?

If you have pieces that are done in sensitive mediums like textiles or watercolors, don’t hang them where they are directly exposed to light even if the glass has UV protection. Hang them in a hallway or a bedroom that is not as light to protect them from fading due to sunlight exposure.

Key Principles of Hanging Artwork

A room which is already painted and furnished with rugs on the floor can be transformed by hanging framed art. You can create a nice display with art that is in touch with the architecture and the rest of the room. Here are some basic tips for hanging artwork like a pro.

You Can Trust Your Gut

Trust your instincts when it comes to hanging artwork so it looks good. Hold a piece up where you want it and let someone look at it from both seated and standing positions. Does it look alone? Is it too big or small for the area? How well does it relate to the furnishings or architecture?

Measure it!

Please use a tape measure, especially if you are hanging items in spaces without furnishings like hallways, alcoves, or stairways. These pieces should be 58 to 60” from the floor with 2” between the edges of the frames.

Irregularity is Art

If you are hanging several pieces gallery style, lay the art on the floor first and play around with them to get the best look. Make sure to measure them to get the right spacing and to achieve the desired effect.

Don’t Line it All Up

Sometimes it’s tempting to line pieces up with the middle of a sofa, molding, or mantel. Make the room more dynamic by giving each piece of framed artwork its own horizon line. It won’t feel as monotonous.

Create Focus with Images

Sometimes images can create a mood or direct attention. Side-facing portraits should be positioned so they are looking into the group, not away. If they are near a window, it should be positioned so the portrait is looking into the room, not out the window. Also, note that darker pieces have more weight visually. Make sure the focus doesn’t clump to the bottom by positioning pieces appropriately.

Blank Walls are Okay

When you hang your framed artwork, you’ll have some blank walls. Leave them alone. They will make the effect of the art more potent.

Mistakes are Not Deadly

You may make mistakes, but you won’t die. Let’s say you put a hanger, hook, or nail in the wall and decide it was the wrong place. You can easily fix it with spackle and original paint if you have it handy. Sometimes toothpaste covers the hole nicely.

Contact Your Atlanta Custom Framer

If you are looking for experience and expertise, contact Suburban Frames in Atlanta, GA. We will take exceptional care of your prized artwork, jersey, diploma or other possession and create a custom frame to your specifications. Call us with your questions about framing or hanging. We’d be glad to help!