Planning & preparation

  • First, you need to choose where you want to hang your picture, taking into account the position of furniture and the lighting in the room
  • Typically, your eye line should be about one-third of the way down the picture. However, this may vary depending on the shape and size of the picture. You may also need to adjust its positioning if you want to hang the picture above furniture. Take some time to consider what feels right for you and your room
  • Be sure to check the type of wall you have and consider the weight of the picture, as this will influence the fixing process that you should use
  • A simple two-pin picture hook will hold a lightweight picture, providing the plaster is in good condition
  • To hang a heavier picture on a masonry wall, you’ll need to drill a hole, then use a wall plug and a screw
  • To hang a heavier picture on a stud wall, you’ll need to use a stud detector to locate the vertical studs behind the plasterboard. Hopefully, there is a stud where you want the fixing to go, in which case you can drive a screw through the plasterboard into the stud. Otherwise, if the fixing position is between studs, you’ll need a hollow wall anchor or a spiral fixing plug

Do it right

  • When deciding where to hang a picture, it’s a good idea to ask a friend to hold it against the wall whilst you stand back and choose the best position
  • If hanging a picture on a stud wall, particularly if the picture is heavy, you should consider adjusting the fixing position, to the left or right, so it is directly into a stud
  • If your picture does not already have a cord, it’s best to use picture wire, as this will not stretch or fray

Staying safe

  • Always use a pipe and cable detector to avoid hidden pipes and electric cables
  • Never drill directly above or below light switches and power sockets
  • Ask a friend for help if you are hanging a heavy picture
  • Wear safety goggles when drilling

How to Hang a Picture

1

Once you’ve decided where you want to hang your picture, use a pipe and cable detector. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and move the detector slowly back and forth over the area you need to check.

2

Holding the picture in place, use a pencil to create a light mark in the centre of the top of the picture.

3

Pull the hanging cord or wire taut, then measure the ‘drop’ from the top of the picture to the cord or wire.

4

Using the ‘drop’, measure down from the original centre position to determine the fixing position. Marking the final fixing point a few millimetres above this will ensure the top of the picture hides your original pencil mark. Alternatively, you can rub out the mark.

5

If hanging a lightweight picture on a two-pin hook, place the bottom of the hook on the fixing point then gently hammer in the nails.

6

To hang a heavier picture on a masonry wall, you’ll need to insert a wall plug and screw. Mark the length of the wall plug on your masonry drill bit using masking tape.

7

Drill a hole at the fixing point, to the marked depth. Insert the wall plug, ensuring it does not stick out from the wall.

8

Finally, insert and tighten a screw, leaving its head sticking out enough for the picture cord or wire to hang on.

9

If fixing to a stud wall, you first need to locate the vertical studs behind the plasterboard, using a stud detector. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

10

If the stud detector indicates there is a stud where you want the fixing to go it’s best to check using a carpenter’s awl.

11

Once you’ve checked, drive a screw through the plasterboard and into the stud. Leave its head sticking out enough for the picture cord or wire to hang on.

12

If the fixing point is between studs, you’ll need a hollow wall anchor or a self drill fixing. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm how much weight your specific fixing can take; this will help you to choose the best method.

13

If using a self drill fixing, make a pilot hole using the awl then screw the spiral fixing plug directly into the plasterboard wall, being careful not to over-tighten.

14

Insert a screw into the plug and tighten, leaving its head sticking out enough for the picture cord or wire to hang on.

15

Alternatively, if using a hollow wall anchor, drill a hole through the plasterboard just big enough to push the body of the fixing through. Tighten the screw to lock the fixing in place behind the plasterboard.

16

Finally, place the picture cord or wire over the hook or screw. Hold a spirit level on top of the picture to check that it is level.