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Correct Picture Hanging of Picture Frames

This is one of three parts of Frames Now’s series on conservation framing.

1. Conservation Framing for Preservation of Framed Artworks.
2. Mounting and Matboards for Picture Frames.
3. How and Where to Correctly Hang a Picture Frame

While use of correct framing materials and picture framing techniques can give longevity to a framed artwork, you also need to be careful where to hang your frames to not undermine the preservation qualities of the framing materials.

Where to hang a picture frame.

  • The most important point when placing a picture frame in a room is to avoid direct sunlight ever reaching the face of the framed artwork. Ambient light, however, isn’t nearly so dangerous.
  • Picture frames should be kept away from areas that expose them to heat, damp and dirt.
  • For your most valuable framed artworks, try to avoid hanging the frame on the interior side of any external walls.
  • For your most valuable framed artworks, try to also avoid rooms lit exclusively with fluorescent lighting.
  • For optimal longevity of the frame and framed artwork, even consider rotating your most valuable frames into storage from time to time, to reduce the frame’s periods of long exposure to harmful conditions.

How to hang a picture frame.

  • Frames Now will always supply a finished custom frame with strong steel wire, which is plastic coated to protect your walls. The wire is specially selected to suit each picture frame, to ensure the correct weight rating is used to support heavier picture frames. Picture hanging steel wire is designed not to stretch or snap, unlike nylon cords or string other picture framers might use.
  • Two hooks are better than one! Using two hooks along the wire on the back of your picture frame distributes the frame’s weight more evenly than a hook on a single point.

    For very long and/or heavy picture frames or framed mirrors, it is usual to use three or four hooks along the width of the frame.

  • If hanging from a single point rail system, be sure to buy the correct wire for the system, as use of materials like fishing line or string risk stretching, which can cause the picture frame to fall from the wall.
  • Always follow the instructions provided with your hooks. Look out for weight ratings, and always get stronger ones than you think you will need. If the hooks specify using a timber stud, be aware that the weight rating will be significantly reduced if you do not hang your picture frame with a hook nailed into the timber stud.
  • Wherever possible, do not use or rely on any kind of stick-on or plastic hooks.

Our picture framers are always happy to advise you on the best method for hanging our picture frames, and have tips according to our experiences. Come and see us today!

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