How to Hang and Care for your Artwork

How to Hang and Care for your Artwork

The time has come. Falling in love with your piece and bringing it home was the easy part, but now what? It’s very common to be unsure of how to display, hang or care for your artwork. 

While having a professional help you hang your artwork is the best way to avoid slip ups, you can also take a DIY approach and get a very good result.

Where should I display my artwork?

You may have had a place in mind when you started your search, or maybe you found a piece of artwork that you had to have. The right piece can change the mood of a room, but there are certain things to keep in mind when deciding where artwork should be displayed. 

Try to avoid placing your artwork in direct sunlight. The sun can have an impact on certain materials and can cause the appearance of the art to fade. While this effect varies, materials like water colour paints and photography are particularly susceptible. The same rule applies to bright spotlights, so take a look at the lighting in your space before you start hanging. 

Move your artwork to different locations in your space, leaning it against the wall to get a feel for how it looks from different angles.

Find the right hook and hanging tools

The size and weight of your artwork, and the surface material of your wall will impact your approach. For smaller, lighter artworks, a nail and hook will likely do the trick when hanging artwork on a plaster wall. For heavier artworks (upwards of 5kg), a more heavy-duty weight bearing hook is in order.

To distribute weight and to bring the top of the frame closer to the wall, we recommend using two hooks for each artwork.  You can hang the art from the wire fixed to the back of the painting, or directly from the D-rings (the buckles that are fixed to the frame).

We provide a hook assortment with every purchase, but please ensure that you have the right hooks for your wall type before you use them, or have a professional provide an assessment. 

Don’t forget to measure twice, hammer once

Museums and galleries typically hang artwork at eye level, or around 155cm from the middle of the frame, where the hanging wire will sit on the hook. In your own home, you may have an impactful space picked out that is higher –  above a mantle, in a stairwell or behind a dining table. 

To make your artwork the feature of these spaces, start by measuring and marking placeholders on the wall. We’ve all made the mistake of skipping this step, but seriously - measure first.

Use a tape measure to find out the total length of your wall space, and then divide by two. That’s the centre of the wall, which you can mark lightly with a pencil at your desired height. Next, measure your frame width and divide by two again. Last, divide the length of each half of the frame by two again, so that there are two points equidistant from the centre point of the frame. Mark them with a pencil. These are the points where your hooks go into the wall.

For plaster walls, use a hammer to fix the nails and hooks into the wall. Brick and concrete walls are a little trickier - you’ll need special hooks with anchors that can be drilled into the surface before screwing in the hooks.

Always make sure you are aware of your wall material and the weight of your artwork before installing hooks. When in a doubt, a professional can help make sure you get it right the first time.

Step back, admire and enjoy!

Ahh… the hard work is done. This is our favourite part of the hanging process, when you can take a step back and admire your work. It can help to use a level, or the level feature on your phone, to make sure that your artwork is hanging evenly.

Caring for your artwork

Over time, you may want to lightly dust your artwork using a dry cloth. Be careful not to use any strong cleaning chemicals on your artwork, as this could damage the wooden frames and the art itself. 

To clean your wooden frame, mix warm water with mild dish soap. Very carefully, wipe the frame's surface using a small amount of the soapy water. Take extra care to keep moisture off the artwork itself. Finish by wiping with a dry cloth. 

Show us your walls!

Don’t forget to tag once you have safely hung your new artwork from The Hook at home.