A house isn’t a home until it’s decorated.
Hanging art on the wall allows you to show off your artistic side and make it your space.
Having the right tools for the job will make the job easier and faster, said Jackie Pardini, a Lowe’s design expert and public relations manager for the Stroudsburg store.
A flat-angle handle hammer: “A 20-ounce fiberglass hammer is a good choice. It is light enough to be comfortable but still do the job,” he said.
Level: A standard line level with bubbles will work fine, but a small laser level will be more accurate.
Electronic stud finder: You need this to find where the studs are behind the walls. It is best to hang things on a stud, “especially if what you are hanging is heavy,” Pardini said.
For $17 to $25, you can purchase one that will identify wood or metal studs and also identify the presence of electrical wiring.
Pencil: You will need a pencil for making light markings on the wall where you want the picture hung and where to place the hardware.
Tips for hanging
• Hang artwork so the center point of the picture or grouping is at about eye level.
• Group pictures together and consider them a unit, selecting those of similar sizes, themes and colors.
• For groupings, lay the photos out on the floor in front of the selected wall area. Arrange the pictures until you’re pleased with the results before mounting them.
• Complement the available wall area and nearby furniture with single and group hangings. Sizes and shapes shouldn’t be too big or too small.
• Select artwork or pictures that complement the style and color of furniture and walls.
• Choose special art for central locations that can benefit from spot lighting.
• Make sure the frames are solid and will support the weight of the art without bending or breaking.
• Also make sure the hangers can support the weight of the items.
Pardini suggested purchasing an assorted hanger and frame-back kit.
“Kits usually include a wide variety of hanger hardware, such as sawtooth hangers, ring hangers, wire-and-eyelet hangers and assorted wall anchors,” he said.
If you plan to hang a row of pictures that are identical in size, use a long carpenter’s level or laser level to mark each hanger location along the wall.
Laser levels also work great for lining up pictures.
Step one: Hold the picture up on the wall near eye level.
Step two: Mark the wall at the center of the top of the frame with either a pencil or piece of painter’s tape (easily removed). This is the wall mark.
Step three: On the back of the picture, measure the distance from the top of the frame to the mounting hook or center of the stretched wire. This is the adjustment measurement.
Step four: On the wall, measure the adjustment measurement down from the wall mark. This is where to hang the picture hook on the wall.
Hanging heavy objects
• Heavy objects, such as a mirror or large artwork, require stronger wall hangers.
Three common ways exist to hang heavy objects, Pardini said.
The first way uses a heavy-duty mount installed directly into a wall stud.
Use the stud finder to find the stud and then drive the screws, nails or other fasteners into the drywall and into the stud.
You also can use an anchor bolt to hang heavy pictures, Pardini said.
You will need to first find the stud, but you won’t be hanging the anchor bolt in the stud.
Instead, when you locate the stud, mark the wall on either side of it.
Using a drill, drive the anchor into the wall to secure it. Some anchors will flare when a screw is rotated into them. Other anchors have keys or tabs that spread the tip of the anchor on the other side of the drywall.
Adjustable hangers work well when hanging groups of pictures, because groups often require making minor adjustments to hanger locations.
Step one: Select the hanging location.
Step two: Nail the adjustable hanger into place.
Step three: Hang the object.
Step four: Make needed up-or-down location adjustments to the hanger with a flat screwdriver and re-hang the object.
Many homes have plaster walls, and mounting on this surface can cause the plaster to chip.
“Mounting on masonry requires a special masonry drill bit and masonry screws,” Pardini said. “Be sure to ask for help if you don’t know what type of drill and what kind of screws to use.”
Masonry walls also require special techniques for hanging pictures.
If you need more help, Pardini said, go to low.es/15hhCdW “and you can watch a video on how to properly hang your pictures.”