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How do I Hang a Picture?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2016
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To hang a picture properly, it takes more than simply pounding a nail into a wall. There are some tricks that will allow anyone to hang a picture straight, and keep it straight, as well. It can be easy and virtually without cost, with the right guidance.

If only one hanger is needed, it does not make sense to purchase an entire box of picture hangers. It is just as easy to make a single hanger on one’s own. Simply find an 8d finishing nail and put it in the jaws of a vise. Next, using round-nose pliers, bend the end of the nail so that it has a long straight portion - which is what goes into the wall - and a v-shaped end – where the hanging wire will rest. Next, hammer the head of the nail lightly; it is important to hammer the nail through the wallboard into the stud of the wall - so the picture will be secure and not fall.

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To hang a picture in the perfect position there are several different, inexpensive techniques. For example, a portion of a soda straw can be slipped over the picture hanger to help position the picture properly. Once the picture is in place, the straw can be removed. Another technique is using a wire coat hanger, bending it so that it forms an “L”, resting the wire on the lower leg of the “L”, and then making a mark on the wall. Thus, it is easy to know exactly where the nail should go.

In some cases, a level may be necessary to hang a picture. It is best to use the top of the picture frame as a guide. However, sometimes ceilings, walls, or floors are not level; so, manually observing the picture after it is hung will determine if it needs to be tilted slightly to become parallel to the ceiling, floor, or other visual guide.

Hanging a picture is often only half the battle. It is also important that the picture does not slip once it is hung. One technique to prevent slipping is to wrap sections of tape around the wire on either side of the hook or wall hanger. Doing so will keep the picture in place at all times.

Some people may be concerned about putting a hole in the wallpaper where they are going to hang their picture. In those cases, it is easy to cut a v-shaped slit in the wallpaper. Then, moisten it until it peels off the wall. As a result of this action, when the picture is taken down or moved to a new spot, the wallpaper can be re-pasted without leaving an obvious hole.

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