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How To Hang a Picture or Mirror Frame

By: Erich Lage
A smart process for getting your frame on the wall.

Before you build your picture frame, it’s a good idea to get your print or artwork matted. This will confirm the size of the frame parts. You’ll want to sandwich the print between a mat board (with a “window” cut out of the center) and a backer (posterboard or a piece of foam core).

How to hang a picture frame

Mounting the Print. After you’ve built your frame, you can take it to a frame shop and have your print professionally mounted. Or you can do what I did and simply purchase the materials and do the mounting yourself. Although professional framers use special tools and fasteners to secure the glass and artwork into a frame, you can do the same thing with simple turn buttons, like the ones you see in the drawing.

Dust Cover. To protect the print, add a dust cover to the back of the frame. This is just a piece of brown kraft paper that is attached to the frame with double-sided tape. Once this is in place, add rubber bumpers to prevent the frame from damaging the wall surface.

Hanging the Picture Frame. When it comes to hanging a picture frame (or any other item), it’s important to make sure the hardware you’re using is strong enough to support the weight of the object you’re hanging. Since these frames are fairly heavy, I used heavy-duty picture wire and two 50 lb. picture hooks for each frame. You should be able to find these items at most hardware stores.

The picture wire is secured to the frame with a couple of D-rings, as shown in Figure 1. In this figure, you can also see the special knot that is used to fasten the wire to the ring. After pulling the knot tight, wrap the end of the wire around itself to prevent it from unraveling, just like you see in Figure 2. Then, to prevent the wire from scratching or marking up the wall, I like to wrap the ends with floral stem wrap (available at craft stores) or masking tape, as illustrated in Figure 3.

Two-Point Hanging System. You’ll need to use two picture hooks to hang the picture frame. This distributes the load so all the weight isn’t on a single hook. Plus, it makes it a lot easier to level the picture once it’s on the wall. Just install the hooks about 6" apart on the wall. If you have plastered walls, it’s best if one of the hooks is driven into a stud. But this isn’t necessary if your walls are made of drywall.

Published: July 15, 2022
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