Skip to content

Home Decorating Tips: How to Hang a Large Picture

Salt Lake City Temple picture hanging above a bed.

Buying large pieces of Christian or LDS art can be intimidating. You may love the painting or photo, but paying for it is sometimes only half the battle. Next, you have to decide where to hang it and what will safely keep it in place. More than likely, most of us are not gallery experts. We juggle too many priorities and don’t have all day to sort this sort of thing out.

But at Altus, we live and breathe this stuff. Here are a few pro tips to help you quickly and easily display your newest piece of large art at its finest:

Where to Hang a Large Picture

Large art is perfect for adding color and texture to a room with a lot of space. That may even include spots not as common for hanging art. For example, panoramic pieces are perfect for over the couch. Large, vertical artwork well at the top of a stairwell. 

These few tips can help you decide on where you want to give your art a place in your home.

  • Hang the art at eye-level. That means when standing back to look at the art, your eyes should reach the middle of the painting or photograph. This way, you and visitors can appreciate the art at its best without having to crane your neck. To accomplish this, it is often helpful to get some help hanging the art. This way, you can stand back and make sure it reaches this level.

    Draper Temple photo hanging above a sofa.
  • Hold a blanket or paper of the same size up to the wall to help you decide on where to place it. Doing this can keep you from having to put more holes in your wall and can speed up the decision-making process.

    Picture of Jesus walking on water above the bed.
  • Pay attention to color. A piece of art can either enhance or clash with furniture and decorations already in a room. That does not mean it has to be super matchy-matchy. Just make sure that colors are complementary to your space. If you are not sure, looking at color palettes or color wheels online can help you get a feel for what goes well together.

    Panormaic picture of Jesus walking on water hanging above a sofa.

How to Hang a Large Picture

Now for the fun part! Once you have decided on where you want to hang your art, you will want to make sure to do it properly. Large art can pose a challenge because it is heavier than most other pieces you have in your home or office. The last thing you want after all this effort is for it to hang crooked or fall off the wall altogether.

  • With a pencil or your finger, mark where the top of the artwork will sit. From there, measure the distance down to the wire or hook from which you’re hanging it. If using a wire, be sure to pull it taught before measuring. Doing this will ensure you get the nail in the right place the first time.

    Magazine cutout picture of the first vision hanging above a small cabinet.
  • Hardware stores such as Lowe’s also suggest you make sure to hang heavier art on a wall stud. Drywall and plaster walls are common in modern homes, and neither material has the strength to carry the weight of a weighty painting on its own.

    Logan Temple photo hanging above a computer desk.
  • For wide pieces like panoramas, it’s a good idea to place two nails. The art will stay more balanced with more than one nail or hook to support it.

    Painting of angels hanging next to a door.
  • Once you have the picture leveled out, it can be helpful to add a command strip or other wall-safe adhesive to the bottom of the frame for extra support and balance.

    Painting of Jesus walking on water hanging on the wall in a living room.

If you’re still worried about your art being too heavy, know that there are a variety of different hardware you can use beyond just nails and wire. Some may work better for your wall than others, depending on the weight of your picture.

Best Hardware for Hanging a Large Picture

According to the AS Hanging System and Durability Matters, certain hardware is capable of holding up to and over fifty pounds.

  • Hooks. Not all hooks are created equal. Watch for ones that come with pointed nails, as that will make smaller holes in your wall. Also, be on the lookout for hooks that hold more than one nail for extra strength. On the other hand, crimped hooks have a more sturdy design and can often get away with one sturdy nail to still carry the same weight.

    A painting of Jesus walking on water hanging in a living area.
  • Cable systems. This rare method is perfect if you want to display multiple pictures. Here, you will also use hooks, but instead of nailing them to a wall, you use them to hang each painting or photo on a cable. Hook the artwork to a length of cable which extends from a rail system already attached to the wall. No nails are required, and it’s easy to interchange art pieces. 

    Provo City Center Temple photo hanging in a hallway.
  • Wall anchors. As mentioned earlier, wall anchors come in very handy. They are perfect for homes that do not have studs or situations where you are unable to reach the stud to hang your art. Just be sure to use metal ones instead of plastic, in this case, as plastic will not have the strength to hold any art over 20 pounds.

    Salt Lake City Temple picture hanging above a bed.
  • Sawtooth hangers. These make for a quick solution for wall art because they make it easy to add multiple hangers and extra support. Heavy-duty sawtooth hangers can often hold over two-hundred pounds and still will not bend.

    Salt Lake City Temple picture hanging above a fireplace.
  • French Cleats. Not the soccer kind. These unusual types of hangers are perfect if you find you need to remove your art often, such as to show it to a guest or to clean the wall. Hangers like this are not as common, but they come in handy.

    Geometric painting of Las Vegas Temple hanging above a sitting chair.
  • D-rings. D-rings are sturdy and used for many things besides hanging large pictures. The intentional design of this type of hanger makes it durable. Look for D-rings made of strong steel, and you can have peace of mind that your art is safe.

You’ll want to make sure your hardware is heavy-duty, so command strips alone are not going to cut it. Heavy-duty hardware will keep your art safely secured to the wall and make for minimal damage to your home.

Some art looks best when it’s given its full space to shine. We appreciate your love for art, and we hope you found this helpful! Continue browsing our blog to learn more about our LDS art and our professional painters and photographers!