7 most common mistakes when hanging paintings

7 most common mistakes when hanging paintings

Hanging paintings is an art in itself. It can transform a room, adding character, style, and personality to your living space. However, even the most beautiful artwork can lose its charm when it's not hung correctly. To help you avoid some of the most common mistakes, we've compiled a list of tips and tricks for perfectly displaying your favorite pieces of art.

Mistake 1: eye-level rule, always

One of the most pervasive myths in art hanging is the "eye-level" rule. While it's true that the center of a painting should generally be at eye level, this rule doesn't consider a few crucial factors: the size of the painting, the viewer's height, and the surrounding furniture. Instead of adhering rigidly to this rule, consider the overall aesthetic and balance within the room. The art should complement the space, not adhere to a strict measurement.

Mistake 2: ignoring the wall color

The wall color you're hanging your painting on can significantly impact its overall appearance. Dark walls can make dark artwork look dull, and light walls can wash out vibrant pieces. Always consider the wall color and contrast when selecting the location for your painting. A dark frame may look striking against a light wall, while a colorful painting may pop beautifully against a neutral background.

Mistake 3: inadequate lighting

Lighting is a vital component of displaying artwork. Poorly lit paintings can lose their vibrancy and impact. If possible, invest in adjustable track lighting or picture lights to illuminate your artwork effectively. Ensure the lighting is even and free from harsh shadows. Consider using warm, LED lights for a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Painting by Canadian abstract artist, Claire Desjardins hung in a sitting room

Mistake 4: neglecting the frame

The frame of a painting is not just for protection but also for aesthetics. The wrong frame can overwhelm a small painting or understate a larger one. Choose a frame that complements the style, color, and size of your artwork. Remember, a simple frame can often work wonders by letting the artwork take center stage.

Mistake 5: using incorrect hardware

Using the wrong hardware for hanging your paintings can lead to disastrous results. The size, weight, and material of your artwork will dictate the type of hanger you should use. Heavy artwork requires sturdy anchors and wall screws, while lighter pieces may only need picture hooks or adhesive hangers. Ensure that the hardware you choose can support the weight of the painting.

Mistake 6: cluttered arrangements

Sometimes, less is more when it comes to hanging art. Don't overcrowd your walls with too many paintings or artwork. It can create a chaotic and overwhelming environment. Instead, opt for a balanced, harmonious arrangement that allows each piece to shine. Use the "Rule of Thirds" or the "Golden Ratio" as guidelines for positioning multiple artworks.

Mistake 7: not planning the layout

Before you start putting holes in your walls, plan the layout of your art. Use painters' tape to mark the spots where you intend to hang your artwork. This allows you to experiment with the arrangement and make any necessary adjustments without causing unnecessary damage to your walls.

Hanging paintings is more than just a practical endeavor; it's an art form in itself. Avoiding common mistakes like relying too heavily on the eye-level rule, neglecting the wall color, ignoring lighting, underestimating the importance of the frame, using incorrect hardware, creating cluttered arrangements, and not planning the layout will help ensure that your artwork is displayed beautifully and enhances your living space. When done correctly, hanging paintings can truly elevate the aesthetics of your home, turning it into a work of art in its own right.

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