How to Hang Art - Framed & French Cleat

February 24, 2019

How to Hang Art - Framed & French Cleat

Step by Step Guide to Hanging Art at Home

You are the proud new owner of a beautiful piece of artwork and just can’t WAIT to hang it on that big blank wall...  Now what??

The physical act of hanging the art securely and at the correct height sends you scurrying to grab your phone for a quick google search.  

The bad news is it’s not necessarily a quick answer.  The good news is, you only have to do it once if you do it right!  

We are going to break it down simply for you with the Magic Formula to calculate height, a List of Tools needed, Step-by-Step Directions and hopefully some confidence to take with you!

Step 1: The Height Calculation

Yes, there is a bit of a science to the correct height at which artwork hangs for optimal viewing and minimal neck craning.  The idea is to hang artwork at “eye level” based upon the average human height of 5 feet 4 inches. See below for exceptions but this math should serve your purposes well.

*this measurement is essentially the distance from the point at which the art will hang off the nail or screw to the top edge of the artwork.  That point of hanging could mean D-rings, a sawtooth, the holes in the French Cleat or the wire pulled taught towards the top of the art.

Exceptions to the Rule

  • Are you tall?  If you and your family members happen to possess the height of NBA players or an Amazonian warrior tribe, use the starting number 60”.
  • Short? If you are endearingly height-challenged, use the starting number 56”.
  • Vaulted ceilings? If you have very high ceilings, use the starting number 60”.
  • Obstructions? Also adjust if the magic formula causes guests to have to shove your Wingback chair out of the way to see the bottom half of your art or if it is hanging dangerously low over a blazing fire.  Use your best judgement!

Remember, the formula is simply a guideline, not an unwavering rule to live and die by.

Step 2: How to Hang Framed Art

If your framed art is already wired, hooray!  You are ready to skip down to the Step-by-Step Directions.  These directions also apply if your art is equipped with a single sawtooth or a single centered point to hang from.  If your art has a French Cleat head down to Step 2B.

  • If your frame has D-rings but no wire, you will need to wire it yourself.  Click here for a Step-by-Step Guide to Wiring Art.

Tip:  Do your fingers a favor and get vinyl coated wire - it is a dream to work with.  A true modern marvel!

  • If your frame has nada/ nothing/ zilch on the back, you will need to add D-rings, then wire, then hang.  Click here for a Step-by-Step Guide to Attaching D-rings.

List of Tools:

Directions:

  1. Calculate:

Grab your pencil, paper, calculator and tape measure and do your Height Calculation (see above “Magic Formula”)

  1. Measure:

Use tape measure to measure up from the ground to your calculated height and mark the wall with pencil

  1. It’s hammer time!  Tap Picture Hanging Hook into wall with hammer
  2. Hang and level

Voila!  Gaze upon your perfectly hung art with the personal satisfaction of a job well done!


Step 2B:  How to Hang Art from a French Cleat

One popular methods of hanging frameless art is by a wooden or metal French Cleat.  Check your art for this hidden “frame” mounted to the back and included French Cleat.  There are a few extra steps to hang these floating wonders, but well worth the effort as it will be very secure.  

List of Tools:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil & paper
  • Calculator
  • Electric drill and screws
  • Level

Directions:

  • Calculate:
        1. Do your Height Calculation (see above “Magic Formula”).
        2. Measure distance between the two holes on the French Cleat.  Divide by two.
  • Measure:
        1. Mark your “Center Point”.  Use tape measure to measure up from the ground to your Height Calculation and mark the wall with pencil
        2. Draw a level Horizontal Line.  Take your ruler and level and draw line crossing through “Center Point” the length of your French Cleat
        3. From “Center Point”, take your calculation from 1b and mark your “Left Point” and “Right Point”
  • Power tool time!
        1. Use electric drill to screw one side of the French Cleat into wall at “Left Point”
        2. CRITICAL STEP: Get the right side of French Cleat in position.  Before screwing in be sure to LEVEL the French Cleat
        3. Screw in second side at “Right Point”
  • Hang and enjoy!

  • Great job!  Enjoy the fruits of your labor with your optimally eye-level art!






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