8 Common Picture Hanging Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

The artwork we display in our homes is a reflection of ourselves, setting the tone for visitors and allowing us to personalise our surroundings.

But hanging wall art often requires a certain artistic touch to truly look impressive. We’ve noticed certain mistakes in art hanging seem to keep reappearing, so we’ve decided to put together this list of common picture hanging mistakes, and provide tips for hanging pictures in an attractive manner that allows them to work with and not against their surroundings.

Here are 8 things not to do when hanging pictures on your wall!

Hanging Pictures Too High

Hanging pictures too high

This is one of the most common wall art hanging mistakes we see. People hang pictures as high as they can with the intention of making them clearly visible from all over the house, and end up hanging them so high that nobody can see them fully.

What exactly constitutes “too high” depends on your taste and the surroundings of course, but the measure that matters most is how close the art hangs to viewer’s eye level.

The most important thing to remember is the 57 rule. This essentially means that you should aim for the centre of your picture to be as close as possible to 57 inches off the ground, or the average human eye height. While hanging your art at exactly 57 inches might not always be possible especially when hanging pictures above the couch etc, the closer you can get, the more easy and comfortable your art will be to look at.

Hanging Pictures in Direct Sunlight

Pictures in direct sunlight

If you have a conservatory or sunroom, they can often be one of the most tempting places to hang art due to the natural beauty of the sun combined with the fact they are a great place to relax. Unfortunately, this is a bad idea, and without blinds or curtains, it’s probably best to avoid hanging pictures near windows even in regular rooms.

The reason for this is because harsh, direct sunlight can rapidly cause your pictures and photographs to fade - and considering how personal or expensive these things can be, this isn’t something you want to happen.

Hanging Wall Art in Rough or Chaotic Surroundings

Art in rough or chaotic environments

Along the same lines as the mistake of hanging pictures in direct sunlight, you should also avoid volatile environments that can damage either your art or the hardware you use to hang it.

Hanging in spots with high or constantly changing temperatures such as directly above a stove will cause your art to age much more quickly and may even cause them to fall down. Extreme or constantly changing humidity is just as bad, so in the bathroom or above your hot tub is equally to be avoided.

Letting Frames Hang Crookedly

Crooked paintings

The built-in level combined with the fact you can adjust the height after hanging make this virtually impossible with xHang.

But, if you hang your pictures with traditional hardware, and don’t take the necessary care, you may well end up with a crooked picture, and this is one of the worst art mistakes around. Even worse, certain frames that are fine at first may become crooked over time if they don’t entirely agree with the wall or hanging method used.

While xHang is the obvious solution, if you have an old painting that’s gone crooked and the hardware you’ve used to hang it is too awkward and fiddly to just take it down and fix it, try applying a velcro strip or strong double-sided tape to the bottom of the frame, affixing it to the wall in the correct position.

Not Planning Beforehand

Disorganised pictures

If you’re planning to hang more than one picture on the same wall, planning it out in advance is absolutely necessary. If you just hang each picture as best you can on a case by case basis, you will end up with a jumble of art that doesn’t resemble any sort of pattern or complement each other.

A great idea is drawing proportionally sized shapes onto a large piece of paper to design a specific layout pattern beforehand. Art should usually connect to its surroundings in some way, so unplanned hanging will just look like a cluttered mess. For ideas on how to hang multiple pictures, check out our guide on how to arrange pictures on a wall.

Using Cheap Adhesive Hooks

Cheap adhesive hooks

Unless you are hanging a super light piece of paper in ideal conditions, adhesive hooks are rarely worth your time. They are extremely weak so any amount of weight will be an issue. They also don’t handle humidity or temperature changes well at all, and removing them is likely to peel off your wallpaper.

While xHang can be used with the included adhesive pads if you’re hanging something under 1.5lbs and don’t want to use the included tack nails, this is because we use top of the range adhesive and because xHang is made from the same high-strength polycarbonate material used in bulletproof glass. There may be some high quality ones out there that use similar materials to xHang, but if we had to make a sweeping statement about adhesive hooks, it would be that they’re useless.

Using Nails for Smaller Art Pieces

Using nails to hang pictures

Just because cheap hardware store adhesive hooks suck, doesn’t mean you should go hammering nails through everything when it isn’t necessary.

Just look at that beautiful blue wall up there, he’s about to ruin it for good! xHang can hold art and pictures of up to 1.5lbs with the included adhesive pad, with no need to damage any walls or leave any holes.

They can even be doubled up allowing you to take this weight limit higher. This means there is no real reason you should be hammering holes through walls and causing permanent damage for the sake of hanging a small picture, painting or poster.

Not Using Restraint

Lots of pictures on wall

White space is necessary to give your art something to work with. You definitely don’t want your art pieces to feel like they’re jostling each other for space. When somebody first gets their own place or gets the bug for art, it can be easy to overdo it, but restraint is necessary to give your art the breathing space they deserve.

If you have a lot of paintings you want to hang, why not try rotating them out? This will allow each one to be the focal point of the room while it’s up, while avoiding overcrowding your wall which only makes it look messier!

That’s it for today’s post - we’ll be back with more useful guides on hanging art in the home or office! In the meantime, check out our installation page to learn more about the easiest and most reliable way to hang pictures, period!