Books Advises

The Complete Photo
Guide to Framing and
Displaying Artwork

by Vivian Carli Kistler


Framing and display


The author provides inspiration and helpful examples to show people how to display their artwork using basic design principles in a manner that is easily grasped.


New Fix-It-Yourself
Reader's Digest (Editor)

New fix-it Handbook

How to repair, drill, clean and maintain anything and everything in and around your home !


Homeowner Basics
(Black & Decker
Complete Photo Guide)

Jodie Carter

Home owner DIY handbook

Filled with easy-to-follow projects for all of the most common repairs and installations homeowners confront.

This is the essential guide for readers with little to no do-it-yourself experience.


See other pages

> Rules for hanging pictures...

Rules for pictures hangin on the wall

> Different wall anchor models ...

See all wall anchor

> Wall picture frames Layout...

Wall picture frames Layout


Hanging a picture frame

Your canvas painting is framed, your art-work is mounted… You have now to hang it on the wall !

How? Once you have chosen the site, the problem depends primarily of the wall : You can't fix a hook on a plasterboard wall in the same way as on a concrete wall.

Is it necessary to drill a hole to fix a wall plug ? How not to leave traces on the wall in preparation for a removal ? How to layout the framed paintings on a wall ? As many questions which we will try to answer.

Avoid adhesive hooks…

Let us say immediately that the solutions containing adhesive hooks are to be banished definitively ! Unless having to suspend only a car ignition-key !

no adhesive hook !

Some adhesives fall apart brutally, without preventing, and generally in the middle of the night, in a great crash ! Others stick so well on the wall… which it is impossible to remove them without tearing off part of the coating or the wall paper, that is contrary with the expected result.

Same concerning the adhesive dots (patafix) which are not adapted to the fixing of heavy objects : reserve their use to fix without danger at the wall… a postcard or a poster, at the maximum !

Drill the wall or not ?

Nobody likes to bore in the walls… especially the tenants who wish to recover their guarantee at the conclusion of their lease.

- If your framed painting weighs, let us say less 15kg, you will not need to drill the wall to place a wall plug… Whatever the nature of the wall, there exists a simple solution to be implemented (small or double hooks "X" for example).

- If your framed painting is heavier… then it will obligatorily be necessary "to wall plug" : with a drilling machine and a drill with carbide to bore a hole and pose there a wall plug. Screw a hook inside. There, the choice of wall plug will depend on material of the wall.

And when you will leave your apartment, you will stop the holes with a little of ready mixed plaster (Polyfilla), a light sanding and just a little bit of coat… and, if you were careful with drilling, you are able to well dissimulate them.

Traditional wall: bricks and plaster.

- For a very light frame, try a dressmaker pin hammered in the wall : when you leave the flat... no visible hole on the wall (<1,5 kg)...

- For a light frame, you can hammer in a small turned blue steel nail.

blue steel nails

These nails have 4 cm length and 1,5mm thickness.

They are sold out of little packs in do-it-yourself stores under the name of “ black concrete nails ”.

Tap slightly with the hammer until the nail crosses the brick under the plaster. There you can hang a frame whose weight does not exceed 3 kg!

- For more weights, think of picture hangers in the range of all the hooks “X”. Specialized in the fixing for more than 100 years, this "X" medium size firm (it's not a joke !) has marketed a great diversity of hooks.

According to the weight of your frame, you will have the choice between models with picture hangers with 1,2 or 3 steel nails. Resistances obtained are interesting since the range of the advised weights goes from 5 to 30 kg!


- And if your frame is really heavy… You have to bore a hole with a drill, pose a wall plug and screw in it the support.

In this case, think of not damaging the wall, do not forget, before drilling, to cross incise the wallpaper and slightly lift up the 4 points before boring.

drilling a hole

Thus, if you have to leave your apartment, you remove the screws, fold back the 4 points, a bit of glue, and practically nothing is seen any more.

With good pluggs, you can suspend in a healthy wall between 30 and 50 kg… Trust resistances which are given on the plugs packing : each manufacturer tested their models!

When necessary, you can put several plugs which are distributed a mass important to suspend.

If you can't find all models in your DIY store, have a look HERE for all wall plugs models.

Concrete wall.

If your wall is out of concrete, and it is increasingly frequent in the modern buildings, hook "X" proposes to you small brass or plastic hooks. provided with 3 small nails which will clutch the concrete with force. Their resistance is astonishing.

plastic kook for concrete

To pose them, you maintain them in place and with a hammer you drive simultaneously the 3 or 4 steel nails. Those will create a sufficiently solid point of anchoring to support between 5 and 30 kg according to the models. Always read closely instructions !!!

concrete hook and nails

For the more important masses, it will be necessary to bore and to pose wall dovels: a hammer drill will be necessary with an excellent carbide drill bit… Hard, hard in some vibrated concretes but that holds wel !!!

Plasterboard walls

They are now very frequent and gradually tend to replace the traditional partitions bricks+plaster. There is a problem about the resistance of the partition itself ! Traditional hooks with pins can sometimes come out of walls made of plasterboard.

You can't do use ordinary wall plugs. The wall plugs do expand as you screw into them, but the plasterboard is soft and the expansion simply widens the hole you have put the plug into... You need proprietary fixings !

- This special plasterbaord hook has a special flat spike and you simply press it into the wall, using finger pressure or a hammer. only recommended for small pictures up to about 7kgs. You can make confidence in the HOOKS "X" which propose this plasterboard fixing …

plasterboard special hook

Their especially studied form and the flat spike to insert make it possible to distribute the effort on a more important surface.

Special plasterboard hooks without drilling

- Consider also these new and revolutionary hooks you've recently seen on TV : now, you can hang pictures without hammer, nails or drilling !

See these "twist, push and turn" hooks HERE or HERE... The second model is sold with a special laser marker as a free bonus ! Very useful !


The “traditional” wall plugs do not well hold in plasterboard patitions....

- until 30kg… There exist special plasterboard plugs. For their shear strength (for a frame, it does not work in wrenching!) trust to what is indicated on instructions :

plasterboard wall plugs

- Until 50kg (some say 75…) you can use “umbrella plugs” called hollow wall anchors. All do-it-yourself forums say that you should only make confidence with MOLLY hollow wall anchor !

You drill initially a hole in the plasterboard with the dimension of your plug then, with a special grip (see HERE a very useful model of anchor hollow wall tool), you will fold up the back of the plug, “like an umbrella”, behind the plasterboard…

how to fix a Molly wall plug

You will then obtain a strong resistance , as well with wrenching as with shearing.

- The plates of plasterboard are screwed on metal pieces called “furs”… You can locate them while tapping on the wall and by trusting you the sound…

If you found on a “metal furring”, you can bore and there, put an ordinary plug : that will hold correctly!

- By applying the principle of the “mass distribution”, several MOLLY anchors can support a greater mass… For example, you can fix at the wall a wood plate held by 4 umbrella plugs : and on this wood plate, you will be able to screw your fixing!

Beyond that, we exceed the matter of this page!


See also the special page :

How to fix in hollow walls
how to fix in hollow materials



An elegant way… clip rail mounting !

It is the solution chosen by all the galleries which expose framed paintings and which must often renew their exposure.

If you wish to gather several frames on the same wall, it will be for you a good alternative.

clip rail mounting

The clip rail mounting is composed of a small “rack” which comes to be screwed with or near the ceiling. On this rack you can hangs steel or perlon cords, sometimes steel rods which will be used as support for your frames via adjustable hooks throughout the cord or rod.

How to use clip rail system hanging picture frames
Look at Clip Rail Hanging page

It is, the better way to build a “wall” of paintings and frames without constellating the wall with unaesthetic perforations.



Small “trick” : how to rectify a frame...

The frames fixed on a wall are never right! Unceasingly, you should rectify their position because they are always tilted.

They will not move any more if you fix a whole small piece of double-coated tape (or a pearl of Bostic White Stick'n Fix) in the bottom of the frame to make it very slightly adhere to the wall !