Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hanging your Wood Frames - It's Easier Than You Think

Attaching hanging hardware to a solid wood frame is easier, faster and more full-proof than many people think.  There are two basic types of hangers: a sawtooth hanger for frames 11x14 and smaller and picture wire for larger frames.  
All you need to install a sawtooth hanger is a small level, a hammer, a pencil and a tape measure.  The hanger itself will come with your frame.  

Installing a Sawtooth:
1. Measure for the center of the frame’s top rail and mark with a pencil.  
2. Line up the center of the sawtooth hanger with your mark, using the small level to be sure the hanger is straight.  
3. Tap the ends of the hanger lightly with a hammer.  If you make a mistake you can pull the sawtooth out and start over.  
For larger frames, use picture wire strung between two eyehooks.  The eyehooks come with your frame.  The wire can be purchased separately. 

Installing Eyehooks and Wire:
1. Measure one-third of the way down from the frame’s top corners on each side, then mark the spots with a pencil.
2. Pre-drill a hole on each mark and screw in the eye hooks.  
3. To secure the wire, simply thread it through each eye hook, then wrap it back around itself several times. When hung taught from your finger, the center of the wire should be about two inches from the top of the frame.
Tip: Use two nails in the wall for wire-hung pictures.  This ensures the frame will always hang straight.  

When hanging an oversized wood frame (over 24 x 36), there is a trick to wiring so that the weight is distributed evenly across the back and bottom of the frame, protecting the corners of our frame while keeping it secure on the wall.  I took some pictures to illustrate and the steps are described as follows. For this wiring method, you'll want to make sure you have plenty of wire on hand.
1. Start by ordering 2 additional hangers and 2 wood screws (ask for extra long screws for deep frames)
2. Attach hanging hooks on sides of your frame 6 – 8 inches down depending on size of the frame.
3. Attach additional hanging hooks on bottom of your frame approximately 1/3 distance in from each side of the frame. 
4. Attach wire to the bottom left hook. String the wire from that hook up through the side left hook, across the back to the right side hook, and then down to the remaining bottom hook. Twist and attach securely. 

Here, Holly from our plant demonstrates the process.

She measures 8" down each side of the back of the frame and 8" in from each side  where the hooks will be drilled into the bottom of the frame.

Simply drill the wood screws and hangers where you've measured and marked, four in all.

String the wire through starting from the bottom left hanger.

This is what the back of the frame will look like as it's wired from all 4 points.  Again, it is important to attach and twist securely & hang your artwork with 2 nails designed to support the weight of your piece.

For especially heavy pictures or mirrors, we recommend the Hangman Mounting System. With its built in level and easy to use hardware, it can hold up to 200 lbs when mounted directly into the wall studs.

Questions? Comments? Give us a call or post them here. 


  1. I think that choosing the right picture frames is the key to making the picture look good. You have certainly listed some fine points essential for good Wood Picture Frames. Thanks for the effort!

  2. Never knew to secure larger frames this way.

  3. Informative Post. You have explained the art of hanging the picture frame quite well. This is really helpful while we try to hang larger frames.Would share it with our clients too.

  4. A great diy guide, hanging wood frames seems like little kids play. :) Well, maybe not... but anyway it's not so difficult. I run a limo service birmingham al business, wish you all the best!

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