How to Hang a Picture Frame Level on the Wall
My name is Greg Perkins and I have been in the art and framing business for over 40 years. During that time I have hung thousands of pieces of framed art. With all of that experience I am quite confident each time I set out to hang a frame. Even so, there are times I still end up with a piece that’s not level. Occasionally the problem is a measuring mistake on my part. Other times I have measured accurately, but find out once the frame is hung, that the ceiling I measured down from wasn’t level. It can be frustrating when you step back to admire your new art, only to see it hanging cockeyed on the wall and have to start over! That is why I am writing this post on how to hang a picture frame level on the wall.
I recently found a product called Hang It Perfect (H.I.P) that puts an end to those frustrations. It makes it super easy to hang framed art straight and level. H.I.P even helps an “old pro” like me, but it can be an absolute lifesaver for those who are not as familiar with hanging framed art as I am.
After the excitement of purchasing a new piece of art, or having a special family treasure custom framed, continue making it a happy, positive experience by hanging it on the wall using Hang It Perfect. Let me show you how easy it is!
Hang It Perfect comes with easy step-by-step directions inside the box. What I find even more helpful, especially for a first time user, is the online video you can connect to simply by scanning the QR code on the box or written instructions. If you don’t know how to do that, it’s simple to add a free QR scanner app on your phone. The instructional video will walk you through the steps at your own pace, but isn't long and boring.
When you take HIP out of its box, slide two vertical rulers onto the horizontal ruler and tighten the knobs.
After you have decided on the type of size and type hangers you will use, you can get started. First, measure to find where you want to position the top center of the art frame on the wall. With a pencil, mark the wall at that spot. I recommend reading my other post named, “What is the Perfect Picture Height?”, to help find that perfect wall placement.
Now place the framed art face down on a flat surface. Position the crossbar of HIP against the top of the frame and align its center mark to the top center of the frame. Slide the adjustable arms into the position where they slip into the hardware on the frame. Tighten the knobs to lock the arms into that position.
These photos show the results of slipping the hooks on the HIP onto the hangers on the back of the frame.
Next, remove HIP from the frame. Move to the wall, placing HIP with the knobs against the wall and the level facing you. Align the center of the tool with the center mark you made on the wall earlier. Here I am aligning the center of HIP with the pencil mark I made on the wall. Then I straighten HIP against the wall until it is level. What’s really handy is that I don’t need to use a separate level, HIP has one built in.
There are two ways to utilized the dimple marks on the wall depending on the type of hardware you're installing.
If you are going to use a nail, install the nail directly into the dimple marks on the wall. If you are using a hanger hook, align the bottom of the hanger hook atop the dimple, then install.
In my photo below, I'm using a hanger. Therefore, I'm aligning the base of the hanger to the dimple mark on the wall. You may ask, why not install directly into the dimple mark for hangers? The answer is because the picture would be lowered the amount of the hanger height.
For those who want their picture frame artwork to hang at the exact height on the wall that they've selected, aligning the base of the hanger to the dimple mark will compensate for the length of the hanger's hook. If you are only concerned about the frame being level and not about the frame being hung a 1/4- 1 inch below the dimple mark, then you may certainly install the hanger directly into the dimple mark!
With the nails or hangers installed, you are now ready to hang your framed art and enjoy! With HIP, you can also use it to hang multiple frames for wall groupings, flat panel TVs, wall shelves, mirrors, and more. Use it for pretty much anything you want straight and level on the wall. HIP is ideal when you move, redecorate, or even when you add just one new piece of art to your collection.
You now know how to hang a picture frame level on the wall and will never have to get frustrated again!
Here's a quick 30 second video to see H.I.P in action:
Hang It Perfect also hangs level (and evenly spaced) grouped picture frames or a series of wall art on the wall. We've got more great posts to share with you!
For grouped art ideas, click here.
To see how to hang grouped frames level & evenly spaced, click here.