5 Ways to Hang a Picture

In a previous article we provided some tips on selecting art for your apartment or townhouse. Assuming you’ve found the perfect piece and know exactly where you’d like to hang it, what’s next? Do you just hammer a nail in the wall, hang and admire it? While that’s what most people do, you have choices. And the hanging method you choose can mean the difference between your art staying on the wall or crashing to the floor when you least expect it. We’ll cover five ways to hang your art and provide some insight on when each is best.


While nails are a pretty simple solution for hanging pictures, they’re only appropriate when hanging small, lightweight items. The issue is that nails don’t grip well in drywall and can slip out or bend over time. If you do use a nail, be sure to hammer it in at a 45-degree angle (with the tip pointing downward) to reduce the chance of it coming out.



Because screws are threaded, they won’t slip out from drywall like nails can. However, it is possible for them to pull out of a wall if the item you’re hanging is heavy (more than 5 pounds). If you use screws, combining them with plastic anchors to reinforce the screw will make it less likely to pull out.

Picture hooks

Hooks designed specifically for hanging pictures are the smartest choice. You can purchase them based on the weight of the object they will support. In addition, they hold the nail at the perfect angle and leave only a small hole to repair when removed. They come in more than one type. We recommend using what are commonly called plaster picture hangers, which range in size from hooks for very small pictures to heavy-duty hooks that can hold up to 100 lbs.

Monkey hooks

If you don’t have tools for drilling or hammering, using a monkey hook is a great option. You can insert them into drywall by hand and the pressure the hook creates against the back of the wall is enough to hold most pictures. The only downside is that they can seem like overkill when hanging small pictures.They come in a few sizes and the most durable monkey hooks can hold as much as 50 lbs.

Adhesive hooks

These have improved significantly over time. Their biggest benefit is that they don’t damage walls, which is a nice benefit for apartment dwellers. There are many options, but Command Strips are one of the best. They use adhesive-backed Velcro strips. You simply remove the backing from one side of the strip and attach it to your art. Then remove the other backing and stick your art on the wall. You can purchase them based on the weight they’ll need to hold, with 8 lbs. being the maximum.

As you venture forth and hang your art, just keep in mind that matching the weight of a picture to the hanger you use is the single most important consideration. Beyond that, everything is a matter of personal preference. And once you have your art securely hung, sit back, relax, and enjoy the new beauty it brings to your apartment or townhouse.