How to Display Artwork

“Looks incomplete” — is most likely how you feel about a home that is lacking in the artwork. It’s not about just having them but more about hanging them right.

Unfortunately, most people get stumped on how to display artwork in their homes. Don’t worry if you’re one of them. Here in this article, we’ve decided to help all the folks out there who need a guideline for displaying their artworks.

You’d be glad that we’ve come in touch with some great curators of sculpture and paintings. And they’re the best ones to guide you on this subject.

What do they advise? Why are you not getting it right? Let’s find out these answers together right here!

How Do You Set up an Art Display (Step by Step Guide)

lot of artwork on wall

There are different methods of displaying artwork, but before getting into those, we think you should first know the basic guide on how to set them up.

Here in this step-by-step guide, we make sure you hang and display art properly regardless of the methods or layouts you display them in.

Step 1: Get the Supplies

While you decide to set up the art display, there are a few supplies that you’ll need. These include:

  • Art hanger
  • Drill or Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker or pencil
  • Level
  • Painter Tape
  • Scissors

Step 2: Choose a Style to Display Your Artwork

You can choose from different ways to display your artwork. Some of these styles include Framing, Dry Mounting, Canvas Stretching, and Album & Folios.

Each of these has its own scope of application, and we’ll talk about them in the next segment.

Step 3: Select a Display Layout

After choosing a way to display your particular artwork, it’s time to select a layout for displaying them on your wall.

You could choose from a wide range of layout categories, some of which include: Gallery Wall Display, Symmetrical Arrangement, Mixed Art Display, and more. Make sure to choose one that suits your interior the best.

Step 3: Find the Right Location

We assume you’ve selected your wall and can precisely locate where you want to hang the artwork. The place should be the best to enhance the beauty of your home.

But make sure the place you’ve selected isn’t allowing the sunlight to enter.

Step 4: Center the Frame & Find the Right Height

Now you need to find the right measurements for centering your frame. You can do that by measuring the entire wall’s width and dividing it by two.

Use the marker or pencil to mark the center point. Weight is important in this case. For a heavier frame, try locating a stud to avoid any damage.

Step 5: Find the Right Height

You also need to find the right height to display it in the best way. Here the key is keeping the center point around eye level.

The research says a centerline of 57 to 60 inches is considered best for hanging pictures on walls. And the bottom part of the frame shouldn’t be anything further than 4-feet off the ground.

In case of clustering or stacking works, consider the total height, including the area you envision between their frames and their center.

Step 6: Accommodate Furniture or Other Details

It’s pretty challenging to hang a picture at the home than it’s to hang in the white box of the art gallery.  So if you’re doing it at home, you need to make the right adjustments for that.

The adjustments will require you to accommodate the furniture or other architectural details accordingly so that they can complement your artwork.

Step 7: Outline the Position with A Tape

The best way to avoid drilling too many times into the wall is to outline the position with tape. So use your tape to test the position, which would save your effort and time as well.

Step 8: Measure & Mark to Place the Nails

Now take your measuring tape to find the distance between the top of the art frame and its hook. This will let you know where exactly you should place the nail. Mark the spot with the marker on the wall.

Step 9: Hammer the Nail

It’s time to hammer the nails into the wall. Carefully hammer and insert the nail at the spot marked earlier. Make sure to insert it on a downward angle to prevent the frame movement.

Step 10: Hang the Frame

Finally, you’re all set to hang the frame on the nail. Adjust it so that it appears level. Using the level will help ensure accuracy.

You can repeat the procedure to hang more artworks and create a gallery wall.

How to Display Artwork

leaf artwork display

Since we haven’t clarified the methods of displaying artwork in detail, here we look to do so.

We can divide this section into two parts, where we’ll first talk about different ways to display a particular artwork. Then we’ll discuss different methods for creating different artwork arrangements.

1. Different Ways to Display Artwork

We assume you aren’t buying or renting a readily available artwork to display on your wall.

So here we’ll guide you on some ways you can wrap, frame, or mount your artwork before putting it on the wall. Let’s take a look.

Framing

You can choose from different ways to display your artwork. The Framing style display is one of them which is highly archival and is suitable for gallery style layout.

There are different framing options available that allow you to mount the artwork and then frame it. You can choose from the Window Mounting Using Matte Boards, Floating-style Mounting, Box Framing, and so on.

You can also choose pre-made frames since they’re easy to install and are cost-effective as well. But make sure they’re made of all archival materials.

Canvas Stretching

Canvas Stretching is another popular way to display your artwork, especially if you’re printing on Canvas, where the canvas enfolds the sides and stays secure against the back of the frame.

It’s a basic way to stretch any artwork. It requires you to think ahead before printing your art on the canvas because the canvas size has to be suitable enough and should allow the framers to wrap the art around the block.

You can choose different color edges based on your personal preference.

Dry Mounting

If you want to display your artwork without getting it framed, the Dry Mounting style will work best for you. You simply need to mount it to a board or aluminum backing.

Many artists use this style to exhibit their artwork. However, it limits your options for limited edition arts. The reason here is that the artwork adheres with glue to the backing board and you can’t reverse it once done.

But it’s a good choice if you want a cleaner, long-lasting finish for your artwork.

Album & Folios

The Album & Folios is a basic way to present your work when you have a collection of paintings or images to showcase in a single place. Here you can use different album and portfolio options such as Interchangeable Mylar Pocket Folios or Self-printable Inkjet Albums to present work as portfolio or album.

2. Different Layouts to Display Artwork

This is what you need to look at when you plan to hang multiple artworks together as a group. The type of layout or display method you choose will mostly depend on the number of pieces, sizes, shapes, and types of artwork.

Instead of choosing a customized option, you can go with some well-defined methods like Gallery Wall or Symmetric Art Arrangement. Let’s learn more about these here.

Gallery Wall

A gallery wall is a popular art arrangement considered in the bedroom, along the staircase, or in your favorite living room. It refers to a curated display of artwork or photographs arranged on the wall with frames.

How do you do that? Check out the following tips.

  • Maintain a 2-inches to 4-inches space between your artworks
  • Find the center line into the wall (discussed earlier)
  • Choose the museum-standard eye-level height, which is 58-inches, and it should fall right at the center of the artwork height
  • Hang the first and most attractive artwork in the center of the grouping
  • Measure 4 strips of tape with the width you want between the artworks and apply to the wall from each of its edges
  • Use the level for evenly placing the artwork
  • Proceed with the same arrangement and repeat the procedure until you hang all your artworks on the wall

Symmetrical Layout

Symmetrical layout refers to the arrangement of artworks on a wall that are equally distant from each other on either side. It means when you divide your wall in half imaginarily, there should be equal pieces on both sides.

How do you do that? Let’s check out these tips below:

  • Choose the symmetrical layout if you have traditional artworks to display
  • Find the center of the wall where you want to hang the artwork by calculating the intersection of width and height  of the wall
  • Choose uniform sizes and shapes for the artworks
  • Maintain consistency in measurements and space between two artworks
  • Follow the same guideline for both entire or partial wall spaces, where partial wall space will require you to calculate the ending points of the open space

Other Display Layouts

Consider the following ones if you’re looking for a display layout or method other than the gallery wall or symmetrical layout.

  • Art Shelf: One single shelf or multiple shelves could be a great way to display your artwork. You can use this arrangement over a couch or even over the bed.
  • Bookcase: You can use the bookcase to display the artwork, which is an innovative way to utilize it besides storing the books.
  • Magazine Rack: If you want to make the best use of vertical space to display your artwork, a magazine rack could be a next-level idea.
  • One Statement Piece: Imagine a pair of chairs arranged symmetrically with a single statement background piece. Yes, this could amplify the artwork instead of making you focus on arranging different pieces.
  • Art Display Stand: If you love hand painting and want to display it in a raw manner, you should consider art or painting display stand. The tripod art stand is a great way to show your love for art and paintings.
Should We Avoid Sunlight while Displaying Artwork?

This is a common question, and we feel it needs a separate section to be answered. Yes, you should avoid sunlight while displaying the artwork. And you can’t hang the artwork where it can get exposed to direct sunlight.

It is because the UV rays from the sun can cause irreparable damage to your artwork, such as fading, cracking, or warping.

Tips for Displaying Art at Home

tips for display artwork

Let’s discuss some best practices while displaying art at home. Some of the important ones include:

Avoid Sunlight

We discussed above why you should avoid sunlight while displaying the artwork so that we won’t be stretching it here. Just make sure to find a place for displaying artwork where there’s no sunlight.

Don’t Hang It Too High

You should already have an idea of why you shouldn’t be hanging the artwork too high from the step-by-step guide. The simple reason is to match the average eye level to create a soothing visual experience.

So don’t hang that way higher and make it look awkward. Even if you’re considering hanging it above furniture, keep its bottom edge fairly close to the furniture. And the distance shouldn’t be more than 8 inches.

Hang It in A Place with Good Climatic Condition

The fluctuation of temperatures (more than 20F) could damage your artwork. So avoid putting it in an Attic in the summers or an incomplete basement in the winters.

Also, be careful with the relative humidity of the place you’re going to set it up. Choose a place having a relative humidity of around 20 percent.

Avoid Insecure Hanging Fixtures

The least you want with your lovely artwork is to see it crashing to the floor due to insecure hanging fixtures.

If you have a larger artwork to display, make sure to hang it using at least two points instead of one using its wires. Also, use a stud if possible as an anchor point. This will help the hanger or nail to support the art better.

Don’t Leave Inconsistent Blank Spaces

Inconsistency in an arrangement can occur because of uneven blank spaces. This can ruin the entire appearance of your art display wall.

So make sure to hang the arts in a way that they fill the spaces properly. If you display a small piece of artwork in a large blank space, the entire visual appearance would seem disjointed.

You can use large-scale painting to fill such spaces or use multiple smaller artworks with smaller blank spaces to avoid that. This will help you create a striking visual arrangement.

Create an Eclectic and Personalized Look

Creating a palette while choosing the images and frames is a great way to craft a personalized artwork display.

The palette can create either a complementary or a contrasting look with the room. But you need to make sure about maintaining the cohesion properly.

Another way you can create an eclectic feel is by playing with different mediums, especially if you have a large picture hanging walls.

You can mix your photos, illustrations, and paintings to create a professional and personalized experience. This type of arrangement is called the Mixed Art Display.

Can I Hang Pictures Without Nails

A lot of you wonder whether picture hanging without nails is possible or not. Well, it’s very much possible. To avoid nails for hanging artworks or painting, you can use the command strips or hooks.

You can hang art from the molding or use the mantle. Taking up space on the rack or shelf or clipping it up will still help you avoid using the nails.

Conclusion

Why do you need to display artworks in the right manner? — For sharing a good taste with the loved ones.

Knowing how to display artwork properly shows how good your taste is and helps you keep the counters clear while putting the contemporary art collection in the spotlight.

An artisanal display of artwork will make you feel more personal and comforting. It’s said that “art humanizes space by giving it character,” and you literally feel it after a successful display or exhibition.

We’ve covered everything you need to know about displaying artwork in the best possible way in this article. After following these guidelines, you should be able to create an eclectic experience that every art lover desires.

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About Tom

Tom is a blogger and artist who also loves technology. He spends his days blogging about the latest developments in the world of art, and he enjoys sharing his thoughts with readers on what it means to be an artist today. Tom has always been interested in technology - but it wasn't until he was 13 years old that he discovered how much fun making websites could be! Tom is a fun-loving, adventure seeking creative type. He enjoys reviewing art products and technology gadgets on his blog and has been doing so for over 5 years now! He spends most of his time in the studio, at the beach, or out exploring new places.

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