Practical Picture Framing Tips for Artists and Do-it-Yourselfers

*Note: There are times to call in the professionals to get their advice,
to use the appropriate materials and to install the hardware in a proper manner.

Wiring your Art Properly*

It happens. You've just hung the picture on the wall and the hooks can be seen above the frame. Not a good 'look.'

How could it happen?

Two reasons: the wire is too long or the screw eyes are placed too high on the side rails of the frame.

Below are the generally accepted standards for measuring and installing wire on framed artwork

The 'standard' is to attach the wire to the mirror hanger,
D-Ring or screw eye at precisely one-third down from the top of the frame.

Always measure, even though you do have a good ‘eye.’
Do not tie a knot in the wire, nor crimp the wire at the ‘tail’ which makes it difficult to adjust if needed.
Looping the wire twice through the hardware is good, no creative looping needed.
The wire should have  a gentle arch, not tight like a tightrope as it needs to hang it over 2 picture hooks for safety. 
The wire ‘wrap’ should be about 3” long before wrapping & after wrapping it will be about 1.5 – 2” long.
Don’t wrap the wire’s tail with tape, it gets sticky and gummy after a couple of months.
Wiring is most secure when the proper weight of wire and bracket are used for the weight of the painting.
When wrapping the tail, the first wraps next to the hardware are the most important to keep tight and close together.
The wrap at the end of the tail (do leave a tail) should be free enough to easily unwind if needed.

Extremely heavy paintings or mirrors should be hung
directly from D-Rings or mirror hangers; wiring is not recommended

I’ll bet you never thought there were so many do’s and don’ts with wiring!  We have not discussed all the reasons 'why' these are the standards. Perhaps another day. Suffice it to say, if you follow the directions above, artists will keep their galleries happy and art collectors will enjoy how their art looks on the wall.

*Repeating the Note: There are times to call in the professionals to get their advice,
to use the appropriate materials and to install the hardware in a proper manner.

McBride Gallery offers a wide selection of fine original paintings, bronze sculpture, original graphics and custom framing. Other gallery services include gift certificates, portrait commissions, cleaning and restoration, certified art appraisals, art installation as well as art consultation services for your home or office.

Also visit our frame shop in Severna Park Benfield Frame and Art Gallery.
Benfield Gallery was founded in 1984 to serve the Severna Park, Millersville, Crownsville, Odenton, Pasadena and Glen Burnie communities.

- Custom Framing -

- What is Conservation Framing? -

- Materials -Matboard and Glass

- Protecting your Art -

Practical Framing Tips:
Wiring Art Properly

Educational Pages
Practical Picture Framing Tips

Custom Framing

Care and Framing of Pastels

215 Main Street Annapolis MD 21401 • 410-267-7077

Gallery Hours: Monday - Saturday 10:00 - 5:30, Sunday 12:00 - 5:30, Thursday til 9:00pm