How do I drill nails

How to Hang: How to hang your pictures the right way

The method

You don't really have to do much to hang up a picture, but even with these few steps it means: know how!
It is best to decide in advance how you want to arrange your pictures and which hanging is suitable for you.


Before the picture can be on the wall, you should make a plan and think about where exactly the picture should go. Mark this point with a pencil so as not to lose it again. Our article on hanging shows you how to go step by step to find the perfect position for your picture.

Nailing or drilling

Light pictures can easily be hung with just a nail. For heavier pictures (from around 10 kilograms) it is advisable to use screws and dowels. Also, it depends on the size of the picture whether you should take two nails or screws. From a format of 30 x 40 centimeters, it is good to attach two brackets for the picture to be on the safe side.

The perfect height

Think about the height at which your picture comes into its own or where you would most like to see it. If the picture is to encourage closer inspection, similar to a gallery, the center of the picture should be below eye level. A second person can help hold the image in place while you check the height.

As Rule of thumb in museums The following applies: The center of the picture is 145-150 centimeters above the floor. Any pieces of furniture must also be included in the choice of height. It says here that pictures should not be hung too far away from the piece of furniture. A distance of about 30 centimeters from the edge of the sofa looks most harmonious. So always orientate yourself on the edges in the room such as doors, windows and furniture. However, for you personally, the picture must fit exactly where it is hung, even if it is not hung perfectly after being hung. As is well known, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

What you should pay attention to when transporting and storing paintings when planning or organizing an exhibition can be found in our article "Correctly storing and packing paintings".

Marking - two ways to the goal

When you have decided on a height, the drill holes must be marked. The newspaper knit is very well suited for this:

  1. Put the picture on an old newspaper page
  2. Use the frame as a template and draw it on the newspaper
  3. Cut out the outline
  4. Turn your picture over so the hangers are facing up
  5. Lay the newspaper flat on the flipped picture
  6. Use the pencil to poke a hole in the newspaper where you can feel the hangers under the paper
  7. Tape the newspaper stencil to the wall
  8. Use a spirit level to straighten the template
  9. Draw the drill or nail holes on the wall through the pencil holes

And already you have the spot where you have to drill or nail so that the picture hangs correctly. The newspaper is also very useful for better visualization, so you have a first impression of how the picture will hang later.

If you prefer to go the classic route or if you don't have a newspaper or other paper at hand, use a folding rule to determine the drill holes. With this method you measure the width of the frame and also the distance (if any) between the two suspensions.

  1. Measure the frame
  2. Measure the distances between the suspensions and make a note of both
  3. Now measure the height of the picture from the floor or have a second person hold the picture against the wall to mark the correct height
  4. Mark the height with the pencil
  5. The marked height represents the center of the picture
  6. Divide the distance between the suspensions by two and measure the distance on the wall from the middle
  7. Mark the spot
  8. You should now use the spirit level to check whether the points marked are straight

Drill the hole or drive the nail into the wall

Once the picture has been drawn, the drill with the appropriate dowel or the nail selected, it's time to hit the wall! Use a hammer to hit the nail into the wall at a 45-degree angle. The nail is at a 45 degree angle when hammered into the wall with the head facing the ceiling at an angle. If you prefer to drill, the screw must of course be turned straight into the dowel and not at a 45-degree angle like the nail.


Once the marking and drilling are done, the dowel must be pressed in, the screw screwed in and the picture hung up. The screw should be turned in until you feel some resistance. Then the dowel spreads and anchors itself in the wall.
Here it is important to use the correct dowel. Masonry bits are suitable for a brick or sand-lime brick wall, and a metal drill for a plasterboard wall. There are additional dowels for plasterboard that match the brick wall, expansion dowels for sand-lime brick walls and plasterboard walls. But if you don't know what's behind the wallpaper, simply use a universal dowel. Once the dowel has been pressed in and the screw screwed in, you can finally hang your picture.

This is how your picture hangs straight

Putting a picture straight on the wall sometimes doesn't seem so easy. No matter how often you check with the spirit level, something is always wrong? In addition, is handling a spirit level, pencil, nails and picture frame an acrobatic feat? This is now put to an end! Nothing can go wrong with the drill hole marker as an attachment for the spirit level. Place the marker on the spirit level at the correct intervals and press it into the wall as soon as the spirit level is in the water.
Jörn from the Youtube channel Jörn It Yourself shows the easy trick in his video. This is how you can hang up a picture quickly and easily.

Attach pictures without drilling or nailing

You don't want your wall to look like this? Use alternatives to drills and nails.

Don't feel like boring drilling? You don't have the tools or you just don't want to have unsightly holes in the wall? You can still beautify your wall with pictures! Because there are now many ways to bypass the ugly drill or nail holes.

Adhesive tape adhesive nail adhesive hook

The solution to holes in the wall: stick pictures! This is very easy with the different adhesive options that are now available on the market. Many companies offer the power glue for the wall. The adhesive strips for wallpapers are available for different weights of up to one kilogram per strip. If you attach a picture with two stripes, it can weigh up to two kilograms.

Additional adhesive nails or adhesive hooks especially for pictures are available for the adhesive strips. The assembly is very simple: attach adhesive strips according to the manufacturer's instructions, stick an adhesive nail or hook on it, hang up the picture. And all of this without damaging the wall.
Before hanging up, the surface on which the adhesive strip is to stick must be cleaned, after which the strip is pressed on for a few seconds. Now it should have enough power to carry your picture without any problems.
The manufacturer tesa gives a detailed explanation in its instructions on how to correctly attach adhesive nails:

Suspension system with rope - the gallery rail

The gallery rail is a nice way to put pictures on the wall without a hammer, nail or drill. It is true that the rail must be attached to the upper wall edge to the ceiling, which cannot be done without drilling. The advantage, however, is that the visible part of the wall remains intact because the drill holes disappear behind the gallery rail and you can swap or move your pictures as you wish.
The gallery rail is basically a hanging system for your pictures. With the help of a hook, transparent nylon cords are hung into the bar attached to the top of the wall, which can be used to carry picture frames and Co. through another hook at the bottom of the cord. Here, too, you can choose between different maximum weights.
Tip: The gallery rail can also be glued to the wall.

Hang heavy pictures

Pictures, together with their frames, can get pretty heavy. Especially if the frames are made of wood or metal and the picture is very large. Although such huge works are probably not hanging in every living room, it is good to know how much weight the nail or screw can withstand.
Normally, ordinary nails can withstand a weight of up to 10 kilograms, but ask a customer advisor at your trusted hardware store to be on the safe side.
Heavy pictures often have heavy frames, such as baroque frames. But even (large) works of art can quickly weigh over 10 kilograms. With these pictures, it is best to use screws and dowels rather than just screws or nails. A gallery rail is also very suitable here, as it can carry a lot of weight. The hanging procedure does not change for heavy pictures, so watch the video above.
Tip: Some dowels have a hook that is suitable for hanging pictures.

The 3 most important questions about hanging pictures in a nutshell

How high should I hang a picture?

In museums, the rule of thumb is that the center of the picture should be at a height of 145–150 centimeters above the floor. If you hang your picture above pieces of furniture, the height also plays a role, of course. If you want to hang a picture above the sofa, a distance of 30 cm from the edge of the sofa looks harmonious.

What tool do I need to hang pictures?

To hang up pictures you need nails or a drill with suitable dowels and screws. Alternatively, adhesive strips or adhesive nails are also suitable for this. A ruler and a spirit level ensure that the picture hangs straight.

Hanging Pictures - Should I Drill, Nail, or Glue?

If you want your picture to hang firmly on the wall, use dowels and suitable screws or nails. If you do not want to damage the wall, adhesives such as adhesive strips, adhesive nails or adhesive hooks are also suitable.

And the beautiful wall is ready

After these instructions nothing should actually go wrong or hang. Just get the perfect frame for your picture quickly and let yourself be inspired by our ideas for wall design in the living room, in the bedroom and on the staircase. Have fun designing your walls!

Images: Cover picture: iStock / zeljkosantrac; Image 2: iStock / junce; Image 3: iStock / sisen