Hanging pictures and artwork on your walls may seem like a no-brainer, but it is not as simple as pounding a nail in and setting the picture on it. In fact, if you visit the picture framing departments of most hobby and craft stores, you will find that they have several different types of hardware at their disposal. The reason for this is that pictures of different weights demand different hanging strategies. If you want to hang framed work on your walls like a pro, here are some steps you can take to determine what kind of hardware is best.
Picture Frame Wire and Suspension Brackets
If hanging hardware was not confusing enough, enter the picture frame wire. This stuff comes in several different gauges, with each gauge able to hang an increasingly heavier object. If you choose to use picture frame wire, make sure you also buy suspension brackets. The brackets attach to the sides of the piece and give the picture frame wire something to hold on to. The main benefit of picture frame wire and suspension brackets is that it does not take several adjustments to get the picture to hang on the wall perfectly. The second most important benefit is that this type of hardware can help you hang really, really heavy pictures.
This type of hardware resembles a small bar with three holes in it. The two holes on the sides are used to attach to the wooden portion of the frame, while the hole in the middle will rest on the nail in your wall. Because of the nature of their design, security hangers cannot be attached to any cardboard backing or thin wood backing either. The lumber used to make the frame surrounding your picture has to be at least an inch thick. It has to be this thick to accommodate the screws that will attach the hanger to the frame. The head of the nail or screw you drive into the wall has to fit the center hole. Other than that, this is the easiest way to hang pictures.
This is the most commonly used picture hanging hardware. They are also the most easily recognized, too, resembling a capital "J". A hole exists in the top of the hook, through which you drive a nail at a downward angle. The hook provides increased strength when you are hanging something heavy on a wall where there are no studs into which to drive a nail. Larger versions of the picture hook are best used for heavier pictures, while the smaller ones are perfect for lightweight poster-framed art.
These types of hanging hardware can generally be found not only at arts and crafts stores, but also at some hardware stores, like Montgomery's Building Supplies Inc.