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How to hang a picture

Super Contributor

hang picture.jpg


There are many ways you can hang pictures in your home or office.


The most common methods I use are removable, interlocking adhesive strips and picture hooks. For heavy frames such as memorabilia items, I will use heavy duty hooks.


For adhesive strips and standard picture hooks I have found a reliable method that is quick and easy using painter's tape. Below I'll show you how.



Difficulty: Beginner


Tools and Materials


  • Measuring tape
  • Spirit level
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Painter's tape
  • Hammer
  • Adhesive strips or picture hooks


How to hang a picture using adhesive strips


These interlocking adhesive strips are very easy to use. But refer to the manufacturer's instructions to ensure the surface is suitable and the picture does not exceed the recommended weight limit.


  1. Pick the location for your picture and clean the wall with warm water and detergent. This helps remove any marks or dust and will help ensure the strips adhere to the wall.
  2. Turn the picture over and place adhesive strips on each side.
  3. Attach a piece of painter’s tape left to right over the strips at each side of the picture. Then place a second piece of tape top to bottom, making sure its in the middle of the adhesive strips. Mark the strip positions on the tape and also the tape cross over in the centre using a pencil.
  4. Remove the painter’s tape and re-attach it to the wall. Use the pencil marks to help ensure the alignment is the same as it was on your picture frame. Use a spirit level to check the lines are level.
  5. Remove a little of the backing paper from the interlocking adhesive strips and attach to the wall. Check the level is correct before removing the rest of the backing.
  6. Allow the strips to set according to the manufacturer’s guide. Once ready attach your picture. Apply gentle pressure over the strip locations to help connect them together - you will hear a clicking sound to confirm.


1 Adhesive strips.jpg 1.1 Painters tape.jpg 1.2 Attach tape over each side of the strips.JPG  

1.4 Check tape is level.JPG 1.6 Use the tape to guide you for attaching the strips to the wall.JPG 1.6 Remove the tape and the strip backing paper.JPG


How to hang a picture using hooks


Standard picture hooks are simply nailed into place. For screws, you need to use a stud finder to check if there is a stud located behind the wall. Studs provide extra support. If you cannot find a stud then you need to use wall anchors to securely hold the screw in place.


  1. Turn your picture over so you can see the keyhole or hooks.
  2. Attach a piece of Painter’s tape over the keyhole or hooks.
  3. Lightly shade over the area using a pencil until you have a clear outline imprint on the tape.
  4. Remove the tape and attach to the wall. Check it is level.
  5. Place the picture hook on the wall according to the position of the tape. Hammer in the nail and the picture hook is in place.
  6. If using a screw, simply screw directly over the tape. Remember to use a wall anchor if you are not screwing into a stud.
  7. Remove the painter’s tape and hang your picture.


2.1 Find the keyhole.jpg 2.2 Shade over the keyhole to leave an imprint on the tape.jpg 2.3 Attach the tape to the wall.jpg

2.4 Find the hook.jpg 2.5 Shade over the hook to leave an imprint on the tape.jpg 2.6 Attach the tape to the wall.jpg


How to hang a picture with wire or string


For pictures with wire or string along the back I use standard picture hooks. The main thing to remember when hanging these pictures is “the drop”. You don't want to hang the picture and realise it's a few centimetres lower than you planned.


  1. Hold the picture upright. Hook the end of a measuring tape onto the middle of the wire or string and pull upwards as far as you can. Mark the spot it stops on the frame.
  2. Measure the distance from this point to the top of the picture frame. This is the distance the picture will drop when you have hung it on the wall.
  3. Attach painter’s tape so that the top is level with the mark you made on the frame. Mark the middle of the tape. This will be your guide for the hook’s placement.
  4. Remove the tape from the picture frame and attach it to the wall. Check it is level.
  5. Place a hook above the middle mark made on the tape. For a wider picture frame, use two hooks placed one either side of the middle mark. (Always read the manufacturer’s instructions regarding weight limits – use heavy duty picture hooks for heavier items.) Hammer in the hook.
  6. Remove the tape and hang the picture. Get a second pair of hands to help if the picture is large or heavy – it is not always easy ensuring the wire is hooked. 


3 Choose the right hook.JPG 3.1 Measure the drop.jpg 3.2 Attach tape level with your mark.jpg

3.3 Attach the tape to the wall.JPG 3.4 Check tape is level.jpg 3.5 Place hook on aove the middle mark on the tape.jpg


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4 Replies
Budding Browser

I'm a real beginner, I have never used a cordless drill before, any tips. I want to put holes in my walls, then place in something in the holes, then the screw or nail, then hang picture?

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @TKilkenny,


Welcome to Workshop. Don't worry about being a beginner, everyone has to start somewhere!


I've moved your post to this fantastic guide by @Tara86 which should contain all the answers you need for hanging pictures of various types. Please have a read and let us know if you have any further questions. 






Trusted Contributor

Thanks for the walkthrough @Tara86 


Just thought I'd share one of my favourite (boring yet simple and helpful) tools...Clever little invention and cheap too. I've got 2 which helps to hang those larger pieces with either a long string or 2 hooks on the back.

picture hanger.jpg

Trusted Contributor

This is the perfect place for "real beginners" @TKilkenny 😀


Brick/masonry walls

Drilling into a brick/masonry wall requires a specific drill bit such as this one. I suggest a 6.5mm bit.

You'll also need a hammer drill (it's a setting on some drills) to be able to drill into the brick. Feel free to share your drill here (photo and the model number) if you're unsure.


The "something in the holes" are simply known as wall plugs. With the 6.5mm bit you need green coloured plugs, this is what your screws will go in to. Make sure you drill far enough into the wall to fit the 50mm wall plug.


Timber frame walls

In this case you just need a normal drill (no hammer function), a 6.5mm timber drill bit and the same green wall plugs.


6g or 8g screws will be ideal for the green plugs. Get some that are about 45mm long as it gives you solid embedment in the wall (for hanging strength) and allows enough length to protrude from the wall and hook onto the string/hook. Use button head screws rather than countersunk as they'll prevent the string/hook from slipping off and gives it a more vertical alignment to the wall.


Hope this helps 😁

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