Find the right spot to avoid damage
Oil paintings are highly durable. But, it is important to consider temperature, air moisture, and lighting when thinking about the best place to hang your art.
Higher temperatures and humidity can lead to the deterioration of the painting. So, don’t hang your painting near heating vents, fireplaces or in areas with high moisture (like a bathroom). Strong UV light may fade colours over time, so avoid hanging on walls where direct sunlight will fall on the painting.
Find the spot that looks great
There are a few conventions that, if followed, will make your decisions easier:
Hang paintings at eye level. Typically works should be hung at 1.55 metres, from the floor to the middle of the picture.
- A painting, or a group of paintings, should be ⅔ to ¾ of the width of the furniture piece it’s hung above.
When hanging art in groups of two or more pictures, or as a gallery wall -
Consider an element that links the pieces. This may be a common colour, frame style or theme. Achieve a balanced composition by imagining the group of pictures as a single piece. Keep the space between the pictures constant, between 5 and 15cm apart.
- Leaving negative space between paintings helps a room feel less cluttered, and gives each individual artwork a chance to shine. A painting, or a group of paintings, shouldn’t take up more than 60% of the wall space. To make it easier to visualise - and before you put any holes in the wall that you may regret - trace the frame onto paper and use painter’s tape to stick it to the wall where you think you’d like to hang your painting.
Consider the walls
Consider the material of the wall where you want to hang your painting. It may not be a great spot to choose after all if you have to navigate pipes, wires, or need specialty tools.
In modern houses, electrical wires and pipes tend to be channelled around the edges of walls and shouldn’t be a problem. But in older houses, this isn’t always the case.
For hanging on concrete, blockwork, brick or plasterboard it’s important to use tools and fixings designed for the wall type.