Experts’ Guide to Framing and Hanging Art at Home

Sometimes a beautiful painting placed on lavishly decorated hotel lobby or at an opulent home may look unimpressive if it’s not placed properly. After all, framing and hanging a painting the right way on the wall is not easy, especially if you are a beginner.

In this article India’s emerging contemporary painter, Shantala Palat shares some expert approach to frame and hang a painting in the right way.

1. Hang the painting properly

The key to hanging a painting properly is to avoid mistakes at first place – like nailing at an incorrect angle or at wrong places. Hence prior to nailing the wall, try propping a framed artwork against the wall or use masking tape to outline where you want to hang it. A common mistake people make is to hang art too high. Generally placing the painting at eye level is ideal.

2. Frame it right

The purpose of the painting’s frame is to enhance the overall effect of an artwork. Natural or stained-wood surrounds are classic options for framing, though more adventurous finishes such as painted aluminum and brass are currently trending these days.

A clever way of avoiding a ‘factory finish’ is to choose a less expensive wood and ask the framer to hand-stain it in a dark brown or black ink. This also allows the texture and grain to come through for a more one-off look. Pay attention to mounting too.

3. Wall that is safe from sunlight

Paintings that are of sensitive mediums like watercolors or textiles, UV protection on the glass won’t be enough if sunlight falls on them. Hence hang the painting on a wall that stays permanently in shaded. Hang watercolors in a dim hallway or a dark bedroom so that their brilliant colors won’t get washed out by sunlight.

4. Pay special attention to matting

To preserve the painting over time, you must make sure that matting materials are acid-free, and there should be a dust cover on its back. Traditionally there’s a glass layer over the front, but some companies offer acrylic instead. Acrylic has the advantage of being shatterproof and light weight.

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© Shantala Palat 2015