How to hang abstract paintings in a room

How to hang abstract paintings in a room

When you spend money on abstract paintings and framing you need to be sure you hang them correctly. This makes sure your pictures last and makes the most out of your art and room. Here are some do's and don'ts to help you hang those pictures and some solutions to frustrating hanging problems.


  • Think about the size of the painting against the wall. Too small a painting and it will get lost, too big and it will take over the space.
  • Take into account the whole wall; that means light switches, shelving, cabinets and if people sit in front of it.
  • Think about moving things around once you have hung your picture, you may need to move a lamp or indoor plant to make sure your eyes aren't detracted from the picture.
  • Pick a focal point - above a sofa, bed or mantel piece or a central view as you enter a room
  • Mix up the sizes, don't be scared to stick to one size artwork
  • Decide if you want the same uniformed frame colour and width or if you are happy to have an eclectic mix
  • Think about height. In a gallery paintings are hung at eye level - but they are at an average eye level of around 145cm. This means the centre of the painting will be at that point. The eye level of someone who is 6ft is massively different to someone who is 5ft 3inch. If you share a home go for an eye level that suits both of you and compliments the space.


  • Don't place a picture or painting directly in the sunlight, it might make the colours pop but in time it will fade your image.
  • Make sure you hang the art with a spirit level! There is nothing more frustrating than looking at a wonky picture.
  • Squeezing too many pictures, even if you are making a gallery wall, can suck the life out of your art. Make sure there is a good size between the frames and keep the sizes uniformed.
  • Don't forget about the orientation of the pictures, the switch between a horizontal picture to a vertical can be all the difference.
  • Don't forget about colours and themes. You need to make sure your picture compliments the room and this means making sure the colours match and the picture is the right mood you want to feel.

Solutions to your picture hanging problems

My picture or painting is too small for my wall
If you are going for a picture that's slightly too small have the picture mounted with a slightly larger mount, or get the canvas painting framed. If it's still too small then your best bet is to move it to somewhere more suitable.

I've not got space on my walls for a picture

Try hanging art in a gallery format - a mixture of sizes and shapes all over. Also don't be confined to just one room, hang pictures up the stairs, in the kitchen, the office even the loo. It's what makes a space feel homely. However, if you really have used all the available wall space, or your walls aren't sturdy or you are in a rented, then try leaning your pictures against the wall. It's quick, simple and effective. You can place pictures on anything, desks, cupboards, tables and for really large pieces of art you can even place them on the floor.

I've got really tall ceilings or a narrow wall space
Try going for a vertical picture frame or placing a number of pictures in a portrait arrangement (one on top of the other). By placing them in this manner it will guide your eye and dissolve the gap between the ceiling.

I'm worried my painting will get damaged in the spot i've picked
The ideal solution is to place in a spot that gets lots of natural light as mentioned above don't put it in direct sunlight. You can make sure your painting is protected by asking if it has been sprayed with a non yellowing varnish and a UV protecting varnish or protective glass. (All of Maker who doesn't make paintings are varnished in this way)

The final tip
The main thing when hanging a picture is to plan. Don't start banging nails in before you've really thought about the best position. Sketch out your layout, cut a piece of paper to the size of your picture, use some masking tape to guide you and then use a spirit level. If you are scared of nails or can't use because you are renting then try command strips (adhesive pads which are removable and don't damage walls).

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