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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Professional Hanging Hardware


Question: I have some pictures I want to hang. Where do I start?

First, look to see if your pictures have hanging hardware or picture wire on the backs. If so, all you need to start are OOK® hooks and a hammer. If there is no hardware on the back of the pictures, you will need to attach D rings or sawtooth hangers on the frames before hanging them. If the pictures are old and the wire or hardware looks rusty, loose or broken, now is an excellent time to replace this material with new hardware.

Question: I'm not particularly handy. Can I hang my own pictures?

Absolutely. Picture hanging is not difficult. However, you will need to take accurate measurements and be able to use simple tools. The process will often go smoother and be more enjoyable if you can enlist a second pair of hands and eyes to assist you.

Question: What tools do I need to hang pictures?

For basic hook & wire hanging you will need at a minimum a hammer, a retractable steel tape (at least 6' long, 10' or 12' is better) and an ordinary #2 pencil. Very useful to have on hand, but not absolutely necessary in every hanging circumstance, are a set of screwdrivers, a power drill with drill bits and screwdriver bits, an awl, a small "torpedo" type level, a simple calculator and masking tape. A stepladder or six-foot ladder is usually needed if your pictures are going to be hung over furniture or above eye level.

Question: What's the simplest, easiest way to hang a picture?

Hook & wire. They've been around forever, they work, and everyone understands the principals involved.

Question: How can I prevent pictures from being removed or stolen from the wall?

We offer Security Hangers that "lock" pictures to the wall. Most pictures in hotel rooms for example, are hung using some sort of security hardware. Other than ripping the frame away from the wall by brute force, pictures hung with security hardware can be removed from the wall only by using a special tool that "unlocks" the hardware.

Question: How high should I hang my pictures?

Most people hang pictures too high. The often-repeated rule of thumb is that the horizontal centerline of a picture should be at eye level. This is not particularly helpful advice since people vary in height, but an average-size person should be able to look comfortably at a picture without having to either bend down or look up. Pictures hung in the home often must be placed over furniture and therefore need to be hung higher than eye level, but you should try to get most of your pictures down to where people can see and enjoy them.

Question: How do I hang a very heavy picture/mirror?

OOK's French Cleat is the best way to hang heavy or large picture/mirrors. We believe in overkill when it comes to hanging heavy pictures. It is always prudent to build in as much of a safety factor as possible. Remember that picture hanging hardware is hidden behind the picture, so using "too big" a hook or "too heavy" a wire will not be detrimental visually. We feel that the extra trouble and minimal extra expense required for what might be hardware overkill is preferable to the possible consequences of using something "good enough."

Question: How large a hook/hanger/wire should I use for my pictures?

At least one or two sizes larger than you think you need. Also, keep in mind that your installation will only be as strong as the weakest link in the hardware chain. For example if you use a 100 lb. hook in conjunction with 20 lb. wire, the extra holding capacity of the hook is wasted.

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Question: Can I use two 50 lb. hooks to hang a 100 lb. picture?

No, weight ratings are based on hangers nailed into studs and are for comparative purposes only. Pound ratings are not cumulative which means that even if you use two 20 lb. hangers on one frame both hangers can only hang up a total weight of 20 lbs., not 40 lbs. We recommend choosing a weight rating that greatly exceeds the object to be hung.

Question: My hung pictures are always going out of level. How can I prevent this?

A simple solution to this common complaint is to use clear bumpers in the bottom two corners of the frame. These bumpers grip the wall without damaging the surface.

Question: I can't put holes in my walls. What's the best hanging method to use?

OOK® Professional Hangers only leave pin size holes in walls when removed which are easily repairable.

Question: Can I hang pictures in a bathroom with a shower?

Humidity is an enemy of artwork, especially paper artwork, and a shower can produce a lot of humidity. If you must hang pictures in a bathroom with a shower, make sure the artwork is inexpensive or replaceable. Also, consider using acrylic instead of glass for pictures in bathrooms. Broken glass and bare feet are not a good combination. Metal frames tend to stand up better than wood frames in high humidity environments. Inspect bathroom pictures from time to time. Look for artwork wrinkling, buckling or signs of mildew and for any rusting of the hardware on the back side of the picture.

Question: I don't like it when top edges of hung pictures lean out from the wall. What can I do?

A hook & wire hung picture will always lean out from the wall at the top edge to some degree. How much will depend on the amount of slack in the wire, the position of the wire hangers on the frame and the size and shape of the picture itself. Reducing the amount of slack in the wire by untying one end and shortening it will often help. If you want to eliminate the lean entirely and have the picture held tightly to the wall surface, replace the existing hardware on the picture with two D rings and hang the picture directly from the hooks on the wall or use an OOK® French Cleat.

Question: What's the best way to go about hanging a group of pictures?

Treat them as one large picture made up of movable interior elements. First determine the overall size of the imaginary rectangle on your wall that you want to fill and then experiment moving around the individual pictures within that rectangle until you arrive at an arrangement that is pleasing. You can do this by laying all the pictures out on the floor and trying out various combinations before putting that first hook in the wall.

Another trick is to duplicate the shapes and sizes of the pictures to be hung using Kraft or construction paper and move these paper templates around on the wall before you start hanging the real thing. Make sure to allow enough space between pictures. The number one mistake is a lack of "breathing room" between pictures.

Question: How can I avoid damaging real plaster walls when hanging pictures?

OOK® Professional Picture Hooks have blue steel needlepoint nails that are designed to go into plaster walls with much less danger of cracking the plaster surface.

Question: I want to hang a picture on a brick/stone/concrete wall. What hardware should I use?

OOK® has a line of concrete hangers.

Question: Do you ship outside the United States?

Yes, we ship internationally. Please be aware that although all shipping charges on international orders are prepaid, you may be responsible for additional customs fees, taxes or import duties imposed by your country.

Question: I have a difficult/unusual/complicated item to hang. Can you help me?

Email or call us and we'll give you the best advice in the industry.

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