1. Gather all the artwork you are considering for the gallery wall. I am fortunate enough to have several paintings done by my father to pick from. I knew I wouldn’t be able to use them all, so I spread them out and picked my favorites. He only painted marine art, so that became the theme for my wall.
2. Measure the wall. Using tape (blue painters tape is best so you don’t get glue residue on the floor), mark the dimensions onto the floor, ideally near the wall you plan to hang on. I knew I was going all the way from the ceiling to the floor, but you may be creating a gallery wall over a sofa or piece of furniture. It’s important to think about how much space you want to leave above the furniture. For example, if it’s going over a sofa, you might not want the paintings to be low enough to hit your head on a painting or piece of art when seated.
3. Start laying out the artwork within the taped lines.
4. Once you get the layout you like, pick one painting to start with. I used the upper right hand painting and all the others were hung in relation to that first one. I drew a diagram and measured the width and height of my layout. Then I figured out how far down from the ceiling and how far from the right hand edge of the wall my first painting would hang so the whole row would be centered on the wall.
5. Measure the width of the painting and divide by 2 to get the center. I wanted the right edge to be 14.75 inches from the right hand edge of the wall so all three paintings in that row would be centered on the wall. My painting is 32” wide, so I made a mark at 30.75” from the right edge of the wall. (14.75” + 16” — half the width of the painting)
6. In my layout, I wanted the bottom of the frame to be 24” down from the ceiling. Since I’m lining up the bottoms of the frames on my top row, I measured where the the wire reaches from the bottom up, which was 12” (the frame measures 16”). Remember that there will be a little bit of weight pulling on the wire when you measure where the hook should go. My second mark is 12” down from the ceiling (24” minus 12”).
7. The intersection of my two marks (30.75” from the right, 12” down) is where the bottom of the picture hook should be.
8. In order to keep my frames straight (especially after dusting), I put two pieces of Command hanging strips on the bottom edges.
9. To hang the painting centered on the hook and level, first, I put a post-it note on the frame pointing to the center. Then, I put a post-it note on the wall pointing to the hook. It helps to have a helper…while holding the level on the top of the frame, line up the two arrows on the post-its and press the Command strips to adhere to the wall while checking the level.
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