How to Hang a Heavy Picture: Introduction

The critical factors you need to consider when hanging a heavy picture are:

  • how much does your picture weigh?
  • what sort of hanging hardware is best for the job
  • what sort of wall you are hanging it on?

This post describes how to hang a heavy picture or mirror, why use heavy duty picture hangers and hooks and how to attach them to a frame.

What is a heavy picture?

In simple words, a heavy picture or mirror is one which you wouldn’t think twice about trying to hang without an extra pair of hands.  The issue is not just whether you can lift it. It’s about whether you have the strength and motor control in your upper body to complete a movement to hook it onto the wall on two sides while holding it above your head.

If you would struggle to hang such an object on your own because of its size or weight, then you should be thinking seriously about getting some heavy-duty hanging hardware – and making sure you inspect the walls beforehand.

Why should I inspect the walls first?

This important question is frequently not considered by people whose large and/or heavy artworks fall off the wall.

Dry Walls

Interior walls are usually built using a wooden or steel framework and some form of covering – often plasterboard (Gyprock) so they are not suitable for hanging anything heavy. Light and medium sized pictures can be hung using picture hooks which are hammered into the walls using long steel hanging nails however hanging nails are not long enough nor are they strong enough to hold heavy pictures or mirrors and shouldn’t be used unless you are wanting to sit on a ticking bomb.

You can fix the hook to the wood or steel (e.g. stud frame) which would provide a more stable structure but these are not always in a convenient location. To find out where the studs occur behind the plasterboard, you will need a stud finder. Not sure what a stud finder is or how to use it? Read our article here.

If you know the wall is robust you can try your luck and use a special wall anchor for gyprock. However, remember you will have to fix a patch in the wall every time you wanted to change location of your artworks or re-arrange your photo display.

If you live in an older house you might find that your interior walls are made of lath and plaster and the rule for these is that you absolutely must find the wall studs before you hang anything.

Plasterboard wall fixing for Hang heavy picture
Hanging heavy picture or art on brick walls

Brick or Stone Walls

The exterior walls of most houses are brick, and some older houses have brick internal walls.  These types of walls can take the longer screws and are more suitable for holding heavy weights with the correct fixings but bear in mind that you’ll be left with some extra work to do to repair unwanted holes on the wall every time you relocate your pictures.

Banging on the wall often provides a good indication. If it sounds hollow, then it’s an gyprock wall.   You can also knock in a small nail into the wall.  If it goes in easily chances are it’s a Gyprock wall.  If it takes a more effort, you may have found the stud or timber behind the gyprock but if the nail bends it’s probably a masonry or stone wall, or steel framing.

How to Hang a Heavy Picture: What can I Use?

When it comes to hanging heavy artworks, photo displays and mirrors it is very advisable to invest in a picture hanging system.

A picture hanging system is a very simple and reliable system which allows you to display, re-arrange and replace your artworks, photos, mirrors flexibly and without damaging your walls.

Heavy duty hanging systems are designed to provide a secure fixing to heavy pictures and/or mirrors. They include the following components:

  • Picture rail: this is an aluminium rail which is secured to the wall by means of heavy-duty nylon clips, screws and wall mates or universal plugs. You will need to look for wall studs or another framework when you install your picture rail. Once the system is in place, you can forget about studs and nails in the wall, as you’ll be able to hang pictures anywhere along the rail.
  • heavy duty hangers with hooks – these wall hangers are also often called droppers or cords. They have a metallic head which is inserted into the rail and then twisted to lock in place. The hanging wire then slides back and forward along the picture rail.
Picture hanging system complete kit

Hang Logic regularly supplies private house owners, renovators, art installers, architects and building businesses with a wide range of art hanging solutions.

The Artiteq Click Rail PRO is a wall-fixed picture rail which allows you to hang up to 50Kg per meter, which in most cases s more than enough when it comes to install a heavy mirror or picture frame.

This product is extremely easy to install and fantastic to use in combination with Twister Hanging Wires and Micro Grip Hooks. The possibilities are infinite, you can arrange and re-arrange your paintings or mirrors at any time by sliding the wires and the picture hooks.

At Hang Logic we can supply a range of hanging wires with:

  • different thicknesses (1 or 2 mm)
  • load capacities from 5Kg to 20Kg per wire
  • multiple lengths: from 100cm to 500cm
  • two materials, stainless steel or Perlon (Heavy-Duty Nylon)
Technical specs of Click rail Pro by Artiteq
Artiteq Micro Grip Hook internal details
D-ring used to hang heavy picture frames

When you have chosen your wires, you can add the heavy-duty Micro Grip hook which is fixed to the used to hang your picture or mirror.

The Micro Grip picture hook has a load capacity of up to 20Kg. It has an automatic internal grip which is locks to holds the hook in position on the wire. You can disengage the grip by pressing the top button on the hook which then allows the hook to slide along the wire and be adjusted to the desired height at any time. The Micro Grip Hook provides a secure fitting over which a D ring, or a frame hanger can be hung.

Heavy duty picture hanging systems prevent:

  • pictures falling off the wall – all the components have been designed, tested, and certified to guarantee a certain load capacity. If you select them properly, you will enjoy years of flexibility and safety from your Artiteq Picture Hanging System.
  • forward tilting pictures – because you can fix the picture either side and not in the middle by using our special Frame Hanger.

The Artiteq Frame Hanger is attached directly on the frame, so no hook is necessary!

This solution allows to shorten the cinematic chain so that movement is further restrained, and forward tilting considerably reduced.

Like the Micro Grip, the Frame Hanger has an automatic grip and holds up to 20Kg of weight. Use two frame hangers, and you’ll be able to hang mirrors up to 40kg in weight.

No more hanging nails required, no more preliminary wall inspections, no more nasty holes in your walls – no more unnecessary work!

frame-hanger 1

Range of attachments

Solid Slider Wall Hanger

The Solid Slider is one of the most secure hanging systems on the market and is highly recommended to hang heavy objects on slanted walls and/or very high ceilings. The Solid Slider can’t be inserted anywhere into the rail like the Twister hanging wire can, it must be inserted from one end of the rail, before installation which prevents the hanging wire from coming off accidentally after installation (it would be very hard to re-insert it in the rail if very high ceilings) and also prevent thefts (steel hanging wire).

Artiteq Solid Slider

Twister Wall Hanger

The Twister technology makes the Artiteq Hanging Wires the most flexible on the market. All you must do to start using them is insert the metal head into the picture rail groove, anywhere along the rail, and then twist it to secure. As simple as that!

The hanging wire can still easily slide back and forth, although you will need to twist its head back to unlock it from the rail.

Art in the workplace

Clicq2Fix Wall Hanger

The Cliq2Fix has all the advantages of a normal Twister wire with the addition of an increased safety feature which makes it perfect for hanging mirrors. It’s innovative ‘locking head’ allows this cord to stay locked into the rail yet still slide left and right.

Ideal for high walls or on staircase walls.

Cliq2Fix by Artiteq

Loop Head Wall Hanger

The Artiteq Loop Head suits heritage homes and buildings with timber hanging rails/mouldings.

You will then be able to attach the Loop Head hanging wire to our Gallery Hook, or alternatively loop them around other things such as screw heads, hooks, pipes and bars.

To hang heavy pictures or mirrors, combine the Loop Head with the Micro Grip Hook that can easily slide up and down the hanging wire

Loop head

Materials, Thicknesses and Available Lengths

All the Artiteq Hanging Wires are available in:

Perlon: commercial name for heavy-duty Nylon. This material combines excellent load capacities with optimal aesthetics, as it’s transparent and barely visible once installed. Perlon hanging wires have a minimum estimated lifespan of 10 years, after which replacement is recommended.

Stainless steel: this material is very well known for its amazing load capacity and durability, combined with an “industrial look” that many art installers and house owner look for. The stainless-steel hanging wires never need replacing.

You can choose from 1mm or 2mm hanging wires, which have the following load capacities:

Load capacities in Kg – per wire

Thickness: 1 mmThickness: 2mm
Perlon (Heavy-Duty Nylon)5 Kg20 Kg
Stainless steel10 Kg20+ Kg

All Artiteq hanging wires are available in the following lengths:

  • 100cm
  • 150cm
  • 200cm
  • 300cm
  • 500cm

Conclusions

Hanging a heavy picture, artwork or a mirror can be a daunting task, and not just for the hanging itself but also for the preliminary checks that you (or a professional art installer) need to perform beforehand.

So why not keeping the checks at minimum?

Invest in a high quality, reliable, flexible picture hanging system and have it professionally installed once to provide limitless flexibility. Choose from a range of picture hanging wires and attachments, select the picture hooks and frame hangers that best suit your case. And voila – you will not have to worry about checking anything else in the future, and you’ll be set for years of enjoyment of your favourite artworks, photo displays and (finally) heavy mirrors!

Ready to start

Are you looking to learn more about how can you improve the beauty and efficiency of your house?

Whether you seek something simple to keep your walls tidy and pristine or comprehensive systems to create an impressive art display, we are just a phone call or an email away.

Contact us today by calling us on 0432 924 305 or email us at [email protected] for a FREE consultation. Or, if you prefer to work things out yourself, browse through the frequently asked questions on our webpage.