How to Use Picture Hooks

You use picture hooks to hang pictures. Most hooks for small or standard size pictures are made of twisted plate metal that forms a hook on one end and a loop on the other. The hooks are rated for relative weight of the framed object under ideal hanging conditions. These hooks come from small size to quite large, and it is important to understand the type of wall on which you will mount the hook, as well as the proper type of hook for the object you plan to hang.

Weigh your pictures. This is less important with small or standard pictures in which the item is most likely less than 4.54 Kilogram. It is much more important for heavy and larger pictures. One way to weigh a heavy picture is by using your bathroom scale. Hold the object and step on the scale. Record the weight. Then step on the scale without the object and record the weight. The difference is the weight of the picture.

Select the picture hook hanger that exceeds the weight of your picture. For larger pictures. you can do this by using two of the hooks recommended for your picture weight. Spread the hooks apart by 1/3 the width of the picture. This will distribute the weight onto two hooks instead of one and make the mounting more secure.

Choose nickel-plated hooks for pictures that will go on drywall. When a hook design has room for more than one nail, use more than one nail. Additional nails help support the weight of heavier pictures.

Select brass picture hooks when you mount pictures to plaster walls. Brass hooks have less chance of causing cracks in the plaster when you are nailing.

Press the picture hook flat to the wall and drive the correctly sized accompanying nail through the loop and down into the drywall or plaster at the angle of the nail loop. The nail will enter the wall at an angle.


Select newer cleat type hangers for flush mount or very heavy art and picture mounts. Try to nail hangers into studs for best security. You should install some pictures and art with small rubber or silicone bumpers to lift the art off the wall surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Scale
  • Nickel plated hooks
  • Brass hooks
  • Hammer
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.