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Methods For Hanging Framed Pictures, Part 2: Hanging Heavy Pictures

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  • Sheila Gallien
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      Please consider this free-reprint article written by:
      Sheila Gallien

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      Article Title: Methods For Hanging Framed Pictures, Part 2:
      Hanging Heavy Pictures
      Author: Sheila Gallien
      Word Count: 1376
      Article URL:
      http://www.isnare.com/?aid=146648&ca=Home+Management
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      In Part 1 of this series, we acknowledged how framed art can
      bring out the beauty in any space, personal or professional.
      But novice decorators might feel intimidated by the prospect of
      hanging heavier pieces. Here we discuss the process of hanging
      heavier pictures, which simply requires a little more planning.


      Starting with a couple of general principles, make sure, first
      of all, that the art is secure in its frame. Any loose areas
      will worsen under pressure, and might cause damage to both the
      frame and art, or even allow the piece to fall. Also, plan to
      hang heavy pictures from two secure points. Hanging them from
      one point will create stress across the back of the frame,
      weakening corners and opening mitres.

      Next, you need to know the material and thickness of the wall
      you intend to use. Wood is suitable for almost any object.
      Concrete requires special anchors. Particle board should not be
      used for heavy pieces. The most common material is drywall,
      which comes in thicknesses of ½" to 1 ½". The standard
      thickness is 5/8", but in some newer construction you might
      find ½" walls, and sometimes shared walls are up to 1 ½". You
      may want to use extra precautions for hanging objects on thin
      drywall, or check the specifications of whatever fasteners you
      choose.
      Once you have secured your picture and analyzed the wall
      materials, you are ready for the three-part process of hanging
      a heavy picture. These steps are:

      1.Installing a fastener to anchor the picture to the wall;
      2.Installing a hanging device on the frame itself;
      3.Installing the matching hardware to connect the frame to the
      wall.

      Some systems are designed to streamline the process. All the
      most popular methods are discussed below.

      The Wall: Installation Fasteners
      After you have analyzed the material of the wall and made sure
      it is structurally suitable, you need to decide on the method
      you will use to secure the picture to the wall. There are
      essentially five different types of wall fasteners:

      Anchors: Anchors are over-sized screws which allow a screw to
      be inserted into the center. They are designed for drywall,
      and require only a Phillips screwdriver for installation. The
      screw can be easily removed from the anchor, and the anchor
      itself can be removed in seconds as well. Anchors can be used
      with any hanging device.

      Toggle Bolts: Also known as butterfly bolts, Toggle Bolts are
      very strong fasteners for drywall. Toggle Bolts come in two
      pieces, a long bolt and the toggle itself. You need to drill a
      fairly large hole for the toggle to fit through, thread it onto
      the bolt, then insert the whole unit into the hole. Once
      installed, the toggle springs open like a butterfly behind the
      wall. The bolt can later be loosened but not fully removed
      without losing the toggle section inside the wall.

      Molly Bolts: Another strong fastener for drywall, Molly Bolts
      are similar to Toggle Bolts, but are in one piece, and don't
      require as large a hole to be drilled. The Molly Bolt is
      drilled into the wall like a screw, then the tightening action
      fans the holding section of the screw behind the drywall. The
      object then attaches through the same screw hole used for
      installation. After installation, the bolt portion of the
      Molly can be fully removed and reattached as often as required.


      Wall-DogsTM: This anchorless screw is the best choice for
      attaching Heavy Duty Cleats or the Hangman wall brackets to
      nearly every material, including concrete. No wall anchors are
      needed, but Wall-DogTM, anchorless screws require a special
      drill bit for drilling the screw holes in the wall. This can
      be purchased at any big box store.

      Bear ClawTM: A relatively new addition to the fastener
      marketplace, this is a self-tapping, anchorless screw used in
      studs, plaster or drywall, developed and marketed by Hangman
      Products . The Bear Claw™ is installed with a few taps and a
      screwdriver. While the Bear ClawTM will not bear as much
      weight as the Wall-DogTM, it will certainly support most heavy
      paintings, canvas or paper. The Bear ClawTM is easily
      removable.

      The Picture: Hanging Devices and Connecting to the Wall

      As part of your decision regarding the anchor system on the
      wall, you will need to consider which technology to use for
      hanging your picture.

      The frame will either be hung from two points on the wall, with
      a hanging device attached to two points on the frame (with or
      without picture wire), as with most of the older picture
      technology. Or, it will be hung with a system that spreads the
      weight across a broad piece of metal, as with the newer
      technology.

      The most common Hanging Devices for pictures are:

      Heavy-Duty Cleat Hanger: This technology, sold in a set,
      consists of either one 24" long or one 40" long extruded
      aluminum cleat which is mounted on the wall with screws and
      anchors and a pair of matching profile 2 1/2" long cleats that
      are screwed onto the back side of the picture frame. Based on
      the old woodworking "French Cleat" principle, this mounting
      system creates simple, strong and reliable installations for
      large or heavy paneling, signage, framed mirrors or artwork.

      D-Rings, with or without Picture Wire: To use D-rings without
      picture wire, install them at the back top corners of the
      frame, making sure they are perfectly even. (You will also need
      to be sure the screws and anchors are perfectly level on the
      wall so your picture hangs level.) Pre-drill the holes and use
      the included screws to secure the D-ring. Then hang the D-rings
      directly onto the screws anchored into the wall. Hangman
      Products has just introduced a Double-Headed Bear Claw™ screw
      designed especially for D-rings and wire. At any rate, do not
      attempt to hang a heavy picture with D-rings without first
      installing an appropriate wall fastener.

      To use picture wire with D-rings, install them one-quarter to
      one-third down from the top on the side rails of the frame. If
      the frame allows, rotate the hangers in slightly, so they will
      be in line with picture wire when pulled taut. Pre-drill the
      holes, and fasten the D-rings with the included screws. String
      the picture wire through, allowing enough slack so that the apex
      of the wire is half-way between the D-rings and the top of the
      frame. Remember that you will be using two anchor points, so
      you will actually have two top points.

      The Hangman Products Heavy Duty Hangman System is a
      high-strength, all aluminum two bracket hanger which disperses
      the weight along the back of the picture. The brackets are
      available in lengths from 6" to 30" to accommodate a wide array
      of sizes and weights. The Heavy Duty System is designed for
      hanging paper art in wooden frames. One bracket is screwed
      into the wooden frame and the other attaches to the wall with
      either wall anchors and screws or Wall-dog™ screws (all
      included). The interlocking brackets then slide together to
      secure the picture. The wall bracket also contains a removable
      bubble level to guarantee that your installation is level.

      The Hangman Products Frame/Canvas Hanger is a high strength,
      all aluminum, two bracket hanger designed to hang canvas in
      wooden frames. One bracket is screwed into the wooden frame
      and the other attaches to the wall with screws and anchors or
      Bear Claw™ anchorless screws. The interlocking brackets then
      slide together to secure the picture. As with the Hangman
      Heavy Duty System, the wall bracket contains a removable bubble
      level, and all hardware is included with this product.

      A Couple of Extra Tips:

      Rust: No matter what system you choose, always use materials
      which will not rust: nickel-plated screws, brass or
      nickel-plated screw eyes and D-rings, and non-rusting
      multi-strand wire if you are using wire. Rust will weaken any
      system and may allow your picture to fall.

      Very Heavy Pictures: For very heavy pieces, you might want to
      use a well-secured picture rail. Or, you might consider using
      a shelf to distribute some of the weight.


      About The Author: Sheila Gallien is a noted screenplay
      consultant who also writes articles on picture hanging and home
      and workplace organizing systems in her spare time. For more
      information on framing please go to http://www.hangmanstore.com
      or http://www.hangmanproducts.com

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      For more free-reprint articles by Sheila Gallien please visit:
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