Wall-Mounting Matted and Framed Photography

The final step to displaying great photography involves mounting it on your walls. While this sounds very simple, it may seem intimidating to people new to photography, and those who do not consider themselves do-it-yourself-ers. Actually, the process is fairly simple with a few tools. While there are many, many different ways to creatively display photography we will focus on the more basic approach of using single row of photos across a wall. Because this is a basic introduction to mounting, I will try to make all explanations as simple as possible. While different people use different methods, which eventually bring them all to the same point, I prefer to start from the middle of every wall, and work outwards. This article assumes that your photography will not be offset, and will indeed be mounted with equal margins at either end of the wall.

First, let's talk tools. Most of the time you can get away with a tape measure, a hammer, a few small nails and a screw driver. My personal recommendation is to acquire a leveling tool, as well as a long metal ruler. You will need a tape measure in order to measure distances between your photographs and of course to assure that spacing is proportional. A hammer will of course be necessary to drive the nails into the drywall. A screwdriver may be necessary, if your frames do not have mounting hardware already attached. In many cases, store bought frames will include a little comb looking hanger, which will require a small Phillips screwdriver to attach to the frame. As I mentioned a minute ago, it is a good idea to acquire a level, if you expect to hang photography more than once. A laser lever is a great tool for a home owner, as it will produce visible straight lines across your walls, which will make a snap for you to measure to mount frames. If you begin shopping for one, make sure that it has some sort of a wall mount, which will not damage the walls, but will attach securely. There are many different models out there, and with a little research and brand comparison, you will find a good tool, which will make you thank me for suggesting it.

Let's get started. First of all, determine how many photographs you are going to mount and whether or not the wall is long enough to accommodate all of them. Obviously, if the total width of your framed photographs is more than the length of the wall end to end, you will have to reconsider the number of photographs to be mounted. Measure your wall, end to end, in order to get the total length, and divide that length into half. This will give you the middle of the wall. Now place a mark wherever that middle happens to be. Place a mark with a pencil at approximately your eye-level. Do not worry, pencil erases easily. Now figure out how many photographs will be to the left and to the right of this mark. Remember, you may choose to use this mark for one of your photographs, or you may choose to leave it empty.

Hopefully, all of your frames are the same size. This makes things much easier. Determine home much space you want to leave between your photographs and add ½ the length of the frame to that number. Try to keep the numbers whole, as it makes things much easier. You want to use a few pieces of cardboard, cut out to the same size as the frames, to figure out what looks good on your wall. It is easy to tack these templates to the wall with a few pieces of tasking tape.

Now figure out how high you want your photographs. Try to keep them at eye-level. Measure from top of the ceiling to where the top of the picture frame will be. Now, measure from the top of the frame to the wall mount on that frame. Add the first number to this and you will have the height at which you will be driving in your small nails. Record this number.

Now that you know how high the photographs will be mounted, and the intervals between them, it is time to mark all points which will receive a nail. If you have a laser level, you are in luck. Just place it at either end of the wall at the same height as you recorded earlier. The laser level will project a straight line to the other end of the wall, and you will have a reference line. Now from the middle of the wall move in either direction and put a mark where the nails will go. This distance was determined earlier. This distance will be equal from one mark to the next. All marks will be done on the reference line from your laser level. Once all points are marked, hammer a small nail, on a downward angle to create a simple hook at every mark.

That's it. While it may seem daunting at first, just use this guide, and it will make things quite a bit easier. This article does not discuss vertical alignment, where different types and sizes of frames are used. This will be discussed in future articles.