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How to Decorate with Large Wall Art

May 4, 2016 / Decorate

When it comes to interior design, who doesn’t love a good head-turning, eye-popping, jaw-dropping piece? All those hyphenated adjectives can be a part of your space when you frame over-sized wall art. A single, substantial painting or print might just be the perfect spectacle to change the feel of your entire room. These tips and tricks will help guide you on the best way to hang large wall art and create a mega masterpiece for any home.

Where to Hang a Large Art Piece

Choices, choices! You really can hang a large piece of wall art on any wall, not just the big ones. The key is to keep the surrounding décor simple so that your grand art can make its grand statement without too much noise. Add drama to small wall, create a focal point in an entryway – if it fits, then let it sits.

If you happen to start out with a blank space, let your large wall art set the tone for the rest of your décor. If you’re refreshing a room, decide which accents in your room work best for your over-sized art, and remove the rest. Either way, keep the focus on your fantastically sized piece and your entire space will feel newly inspired.

How to Frame Oversized Art

Maybe you found a hidden gem at a flea market, inherited a family heirloom or decided to create your own masterpiece to be framed (we can help you with that). When you’re looking for the ideal picture frame, size isn’t the issue. You want one that matches your style and complements the piece to be framed. But of course, size equals weight, so you’ll want a little extra support in the frame. Choose wider moulding that ranges from medium, to wide or extra wide!

So how wide is wide enough? I live by an easy rule of thumb: for very large pieces, I choose a picture frame that’s at least 3" wide. (Of course, if you order a complete printed and framed presentation from us, you never have to worry – we’ll install special reinforcements on all larger pieces, and they’ll arrive at your door fully assembled and ready to hang.)

Large Poster Custom Framed in brown frame in sitting room

To decrease the weight of the finished picture frame and make it easier to hang, choose Acrylic instead of glass. We offer Acrylic as an add-on to our frames, including non-glare, heavy-duty and UV protective versions. Why Acrylic? Well, it’s a lightweight, shatter-proof plastic with the same clarity as glass, and as such, has widely replaced glass as a standard front. Believe it or not, acrylic has replaced glass for use in aquariums, as windows in submarines and for fiber optics in flat-screen TVs. It stands up to age and normal wear from moving, while remaining lightweight for hanging.

If you get a picture frame with Acrylic from us (and it is not already assembled and ready to hang), it will have a plastic covering (depending on the Acrylic you choose, this covering may look blue, white, or brown) that protects it during shipping. Simply peel it off and, voila! For oversized pieces, I’d recommend the Heavy-Duty Clear or Premium UV protective Acrylic (they’re the same thickness). If you’re going larger than 24" x 36", consider getting a thicker Acrylic for increased stability and Foamcore Backing to make sure your piece has extra support.

How to Hang a Large Canvas

Hanging oversized art calls for a slightly different approach than the smaller pieces you might have hung in the past. But no worries, it’s still easy. First things first, you need the right hardware. Rather than a screw eye hook, which is most commonly used for hanging art, I suggest using a D-Ring for larger pieces. A D-Ring (named for its shape) attaches to the back of the picture frame and creates a stronger foundation for hanging.

Picture Frame D-Ring Hardware
Picture Frame Screw Eye

Depending on how large you go, heavy-duty hanging wire and hooks might also be needed. These keep oversized art more secure on the wall. Should you choose to go this route, check the specs of the wire you are using to be safe; it will list a break point that can be translated to max frame size.

NOTE: if you print and frame your extra-large art with us, this will be taken care of – it arrives at your door fully assembled with all the hanging supplies needed!

Heavy-duty Hanging Hook
Regular Hanging Hook

For the heaviest pieces, it’s best to anchor your hanging hook directly to a stud. If your art is going to be placed where people are likely to bump into it, you can also use a cleat hanger system. You can find one at your local hardware store, or can request we install one on a picture frame you order from us by contacting our Customer Care team.

If you’re doing it yourself, they’re a little more work to install, but they’ll hold up just about anything and prevent your masterpiece from tilting (I can’t be the only one who’s a little nuts about keeping art looking straight!)

Let a Pro Inspire You

One of our beloved Customers, Jill Van Sickle, is a pro at finding space for pieces of all shapes and sizes. Specifically she helps clients fill spaces with stunning, large statement pieces.

Horse Painting in Canvas Floater Picture Frame

Follow her lead and try your hand at hanging large wall art! Take that oversized masterpiece you love (or create a new one) and make a statement for your space. Be sure you're equipped with all tools you need, follow our tips and it should be a breeze. And don't forget to show us how it turned out - share it on your social channels and tag us with the hashtag #FramingJoy.