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Daring to Decorate with Large Wall Art

Jun 1, 2022

How to Decorate With Large Wall Art

Jun 1, 2022 / Decorate

A single painting or print might just be the perfect spectacle to change the feel of an entire room. After all, who doesn't love a good head-turning, attention-commanding piece to marvel at day in and day out? If you're considering decorating with large wall art, here are some tips & tricks on getting started with this statement-making décor.

Where to Hang a Large Piece of Artwork

You really can hang a large piece of art on any wall – not just the big ones! The key is to keep the surrounding décor simple, leaving your grandest art to make its grandest statement. Welcome yourself and your company into your home with a focal point in an entryway, or call out a less-noticeable wall with a dramatic centerpiece – or define your main wall with a spectacle of beauty. If it fits, then let it sit.

If you're starting out with a blank space, let your large wall art set the tone for the rest of your décor. If refreshing a room, decide which accents in the room work best for your oversized art – and remove the rest. Either way, if your other décor is made to be complementary and points the eye to the statement piece, your entire space will feel newly inspired and well-themed.

How to Frame Oversized Art

When you're looking for the ideal picture frame, size isn't priority; we offer custom frames in most sizes. You'd rather want one that matches your style and complements the piece to be framed. And remember: size equals weight – so a little extra support in the frame can prove useful. Choose a wider molding that ranges from medium to wide, or even extra-wide for added support.

But how wide is wide enough? A rule of thumb: for very large pieces, consider a frame that's at least 3" wide. *If you order a complete printed and framed presentation from us, you don't have to worry; we install special reinforcements on all larger pieces (and they 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 a range of acrylic options that includes non-glare, heavy-duty, and UV-protective styles. It's a lightweight, shatter-proof plastic with the same clarity as glass, and so has widely replaced glass as a standard—and not just for picture frames! 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.

Our acrylic arrives with a plastic covering that may look blue, white or brown to protect it during shipping. For our oversized piece, we'd recommend the heavy-duty clear or premium UV-protective plus foamcore backing for extra support.

How to Hang a Large Canvas

Hanging oversized art calls for a slightly different approach. First, we'll need the right hardware. Rather than the commonly used screw eye hook, a D-ring is preferable for larger pieces since it attaches directly to the back of the frame and creates a stronger foundation for hanging.

Picture Frame D-Ring Hardware
Picture Frame Screw Eye

Depending on how large your art is, heavy-duty hanging wire and hooks might also be needed. Check the specs of the wire you're using to be safe; it will list a break point that can be translated to max frame size (if you print and frame your extra-large art with us, this will be taken care of).

Heavy-duty Hanging Hook
Regular Hanging Hook

For the heaviest of pieces, it's best to anchor your hanging hook directly to a wall stud. To counter possible bumping and incidental contact, a cleat hanger system can also be used.

To hang without nails, there are now several options to get the look without the holes & extra work!

  • "Press-In" picture hangers (ex. by High & Mighty) press directly into sheetrock without the need for nails or hammers. They can accommodate up to 150 lbs and are super convenient and easy.
  • Picture hanging strips (ex. by 3M Command Strips) can hold picture frames as heavy as 16 pounds – just remove any existing hanging hardware, clean the surfaces thoroughly, apply the adhesive hanging strips to the back of the picture, and press the picture against the wall (always follow product instructions).
  • Mounting adhesive is a straightforward, hassle-free way to hang large wall art. It's in the form of a paste often sold in tubes – just apply to all four corners and press firmly. Plus, when used correctly, it should leave little to no marks on surfaces.

How High to Hang Large Wall Art?

A good starter rule is to hang your large wall art so that the center of the piece is approximately 48-56 inches from the floor. But also consider where you'll be in the area – will you be mostly sitting? Standing? For dining or lounging rooms, consider shaving off a few inches so that the top of the piece isn't out of sight when sitting on the furniture. If it's positioned over a sofa or table, it's advised to have the bottom of the frame begin at least 6-12 inches above the sofa back or tabletop.

Horse Painting in Canvas Floater Picture Frame

How to Hang Large Art on a Staircase Wall

A great way to accent an otherwise-overlooked area, hanging a large piece of art in stairways has become increasingly popular. Here are some quick tips on how to hang in this transition space:

  • Aim for about eye-level. Stand on the center step halfway up and look straight at the wall, and using a pencil or a piece of tape, mark the point directly in front of your line of vision.
  • If there's a stud in the center area, it may be ok to compromise spacing slightly to hang directly onto the stud.
  • If you need a ladder, use a ladder extension for the lower step to make the ladder stand evenly on two staggered planes.

You Can Always Find Inspiration from the Pros

One of our beloved Customers, Jill Van Sickle, is a pro at finding the right space for pieces of all shapes and sizes – especially for large statement pieces. Try following a pro's lead for extra guidance and inspiration!

So, take that impressively sized masterpiece (or create a new one!) and make a stunning statement in your space. After ensuring you're equipped with all the tools, follow our tips and it should be a breeze. And don't forget to show us how it turned out! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #framingjoy and we might just feature yours!

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