Mythbusters: Four Things To Know Before You Decorate That Wall

I know. I know.  I’m guilty of it too. Some of those posts on Pinterest and shows on HGTV make it look so easy, don’t they?  You’re browsing, looking for inspiration, and you think, “My walls are drab. I’ll put up some art.” Then you collect your photographs together, pick up a few frames on a discount, and think, “That’s it. I’m ready to go!”

And yet. Reality rarely looks quite as good as you thought it would. Before you keep going, put your hammer down, play some music that will soothe you, take a deep breath, and consider the myths below.

Myth 1: Any old frames will do

Now, in one sense, that’s true. I’m not necessarily advocating for expensive frames. I’m a Michael’s girl myself. However, coordinated a color palette is wise, especially one that goes with your decor. For a classic look, match. For more eclectic, choose a neutral or two (e.g. white & gold, silver & gold, black & charcoal) and then select a color pop for a standout piece. Perhaps a color that’s elsewhere in the room ( (ruby red, emerald green, and daisy yellow have been popular recently).  

And don’t forget the age of the photo. Anything over 50 years old could have a crumbling frame. Tap a local frame shop for something climate-appropriate ro research online for a supplier like American Frame, which offers acid-free mounting and UV-resistant acrylic.  

Myth 2:  You don’t need a plan.  

Ahem,  ok, are you putting up one piece or a few pieces together?  Do you know where the center of the available space is? Trust me, a plan will save you time and spare you some frustration.  

Where to start? Measure the space available. Measure your framed pieces.  Allow for spaces.

Not great with math? No problem.  Grab some bulletin board paper and trace the outlines of the frames. Now use some painters tape to place the items in the available space to do your planning. It’ll give you a sense of the scale, space and how your frames will look as a whole.  

PS If you make a note on the tracing paper where the hooks are, you’ll save yourself a lot of angst getting the correct placement for hanging hooks/nails/etc.

Myth 3: You can do this with any old nail or wire--whatever’s at the bottom of the junk drawer.

First off, consider your canvas. What are you hanging stuff on? Drywall? Lathe and plaster? Brick? Most walls require hardware wire--not just crafty, bouquet-wrapping wire. Choose new straight nails As for nails, ditch anything rusty that might have come with the frame and splurge (lol) on new straight nails or if you’re hanging on drywall, get some hanging hooks delivered to your door.  Plaster and brick require something sturdier. Tap into YouTube for help.  This Old House covers Hanging a Heavy Mirror on Plaster.

Myth 4: You don’t need help.

It’s okay if hanging art isn’t your superpower. I’m sure you’re good at lots of things! Find a local handyman on NextDoor or ask a relative or friend who’s more tool-inclined. Sometimes outsourcing just makes everything go smoother.

Whew. Now that you know myth from truth, it just takes the courage to begin. Remember, when it comes to family photos, it’s all beautiful!


*By the way, I don’t make any money providing links to products, but I’m also not responsible for the product or your use of them.