This guide will teach you how to layout and hang a picture wall, a decorative way to display your favorite photos and artwork. Learn from actor Michael Gross, step by step.

Picture this: The wall in your den or dining room just begs to display your extensive collection of movie posters, music memorabilia, or family photos … but you don’t want your wall to look like an old pub’s dartboard by the time you’re satisfied with the layout.

Actor Michael Gross of Family Ties, Tremors, and ER fame (and one of our favorite people), shows us a great way to solve this problem.

1. Take measurements of your wall, making note of any details such as switches, receptacle covers, and molding.

Measure the wall. ©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

2. Transfer your wall’s dimensions to the floor, using strips of masking tape.

Transfer dimensions to the floor. ©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

3. Arrange your framed pieces on the floor, making sure not to overlap any taped areas. This is where you see the beauty of this process, because the items can be moved, swapped, or adjusted without having to drill over and over into your wall. Once you’re happy with the layout of the frames, measure each frame’s orientation from its surrounding tape lines.

Arrange your framed pieces. ©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

4. Move the art to the wall. Starting at the top of the wall, transfer measurements for each frame’s hanger from the tape lines on the floor.

Hang the pieces. ©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

5. Finally, to make sure each frame is hanging straight, use a small level and adjust the frame until the level’s bubble lies between its indicator lines.

Check for level. ©Don Vandervort, HomeTips
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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” served as MSN’s home expert for several years, and is featured as Yelp's home improvement expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort