Guest Author - Donna Coogan
Wall art and photo galleries are among the most common decorative accents in the home. Having the right tools for hanging your wall art is essential. Here are a few of my favorite tools.
1. Electronic Stud finders. These are fantastic for quickly helping you find a stud for securing your objects. Especially when attaching shelves or heavy items to your wall. I love how much they save time over the old way of finding a stud by knocking on the wall and listening for sound changes. If you like to change your wall displays frequently, these are worth adding to your decorating tool inventory.
2. Tape measure. I have a 12í fractional tape measure that is divided into 1/8Ē measurements. Itís the perfect size to measure my wall area and the items that I want to hang there.
3. Craft paper. I love using this to trace the shapes of my art pieces. Then I can easily tape several paper shapes to the wall until I find an arrangement I like. You can also substitute with brown paper bags or newspaper. Once Iím satisfied with the arrangement, all I have to do is mark the space and I know exactly where to hang the actual item. This also works well if you want to think about the arrangement for a day or two before committing to it.
4. Nails, screw hooks, picture hooks, wire and wire cutters. You can't go wrong having an assortment of these in your tool box. Choose hooks and hangers designed to hold various weights. I use at least 2 heavy weight hangers along with heavy weight wire for objects weighing over 100 lbs.
5. Hammers, nail drivers and screwdrivers. Hammers are helpful for fixing picture frames, hanging your objects and quickly removing them as well. I like to have hammers in several weights available. If you want to avoid the noise of hammering or the risk of hitting your thumb or denting your wall, use a nail driver (not to be confused with a pneumatic nail driver). Nail drivers or nail pushers are great little gadgets that are helpful for driving a nail directly into drywall with just a push of your hand. They are small enough to keep in a portable toolbox. Screwdrivers can be used to attach your hangers directly to art objects and the corresponding hooks into the wall. Keep a flat head and Phillip's head (crosshead) screwdriver available.
6. Cordless screwdriver. There are many uses for a cordless screwdriver in decorating and hanging wall art is definitely one of those uses. Obviously they speed up the job and cause less hand fatigue. Great for DIY decorating projects!
7. Blue-tak. I like to use this to help keep my art straight after itís secured to the wall with the right accessories. Yet, even with the best hanging job, sometimes a painting or photograph will slightly tip to one side. Thatís when a bit of blue-tak comes in handy. Just ball up a little amount and place under the bottom center part of your frame.
8. Small step-stool or ladder.I have a 2-step ladder with a tall grab handle that I depend on when arranging my wall art. Choose one that is portable, safe and that you are comfortable going up and down on.