Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Keeping your pictures on the straight and narrow


By James Booth

Back in the September 2004 issue of Connected Photographer Magazine, Editor in Chief David Gewirtz gave us one of those cheesy little tips he's so proud of, this time on how to make sure your picture frames are straight when hanging them. You can read the full article at I personally am not a big fan of the cheese, and invariably give David grief for it. However, I do acknowledge cheese has its place and for some reason, you folks seem to really groove on these simple tips. So, in an uncharacteristic change of heart, I give you my own offering to the collective cheddar.

David has shown you how to make sure your pictures are straight when you hang them, but how do you keep them straight? Maybe you have a passel of rambunctious kids, rowdy apartment neighbors, or in my case, incessant industrial traffic not twenty feet from your front door. Regardless of the cause, pictures tend to shift from their perfectly arranged alignment. How do we remedy this? Very simple, mounting tape.

I'll show you how to use the roll of mounting tape in Figure A to secure your images to the wall, keeping them straight even through the most rigorous dusting and polishing.


Mounting tape will hold those picture frames as straight as the day they were hung. (click for larger image)

It shouldn't be very hard for you to locate some mounting tape. Pretty much any hardware or discount retail store should have an ample supply in many widths and brands. The thinner, 1/2" width is best. You don't really need a lot, just enough to make the frame stick to the wall.

To start, place a small strip of mounting tape on the back of your picture frame, on the bottom, like shown in Figure B.


Place a one-inch section of mounting in the bottom-center of the frame. (click for larger image)

About an inch is plenty. Make sure to peel the backing off the mounting tape to expose the adhesive.

Next, place your picture on the wall in the desired location. Use your level to ensure the frame is straight. Once your satisfied the picture is straight, push the bottom of the frame against the wall, as shown in Figure C.


With a level and mounting tape, your frame will be straight and stay that way. (click for larger image)

The frame is now secured to the wall, holding your picture perfectly straight.