How Do I Stop Pictures From Tilting On My Wall?

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

Do the pictures hanging on your wall make you do a double-take when you pass by them? Do you find yourself wondering if it’s you or the picture that’s not quite level? If this sounds familiar, it’s time to learn how to stop pictures from tilting on the wall.

If lightweight artwork is slightly crooked, use ticky tacky on the bottom corners of the frame to keep it straight. For drastic tilts, readjust the hanging hardware to the center of the artwork or use two evenly spaced hooks. When art tilts out from the wall, reduce hanging wire or put rubber bumpers on the bottom corners of the frame.

Before you start adjusting your artwork, take a peek to assess what’s causing the tilt. You need to know why your art is leaning to one side or tilting away from the wall. Then, you can decide the best way to fix it.

Why Do Pictures Go Crooked On Walls?

Sometimes, hanging artwork can feel like a complicated brain challenge. You have to find the perfect spot to put the hardware, check if it’s level, and make sure it handles the weight. After measuring, eyeballing, and adjusting, you still end up with a crooked or tilting picture on the wall.

Often, pictures tilt out from the wall because of too much wire or hardware positioned too high on the back of the piece. If a picture is crooked, it’s likely due to off-balance hooks. Lucky for you, most of the time, straightening out the artwork on your wall is a simple fix.

1. Place Rubber Spacers On The Bottom Corners

If you’re only dealing with a slight tilt, rubber spacers or bumpers can even out the distance. In other words, if the top of the frame tips away from the wall, position a bumper on each bottom corner. The spacer can force the bottom of the frame out a bit to match the space.

These are the same types of spacers used on cabinet doors, glass-top tables, and other applications. You can find them easily in home improvement stores, furniture stores, and online.

2. Get Rid Of Excess Hanging Wire

Sometimes, a picture tilts out from the wall because of too much wire. The looser the hanging wire on the back of the frame, the more drastic the tilt. Shorten the wire and remove the excess to reduce the angle of the tilt.

3. Double Up On Hanging Hardware

You may need to use extra wire or hooks when hanging artwork, especially if you’re hanging an oversized piece with a lot of weight. (Hanging a collection of artwork or an extra large piece is a great alternative to an accent wall.)

For extra heavy pieces, double up the amount of wire on the back or use a heavier-duty option. When working with large pieces, there should be two hanging points. (If it’s an extremely wide piece, you might even need three or four fix points.) Make sure to space them evenly based on the center of the piece.

Pro Tip For Hanging Pictures With Multiple Hang Points

Of course, when using two hanging points, it adds an extra challenge to getting the picture straight. But there’s an easy hack to make it super simple. Use painter’s tape and a pencil to mark the spots for your hooks or nails.

Place a strip of painter’s tape on the back of your picture, placing it over the hang points. Use a pencil to mark the location of the hooks. Then, remove the tape from the artwork and put it directly on the wall. Use a level to ensure the tape is straight.

Transfer the marks from the tape to the wall using your pencil or a nail. Then you’ll have accurate spots on the wall that match perfectly with the hang points on your picture.

4. Don’t Put The Hanging Point Too Low

Another cause for tilting pictures is a fix point or hang point that is too low on the back of the artwork. A low position can throw off the balance of the piece, causing it to be top-heavy and lean forward more.

If this is the case, simply remove the hanging hardware and move it up slightly on the picture so it’s closer to the top. This simple maneuver will help decrease how far the picture tilts out from the wall.

5. Use Ticky Tacky To Keep Pictures Straight

At some point, everyone deals with a picture or two with a pesky lean. It seems no matter how much you straighten it, the next time you walk by, it’s crooked again.

You might already use ticky tacky to hang posters and other lightweight artwork on concrete walls. It’s also a great option if you rent an apartment and can’t put holes in the wall.

But this simple item is also a great solution if you’re constantly adjusting a stubborn picture on the wall. Instead of always moving it back into place, put some ticky tacky on the bottom corners. It holds the picture in place; no more annoying tilt.

6. Hang Picture Frames With Leveling Hardware

Self-leveling picture hangers are available at home improvement stores and online. These hooks typically offer easy installation with one nail or screw, then provide multiple hang points to ensure a level result. Use high-quality hooks, and make sure you select ones capable of handling the weight of what you’re hanging.

Pretty As A Picture

Crooked artwork can really throw off your room’s design and overall feel. Sometimes, even when you take your time and use a level, artwork can still lean to one side. Other times, pieces tilt away from the wall and end up looking off-kilter and awkward.

Using less hanging wire and positioning hanging hooks lower on the piece can help eliminate the awkward tilt. Additionally, rubber bumpers on the bottom corners help even out the space between the wall and the piece.

If you seem to always end up with pictures that tilt to one side, try self-leveling hardware. Another option is to hang two hooks, evenly spaced to help balance the weight. (But make sure you hang them at an even height — use that level!) For crooked lightweight artwork, an easy fix is using ticky tacky on the bottom corners to keep the picture straight.

Once you decide on the best way to make your artwork straight and level, hang it at the proper height. A good rule of thumb is to position the center of the piece 57 inches from the floor. Before you know it, you’ll be hanging artwork like a pro.

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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