Picture Frame Hardware

When you buy a frame, you always want to make sure that you have everything you need to hang or stand your picture frame the way you want.

If you want to use your frame on a table top or dresser then make sure you look for ready made picture frames with an easel back stand. Ready made frames will come with backing and an easel so you will have everything you need to display your picture. Most frames will have easels that can support the frame either horizontally or vertically. However, if you buy cheap picture frames or get a frame with no backing then you’ll likely run into trouble. If this is the case, you’ll need backing or something to seal up the back of the frame and keep the picture secure along with an easel to prop up the picture.

Ready made frames almost always come with built in easels on the back but, if you have a frame that doesn’t you can always buy a stand-alone easel. You can find easels in metal or wood and in either table top stands or floor stands. Table top easels are more common in homes, while easel floor stands are generally used by professional photographers for photo displays.

If you want to hang a frame on the wall the first thing you want to do is check the frame for included hardware. That’s because some manufacturers make frames to be exclusive table top frames. For example, frames with smooth lacquered wood backs or velvet backs are not intended to hang on the wall so don’t even try because you’ll only ruin it. So make sure to always check the back of the frame and you’ll always get a frame perfect for what you want.

For frames with built-in hanging hardware or wall frames that are meant to have hardware installed, there are several types of hardware that will work. Let’s start with frame hardware that’s included with the frame:

  • Frame ring or triangular loop built into the frame

  • Nail eye (metal hardware that comes with the frame and slides onto the nail in the wall)

Both of these are easy to use and require no extra steps or cost. The nice thing about nail eye hardware is that you can use these on any ready made frames that have a back. So if your frame has a removable back and didn’t come with any hardware often times you can use a nail eye instead of having to install other frame hardware. If you’re not sure, just ask your quality frame retailer.

But if you have a wall frame generally these won’t come with hardware. So you can either install them yourself or have your quality frame retailer install them for a small fee. If you want to do it yourself, there are really two types of hardware:

  1. Sawtooth hangers

  2. Eye hooks with a wire strung between them

Sawtooth hangers are easy to install because they only require two small picture frame nails while eye hooks take a little more effort and precision. Sawtooth hangers come in multiple sizes so the bigger your frame, the bigger the sawtooth hanger you’ll need. Make sure to only use the small picture frame nails that come with the hanger otherwise if your nail is too long you might damage your picture frame.

Eye hooks are a little harder to install because you have to screw in two eye hooks (round hooks) and then string a wire between them. If you’re up for the challenge to install them yourself, go to How to Install Your Wall Frame Hardware to learn more.

Just remember if you always look at the back of your picture frame, you’ll never be surprised when it comes to hanging it. And if you always get quality picture frames from a great frame retailer then you’ll never be stuck figuring out how to use framing hardware in the first place.



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