How to Hang Metal Wall Art

Metal wall art has become an increasingly popular décor choice for adding an elegant, yet edgy modern touch to any room. When styled thoughtfully, metal art makes a striking statement and serves as the perfect focal point over a mantel, bed, or seating area.

But while metal art delivers seriously big impact, it often has some serious weight to it as well. So proper hanging technique is crucial for allowing your new metallic piece to shine while keeping it securely on display. By following some key best practices that factor in your wall type, hardware options, weight distribution, and leveling, you’ll be able to hang metal artworks safely and stunningly.

How to Hang Metal Wall Art

Assessing Your Wall Type

The first step is evaluating what type of wall your metal art will be mounted to. Common interior wall surfaces include:

  • Drywall – Sheet panel walls made of gypsum plaster between paper facers. Hollow wall anchors or screws into wall studs required for hanging.
  • Plaster – Mix of lime, sand, water over wood or metal lath. Can use hollow wall anchors if wood/metal lathe is nailed to studs.
  • Concrete – Very rigid but more prone to cracking than brick. Needs masonry drill bits and anchors.
  • Brick – Difficult to drill holes into but can support heavy weight once installed properly.

Identify which category your wall fits into, as that determines the fastener type and drilling method. Safely supporting metal art, especially larger statement pieces, requires anchors that grip well.

You’ll also want to find the wood or metal studs behind any drywall. Locate them using an electronic stud finder tool up and down the wall space prior to marking pilot holes. Studs provide reinforcement for more secure screw attachment on drywall.

Selecting Hanging Hardware

Choosing hardware equipped for the weight and size of your particular metal art piece is imperative to preventing collapse or slippage over time.

For drywall and plaster walls:

  • Screws – Basic drywall screws suffice for very lightweight art prints under 2 pounds. Pre-drill holes to avoid cracking plaster.
  • Plastic anchors – Ribbed plastic plugs that expand when screws tighten provide more holding power. Good for medium-weight art under 15 pounds.
  • Toggle bolts – Allow wings to flip out on the inside of the wall for a tight, heavy duty grip. Can hold over 50 pounds.
  • Molly bolts – Exert force along entire channel within a wall cavity. Great for heavy artworks.

For solid concrete, brick, or tile walls:

  • Masonry drill bit – Carbide tip drill bits designed for masonry drilling.
  • Plastic anchors – Inserted into pre-drilled holes for more stability.
  • Screw hooks – Twist directly into anchor or drilled hole.

Hanging on Wood Studs

Locating and drilling pilot holes into the wood studs behind drywall provides the most secure mounting foundation for metal art anchorage. Use an electronic stud finder to scan vertically along your wall space while marking stud edges with pencil. Studs are normally spaced 16 inches apart.

Pre-drill pilot holes slightly narrower than your chosen screw diameter to avoid splitting the wood when screwing art brackets directly to a stud. For heavy or wide metal art pieces, utilize metal cleats spanning at least two to three studs whenever possible to disperse weight.

Hanging on Wood Studs

Using Drywall Anchors Properly

For medium to heavy metal art hanging on drywall without stud access, properly installed wall anchors prevent rip-out disaster.

  1. Hold metal art hanging hook or bracket in desired location, tracing an outline.
  2. Drill appropriately sized hole for selected anchor type and insert.
  3. Align hook or bracket over anchor hole.
  4. Use screwdriver and screw sized for anchor type, tightening securely into the anchor device.
  5. Check stability by gently pulling down – should not detach!

Ignore maximum weight limits and sheer performance testing at your peril! Exceeding recommended capacity can overload anchors.

Hanging Metal Art Vertically vs. Horizontally

Both vertical and horizontal orientations have potential for metal art wall displays. Vertical positioning lends itself well to standard frame shapes and provides another vector to layer pieces on a larger wall. Horizontal alignment can allow improved weight distribution across stud-mounted brackets for long spans.

Ultimately metal art orientation comes down to aesthetic preference, proportions relative to your wall dimensions, and any orientation-specific hardware. Find the ideal angle that enables your alluring metalwork creations to gleam.

Ensuring It’s Level

A perfectly level wall hanging prevents crooked chaos and adds a satisfying sense of balance. Creating a level line for drilling pilot holes is crucial.

Here are two techniques to employ:

  1. Laser level – Project a laser guide line onto the wall for marking drill spots.
  2. Bubble level – Affix standard bubble levels to the back of art or hanging hardware.

Checking for precise level alignment as you affix mounting hardware ensures an even art installment.

Installing Multiple Pieces

When planning displays with more than one metal wall art piece, map out the full arrangement in advance. Measure both the individual art widths and the relative spacing between each work. Plan placement of the entire collage composition before drilling any pilot holes or inserting anchors!

Maintain visual consistency across a series using several tactics:

  • Laser level projected grid for symmetrical spacing.
  • Identical frame types and matching sizes.
  • Uniform edges with canvas wraps, mat borders, etc.

Cohesive colors and complementary themes also enable visually balanced metal art groupings. combine abstract shapes with natural textures for intriguing mixed metal layers.

Caring for Finishes

Improper cleaning causes the most preventable damage to decorative metal finishes. Instead reach for a microfiber duster or soft dry cloth to gently dust your art. Avoid using any liquid cleaning products or abrasive scrub pads on the metal surface.

Use extreme caution around metal edges as well to prevent moisture damage if aiming to wipe down surrounding wall areas. Any humidity allowed to creep its way to unfinished metal sides can initiate oxidation issues over time. Applying touch-ups of protective sealants helps defend against deterioration.

You may also read:

How to Clean An Area Rug On Hardwood Floor


With the right anchorage approaches and hardware for establishing a sturdy base, metal art fastenings need not be complicated or risky. Rely on the stability of wall stud attachments whenever feasible and make full use of secure drywall anchors in their absence. Take care to properly gauge required capacity ratings and drill pilot holes for smoother installations.

Position, measure, level, and install metal artworks with the precision they deserve to highlight these striking centerpieces. Completing wall mounting best practices keeps your slicked steel or textured copper safely and stylishly suspended as shining décor showstoppers.

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