How to Hang Art From the Ceiling

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Hanging art from a ceiling can provide a novel display and provide a striking addition to your decor. While slightly more difficult than the traditional wall hanging, the task is relatively easy to accomplish and obtain professional results. Depending on the exact look you are trying to achieve and the type of object being hung, different types of fasteners may be required. Use care when hanging art as falling objects are dangerous to anyone underneath.


Step 1

Determine the weight of the object being hung. It is important to know the weight since it will determine the correct anchor hardware to use. Divide the weight by the number of anchor points you will use. This is the weight per anchor point.

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Step 2

Determine the location you wish to anchor the artwork. Use your studfinder to find the location of the nearest studs (rafters) in the ceiling. Ceilings are commonly made of drywall anchored to rafters. Rafters are spaced an equal distance apart, usually 16 to 24 inches. If you can position the artwork to anchor it into a ceiling rafter, this is the preferred solution. Attaching items to a wooden support is more secure and less likely to cause ceiling damage. Any art that moves or weighs more than 25 lbs. should be anchored to a rafter.


Lighter objects can be anchored anywhere on the ceiling through the use of hollow-wall style hardware.

Avoid ceiling areas containing heating ducts or wires.

Step 3

Select the style of anchor most appropriate for your artwork. Your local hardware store will have a variety of fasteners available, and these are rated on the maximum amount of weight they can support. Always add a safety factor to these ratings, typically a 100 percent margin is added. If your artwork is dynamic, meaning it is capable of moving, a 400 percent margin is commonly used. You can choose either a hollow-wall fastener or one designed to screw directly into a rafter. A hollow-wall faster allows you to mount the hanger anywhere except directly over a rafter. While they offer greater flexibility, hollow fasteners have a lower weight-support capability, so do not use them for dynamic (moving) artwork. For mounting into a rafter, choose anchors that have a wood screw thread.


Step 4

Mount the fastener to the ceiling. If you chose a hollow-wall fastener, make a proper size hole and mount the fastener per the manufacturer's instructions. If your fastener is mounted directly into a rafter, drill a small hole into the rafter (smaller than the screw threads on your hanger). This will allow easier mounting. Do not use nails for ceiling mounting.

Step 5

Attach the artwork to the fastener. Make sure this connection is secure and can not work its way loose. Use single strand wire or cable (not braided) with a load rating sufficient to support the artwork, including safety margins. Make connections by using a pliers to twist the ends of the wire together, or use dedicated cable connection hardware.



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