By Rory McCreesh, DUCE Construction
Art is an investment on many levels. It has emotional, sentimental and fiscal value that can last for years or lifetimes. It is thus important to consider the installation of the art as carefully as the art itself.
The physical constraints when hanging an artwork depend on a few factors. There are two quick questions that you can ask yourself before you make any holes in a wall - How heavy is my piece of art?, and What is the makeup of the wall that I am attaching this to? If your art is clearly on the lighter side, under 20 lbs, then it can be screwed straight into the wall. More often than not though, the piece is on the heavier side, 25 lbs or heavier and must have extra support.
Walls are usually composed of drywall covering a sturdy framework. This framework is the ideal place to attach the art and can be found using a stud finder. If there are not any studs in the location where you want to hang your art, you will have to add additional plywood pieces (called blocking) to bridge between the studs. If you are redesigning a home and know in advance that you will have heavy art it is beneficial to think forward and design the blocking into the wall. If your walls are made of brick you can drill straight into the wall using a drill and a masonry bit. Be sure to drill into the mortar and not the brick itself. Another important factor to consider when hanging art is its environment. An appropriate temperature, humidity and light within the space all contribute to the longevity of the art. The ideal temperature recommended by museums and insurance companies is between 65-75 oF, and the ideal humidity between 55% to 65%. These numbers should be maintained even while you are absent from the home; a digital thermo-hygrometer monitors both temperature and humidity and can help to keep the environment consistent.
Both interior and exterior light can have a profound effect on your artwork. The UV rays found in sunlight can fade and damage your art. Placing the art on a non-sunny wall or framing it in UV-blocking glass can lessen the effects of the UV rays. The interior lights should be low lumen lighting. LED bulbs and incandescent lights have the appropriate lumen level (55 lux or below).
If you follow these guidelines you will have long lasting art pieces. Enjoy the view!
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