A Guide To Displaying Your Metal Photo Print
Whether you’re thinking of buying a metal print from a photographer or artist, or choosing this medium to display a family photo, you’ve probably seen the amazing image quality that these prints offer.
If you’ve never dealt with this type of print before, the fact they’re called metal prints may have you thinking they could be a bit unwieldy to hang.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Are metal prints easy to hang? Yes, being made from aluminium makes them sturdy, but lightweight. This means hanging a smaller sized print, 1 secure nail or screw is all that’s needed. Even larger prints will normally just need up to 2 nails or screws. They usually come with the required hanging hardware too, so you’re able to display a metal print straight out of the box.
Not all metal prints are made using the same print process, but this has no bearing on the weight or how they are displayed.
If you’d like to learn more about the different print methods & their advantages & disadvantages, I have a few articles that explore these types of prints, or you can check out my comprehensive guide to metal photo prints.
Instructions For Hanging Your Metal Print
I’ve never bought or used a cheap photo service, but a decent print lab will always supply your metal print with the appropriate hanging hardware.
It really is that simple, just figure out where you want to hang your print & either use a nail or screw in the wall to hang it from.
Hanging A Framed Print
Metal prints can also be framed.
Usually a floating frame is used, but because these prints are relatively thin, you can frame them as you would any other picture.
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So the frame will add extra weight, especially on an extra large print.
It would be awful if it fell from the wall & got damaged.
Like any other artwork, make certain that whatever you use is going to hold the weight of the print.
Here’s another handy article that has a weight per size chart for aluminium prints.
5 Ways To Hang Metal Prints
There’s a few different types of hanging hardware.
1. Hanging Block
This is normally a standard way to hang smaller prints.
It’s simply an aluminium block mounted to the back of the print that has a hole or recess to slip onto a nail or screw.
It also means the print will sit an inch or so off the wall giving the impression it’s floating.
Either a lightweight wood or aluminium is used as a frame attached to the back of the print.
Mainly used on larger size prints, it offers more rigidity, preventing the print from buckling.
It also allows the use of a screw or nail in each corner of the frame preventing the print moving out of square on the wall.
3. Picture Wire
Similar to how a framed photograph is hung, a hanging wire is stretched across the subframe.
Again, this allows for either 1 or 2 screws or nails to hang from.
Using a cleat is an option if you want the print to sit closer to the wall.
This will also make the print tilt slightly forward.
It’s not the easiest method, as you need to secure one half of the cleat system to the wall & the other to the back of the print.
It’s usually a DIY job, for as far as I’m aware I haven’t seen print labs supply this sort of hardware.
5. Stand-off Bolts
So named as they make the print “stand off” the wall.
Normally a commercial application for displaying information signage, but is often used for displaying photographs in office spaces.
But it can be a good option if you want to create that modern & even industrial style.
The print has 4 holes in each corner.
Then 4 stand-off bolts are fixed into the wall.
The print slips over these bolts then a cap is used to cover the bolts.
4 Alternatives To Hanging Your Print
Artwork doesn’t always need to be hung on the wall.
There’s creative ways to display your metal print that can be really eye catching & unique.
1. Use An Artist's Easel
This is a wonderful & different way to present art.
Even one of those children’s blackboard easels can be used.
2. Place It On A Shelf
Simple doesn’t mean boring.
This is a good way to display a large print over a mantle too.
If your print isn’t framed, make sure to rest it on a cloth to prevent the edges from damage.
3. Use The Floor
Really large artwork can look quite funky simply leaning against the wall.
Especially in a space with minimal décor.
Use pot plants, stacks of books or even a lamp to create that bohemian look.
4. Picture Frame
Smaller metal prints can simply slip into a standing picture frame.
Then simply display on any shelf or piece of furniture.
As you can see, whichever size, metal photo prints are super simple to get up on your wall.
Being lightweight makes them really versatile too.
No serious drilling into the wall is required unless you’re using the stand-off bolts.
Because they are supplied with all the hanging hardware, there’s no disappointment when you unpack your print with excitement, only to realise you need to make a visit to the hardware store before you can proudly display it on your wall.
I hope you’ve found value in this article & don’t be shy when it comes to sharing.