Picture Rail, Picture Hooks, Chains, Cords, Wires, Cables and French Gallery Rods
I have been hanging paintings on my walls. Every time I move them, I make more holes. We moved the mantel to another wall and all the paintings in the living room will have to be rearranged. There is a way to do it without making more holes in the walls.
There are a lot of options and all of them are affordable.
I was at an antique store and they had chains on the walls. All the paintings that were for sale were suspended on the chains from S hooks. But I couldn’t remember how they held the chains up. I searched and found out this is a really old idea. People hung a picture rail that held hooks to suspend your pictures.
In this historic house they only have a couple of the paintings hung from the picture rail, but I don’t see why I can’t hang all of them that way, like the way they were hung in the antique store.
Here is a closer look. This painting is hung from a cord that is hooked onto the picture rail.
Here is a photo of crown molding with picture rail below it. This is by Brian Moloney. You can see other examples of his work at www.thefinishingcompany.net.
He ran the picture rail everywhere he put the crown molding. Even in places it is not likely anyone would ever want a picture.
These two photos show picture rail in a house built not all that long ago.
The picture rail is only on the walls that have pictures. It ends in the corners.
Picture rail is not expensive at all. It is sold in with the other millwork at Lowes and Home Depot. The piece on top is from Lowes, L002738 Pine Unfinished Finger Joint Picture Moulding. It is ready to stain or prime and paint, It costs $12.28 for an 8-foot piece or $1.53 a foot.
The piece below it is from Home Depot. It is WM273 Prime Finger-Jointed Picture Molding. It comes pre-primed and ready to paint. It is listed as $1.64 a foot. It is sold in really long lengths, up to 16 feet long.
This is the profile of picture rail. The hook fits over the top.
Chair Rail Hooks
This is how the hook fits on. This hook is strong but narrow enough to hold chain.
Here are two antique reproduction picture rail hooks from House of Antique Hardware.
These antique reproduction hooks from House of Antique Hardware are made of cast iron or cast brass.
Three more antique reproduction hooks. The two on the left would hold cord or wire. The one on the right could also hold chain.
There are a lot of ways to hang the pictures. You can run the chain, wire, cord or cable from the picture rail to the back of each picture. Or you can have a series of hooks to hold multiple pictures on the same cable from the same hook.
Picture Hook with Rosette, Tassel and Cord
This is a chair rail with a rosette over the hook. The painting is suspended from cords. You could use other types of cord, too. You could use lightweight white or natural rope if you have a beachy look.
Chain, Wire, Cable, Perlon or Nylon Cord
You can use chain with S hooks. Companies make different types of hooks that lock onto cords or cables.
Picture Rail Systems
There are various more modern rail systems available. The cable that suspends the painting with HangZ Gallery Cable Hanging System can slide along the track.
The picture hook can adjust up and down on the cable. So you can easily adjust the picture horizontally of vertically.
Arti Gallery White Classic French Gallery Rod Combo Kit uses a metal rail that rods hook onto. The rods hold adjustable hooks to hang pictures. They also have hooks that can hold cable.