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10 Common Wall Gallery Mistakes

Author: The Printique Team

Wall galleries are an unbelievable way to curate your favorite photographs into a one-of-kind display. It’s a decorating technique that every home should feature – in one way or another! To help you master the art of the wall gallery, we’ve compiled a list of ten common wall gallery mistakes.  Dodge these decorating don’ts and you’ll be well on your way to a wall gallery that makes you – and all your guests – stop and stare.

Mistake #1: Not knowing your why.

Many people are inspired to create a wall gallery based on nothing more than the presence of an empty wall in their home; We’re all for viewing empty wall space as a blank canvas, but we encourage you to ask one important question before building your gallery: why?

Are you creating the gallery because blank wall space feels cold and unwelcoming? In that case, you may want to fill your gallery with warm and personal art like portraits and family photos.  Are you creating the gallery because blank space is boring? Consider turning the space into a flexible area where custom art can be displayed.  Does blank space detract from the aesthetic of the room? Try constructing a gallery around the room’s furniture size and color scheme.

See how a why informs the details of your gallery right from the beginning? Pin down your why and you’ll be ready to create something incredible!

Mistake #2: Not measuring before you order (or hang).

This mistake may seem obvious, but the excitement of ordering new art is a powerful thing! Don’t let your eagerness to place your order keep you from taking proper measurements beforehand.  You’ll want to know the total height and width of your gallery, as well as how much space will be left between prints.  And yes, this measuring rule means not eyeballing it when it’s time to put hangers in the wall (believe us, we’ve tried).

Mistake #3: Leaving too much space between prints.

This takes us to mistake number three: Leaving too much space between prints.  Proper measuring is the key to avoiding this mistake, but you’ll also need to know just how much space you want to leave between prints before measuring begins.

While the optimal distance will change based on the hanging space and the structure of your gallery, a general rule of thumb is to never leave more than the width of a hand between pieces.  You will also want to keep spacing consistent throughout the gallery, meaning you should leave the same distance between every piece in your gallery.

Mistake #4: Hanging your gallery in direct sunlight.

Printique art prints are made to last – and some of our products are even safe to hang outside.  But if you want to make your photo prints last for as long as possible, it’s best to avoid hanging your wall gallery in direct sunlight.  The ultraviolet rays of sunlight can slowly damage printed art over time, reducing its life expectancy over the course of years.

Mistake #5: Hanging your gallery above a heat source.

Similarly to hanging art in the sun, hanging your gallery above a heat source can make it particularly prone to damage and aging. Not only can high temperatures cause damage to your artwork over time, but even the fluctuations between cold and warm during winter months can put your art work under stress.

If you’re desperate to decorate above a heater, go for it – just don’t be surprised when your photo prints don’t go quite the same distance as artwork hanging in a different part of the house.

Mistake #6: Being afraid to mix mediums.

When you’re creating your wall gallery, don’t be afraid to mix and match print mediums.  You don’t have to limit yourself to only frames, only canvas, or only metal; You can mix and match whichever mediums best complement your artwork and each other.

We especially love to see canvas and framed prints, canvas and wood, framed prints and acrylic, or metals and acrylics.

Mistake #7: Printing art that clashes.

We’re all for mix and matching, but that doesn’t mean you should print photographs that clash or take away from one another. Not sure whether your photos work together or not? See how they’ll look hanging up on the wall before you press order by using our wall gallery wizard!

Mistake #8: Going too big (or too small).

The size of your gallery space, as well as the furniture that surrounds it, will dictate how large you want to make your gallery wall.

Our wall gallery wizard allows you to upload a photo of your gallery space and create a real life mockup. Whether you’re designing your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or living space, just snap a picture and start arranging! You’ll know exactly how big or small your favorite photos should be printed, saving you from any uh-oh moments on hanging day!

Mistake #9: Improperly hanging your art.

You’ve got your art and you’ve got your gallery measured out on the wall – now what? One of the last steps that stands between you and the gallery of your dreams is to properly hang your art. This means either using the appropriate number of hanging points (two nails instead of one on larger pieces) or following the proper mounting steps (when hanging an acrylic).

Pro tip: Use molding putty at the bottom corners of hanging art to prevent any shifting over time.

Mistake #10: Treating your gallery with too much permanence.

Printique gallery art is made to last lifetimes, which can add a lot of pressure to photo printing decisions; But we’re here to remind you that no matter how long a piece of art may last, no wall gallery is permanent.  Create something you feel excited about in the moment and know that you can always make swaps and changes down the road.  A gallery of canvas prints can become a gallery of metal prints through the years, or a black and white gallery can fill up with color over time. You can swap prints out every season, or make small changes until it’s finally completely perfect.

The moral of the story is: don’t let an idea of perfection keep you from creating anything at all!