Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Picture Rail for the Home Gallery

One thing neither Beth nor I have ever had much shortage of is a collection of photography and art to be displayed around the home, and since I took up bird and nature photography seriously in 2006, we've run more a wall shortage and picture surplus rather than the other way around.

Credit Beth for the idea of picture rail; she suggested a "gallery" system where photos hang from some sort of bracket or strip on the walls and can be easily adjusted or moved around.  Having done moulding installation before--my townhome had several walls with chair rail--I took her idea and interpreted it as classical-style "picture rail," or a strip of special moulding that goes about a foot below the room's ceiling and from which photos hang by means of a special hook that goes over the moulding's curved profile.

(We both had some misconceptions about said moulding--Beth had envisioned a more modern strip, and I had thought it meant nailing hooks up along its length, vs. the curved moulding hooks which are actually used.)

I've gotten the picture rail installed on several walls in the living room now as well as down the hallway.  Please excuse the clutter in the photo above; it should, however, give you an idea of how the picture rail looks and is used to display photography and artwork: here, several of my bird photos.  The rail still needs to be stained (and the nail holes puttied over, of course), but as yet, I'm debating what color to stain it.  Originally, a dark mahogany seemed best, contrasting with the lighter walls and going well with the dark curtain rods and hardware; with the bare pine in place, though, a lighter color doesn't seem such a bad choice, either.


Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. I had my husband install 2 rows of molding, but now I am stuck looking for a proper hook style for each picture frame. I had taken the idea from a small picture in a magazine, but I can't find it for reference. I surfed the web and found your blog. What brand of hooks did you use?

John Nolley II said...


Sorry for the delay in responding. The brand of hook I used was "Moore," I believe; I purchased them from Plaza Art Supply in Fairfax, VA:

I didn't find any on their Web site, but you could call and ask about "Brass Molding Hooks." I unfortunately threw away the packaging material just last week, or I'd be able to tell you for certain which brand they were.

The lumber store from which I bought the picture rail itself also had molding hooks, though of a different brand: (again, I don't think they're listed on the Web site, but you could call their store and inquire).

Good luck!

John Nolley II said...

No luck at Plaza; I stopped by their Fairfax store on Friday evening and found that they're still out of stock for the brass molding hooks I had bought before. However, I did find somewhere online which has the style I used (under "Secure Brass-Plated Picture Rail Hook"):