top of page

A Quick Guide to Picture Rails

What is a Picture Rail?

A picture rail is not just a decorative moulding, it has a very specific purpose and, just as the name suggests, it is used to hang pictures from. It is a great alternative to drilling holes in the wall and it makes moving pictures very simple. To move the picture left or right, you simply move the hook along the picture rail and if you'd like it to be higher or lower, you can adjust the chain at the back of the picture.

Pictures hung from a wooden picture rail with picture hooks in the beautiful living room of @_banks_ave on Instagram

During the Georgian period, the most fashionable interior walls were divided horizontally into three parts, reflecting the proportions of a classic column and traditionally, we think of a picture rail as a thin wooden moulding below the cornice from where pictures were hung.

Here the picture rail was fitted much higher on the wall so that it looks as if it is part of the cornice. Image source: Shelterness

However, if you do not have a wooden rail, the brass picture rail is a great alternative. A selection of pictures can be hung from a picture rail system using chains.

A perfect example of a brass picture rail system in the beautiful sitting room of

It is important to consider the weight of your pictures

so that the correct size chain can be chosen.

Image source: Collier Webb

Brass picture rail system with picture light from Collier Webb.

Image source: Collier Webb

In this colourful sitting room the wooden picture rail and frieze were painted the same colour as the walls which minimises its visual impact, but adds subtle

detail without drawing the eye to it straightaway.

Sitting room designed by Sean Symington @seansymington

Viennese Drawing Room

In this painting, A Viennese Drawing Room by Johann Nepomuk Ender c. 1820, the pictures were hung with single cords from studs in the frieze.

Image source: Pinterest

Brass picture rails and accessories from Collier and Webb are available in a wide range of standard and custom hardware in finishes to suit any décor. You can follow them on Instagram @collierwebb

Megan Pflug at One Kings Lane created this gallery

wall using S shaped picture rail hooks and

decorative craft wire. Read the post here.

Image source: One Kings Lane

Here she used brass French gallery rods to hang a

collection of paintings and photographs.

Read the post here.

Image source: One Kings Lane

Collection of picture hooks.


bottom of page