How to Hang a Sconce Beside a Picture

Louise Harding

Sconces held candles that were necessary for illuminating rooms before electricity was invented. Today sconces are primarily used as decorative effects. Hang a sconce beside a picture after considering the surrounding wall decorations, windows, doors and fixtures.

Sconces give out soft light in an area with no lamps, like a hallway.

Placement of a sconce around a picture involves balance and centering for the best look. Most sconces are for decoration, but if you install an electric sconce, the bottom of the sconce should be from 60 to 66 inches from the floor, with the bulb not able to be seen, advises the website Form + Function.

  1. Plan for placement of the sconce so that it is centered beside the picture. Measure the height of the picture and divide this measurement by two to locate the center measurement of the picture.

  2. Measure from the center outside edge of the picture at least 4 inches to the right or left of the picture to determine the best placement for the sconce. Mark with a pencil on the wall. Putting a little bit of space between the picture and the sconce helps to avoid a cluttered appearance. Centering and spacing give balance to the picture and sconce on the wall.

  3. Measure from the top edge of the sconce to the hanger on the back of the sconce. This is the distance between the top edge of the sconce and where you’ll place the nail or screw into the wall. Write down the measurement.

  4. Measure the length of the sconce or sconce base. Ideally you want a picture 2 or more inches longer on both the top and bottom than the sconce is long. Divide the length measurement of the sconce by two to find the center measurement of the sconce. Write down the measurement.

  5. Position the center of the sconce over the mark you made on the wall, 4 inches from the picture’s center edge. Mark on the wall with the pencil where the top of the sconce touches the wall. Set the sconce aside.

  6. Measure down according to the measurement made to indicate the top of the sconce and the hanger and mark a dark dot for the distance between the top and hanger. This is where you’ll place your nail or screw into the wall.

  7. Use a stud finder to locate the wall stud. Operate the stud finder according to the manufacturer’s recommended directions.

  8. Install a drywall anchor into the drywall if no stud is present and put the screw in or use a screw or nail to hang the sconce if you have a stud or sturdy wall.

  9. Hang the sconce by its hanger onto the screw or nail installed into the wall.