How to
Hang a Mirror

Whether you’re using it for practical or decorative purposes, it's always a good idea to properly hang your mirror to ensure your beautiful new piece doesn’t get damaged during or after installation. Placement is an important factor in the process, but it’s just the first step. Make sure the wall you choose for your new mirror faces something you want to see reflected. Take a few minutes before you install to think about placement.

After deciding the general area where you’d like to place your mirror, locate the hanging hardware that came with your Pottery Barn mirror and gather the following tools: stud finder, tape measure, level, pencil with eraser and Phillips-head screwdriver – or drill fitted with a Phillips-head bit. You’ll also want to have a helper to ensure you can lift and hold the mirror without the risk of dropping it. This is the case for mirrors of all shapes and sizes – if you can’t hold the mirror steady with one hand, you need another person to help.

Keep your pencil on hand until you’re ready to start using your hardware – you’ll need the pencil to make several marks on your wall to ensure correct placement. It’s important that you choose a pencil that can both stand out against your wall and can be easily be erased so it doesn’t leave an unsightly smudge on your paint or wallpaper. If you have dark walls, you may want to use white chalk to mark the wall instead of a graphite pencil. You can use a damp cloth to wipe away the chalk after you’re done.

Have your helper assist you in lifting the mirror up to the wall where you are thinking about installation. Once you’ve decided on height and orientation, place the mirror in the desired location against the wall. Have your helper hold one side and use your non-dominant hand to hold the other against the wall as you use the pencil to make a light, short mark across the top of the mirror that shows up against your wall paint. This will serve as your height guide to help make installation easier.

Next, you and your helper should flip the mirror around so the hanging brackets on the back are visible. Hold the mirror against the wall again, making sure to line the top up with the mark you made earlier. Use your pencil to make a small mark on each side of the mirror that’s even with the hanging brackets. Make sure your marks are even and level with each other by using your level and, if the level isn’t long enough to reach, your tape measure. You can also measure the distance from each side mark to the floor and compare the two to make sure they’re equal. The further apart they are, the more uneven your mirror’s final installation will be.

Once those marks are even, measure the distance between the two rings or hanging brackets on the back of the mirror. Hold your tape measure even with the side marks you made and make an insertion mark on the wall where the top of each hanging ring or bracket should go. Measure those two insertion marks once again to make sure they’re even with each other.

As a shortcut, you can simply use a piece of masking or painter’s tape across the back of the mirror to measure the distance between the two brackets. Make a mark on the tape and then place it on the wall, making your insertion marks there.

After you’ve made your insertion marks, you’ll want to use your stud finder to see if those marks are over a stud or just drywall alone. Check each insertion mark because it is possible that one could be over a stud while the other isn’t. Use your screwdriver or drill to drive in the appropriate provided hardware. Insertion marks over studs take stud screws, and those that are not over studs take drywall anchors or toggles. Screw the anchor or toggle all the way into the wall so its top edge is flush with the wall. Then insert the provided screws into the anchor, taking care to leave some space for the decorative mirror’s hanging hardware to rest on the screw. Similarly, do not screw the stud screws in all the way so they are flush with the wall.

Now, you and your helper can hang the mirror. Hold the rings or brackets on the mirror over your screws and gently lower the mirror. Don’t let go until you and your helper are both certain the mirror is hanging securely. You can use the level to do a final check and make sure the mirror is installed evenly. Remember this hanging technique to use for future wall decor pieces.