Accomplishing the Gallery Wall

Before I get into HOW I hung this gallery wall and the process behind it, let me explain a few things first.

We live in my husband’s childhood home, owned by his mother. His mother is a wonderful woman who lives with HER mother, caring for her since she had a stroke several years ago.

They’re both sweet, beautiful women with some serious artistic ability. The grandmother liked to paint, so many of our paintings in our home were done by her. Beautiful landscape pieces that I love.

They weren’t hung all at the same time, so the end result was kind of a mish-mash of fitting the finished paintings wherever they fit on the wall. I moved in three years ago and I struggled to make the home mine without trampling all over the family history in this home.

My solution: An accent wall!

I wanted to show off the paintings in a way that was my own, but that respected the art and the artist. Why does this make me emotional to write about? I just love my home and the land it’s on. My husbands parents built this home basically with their bare hands and I am so grateful to care for this property.

Maybe that’s what homemaking is to me? Maybe that’s why this is all so important.

Alright, my eyes are just watering, just allergies, nothing to see here, back to the point of the post…

The living room had only been painted once, back when they built it in the early nineties, and you could tell. Handprint smudges, nicotine staining, and for some reason, the top of the walls shaded dark by the boards behind the walls. It needed some TLC for sure.


I didn’t want to change the neutral home-y vibe of the house, so I knew the accent color had to be some kind of grey/brown/beige color. After half an hour at Lowe’s we settled on our colors and matched the original white of the other walls and bright white for the ceiling.


We priced everything out and decided to just paint the room ourselves instead of hiring people to do it, and after a few hours, I almost regretted that decision.

Make sure if you ever paint a room, that you actually like the person you paint with, because I swear if I didn’t love my husband so much I would have smothered him with the drop cloths… Not really, but I hate to sweat and get grumpy when physical activity is involved.

With the walls finally painted and dry, the next day it was time to figure out how we were going to arrange the paintings back on the wall. Here’s where it gets tricky!

We measured the area on the wall where we wanted to keep the paintings, and then used that measurement to figure out how to arrange the art. Keeping within that area, we laid the paintings down on the floor and shuffled them around until it felt right. Keeping things spaced as evenly as we could, and that the subject of the paintings flowed.


It’s a common design rule that if you’re going to have a “heavy” side of a gallery wall or the like, it’s best to keep the weight to the left. We have a book case taking up the weight of the wall on the left, so we opted to have the biggest painting above the bookcase and the smaller paintings toward the bottom right.

The test run on the actual wall, we taped up wrapping paper and moved things around a little so everything was perfect. I measured each painting and cut out wrapping paper to the size of each painting and wrote the subject of the painting on the paper so I could keep track. It’s important to remember that this wall was freshly painted so we had to find a tape that wouldn’t rip the paint off. Painters tape wouldn’t do, so I tested some washi tape on an inconspicuous spot and it came off without any problems. I found my least favorite washi tape and hung up the wrapping paper


Most of the paintings are hung by wires, so we had to measure to account for that, and marked the place we wanted to put the nails. BAM BAM! Then hubby hung them up, and it was so perfect.


I’m so happy with this wall, it really was the perfect way to turn something that had history into my own.

And was the perfect excuse for new (energy efficient) curtains!


This will hold me over as far as home improvement projects for a little while, I think. It was a lot of work!

How have you guys been? I have been busy with the holidays and stuff, I’m ready for life to return to normal!