Is Metal Wall Art Tacky? (It’s Not What You Think)


If you get immediately inspired when seeing some beautiful metal wall art, you are not the only one. There are limitless motifs, shapes, sizes, and designs available to be purchased online and in-store. On the downside, all this huge choice can make your head spin, and you may be wondering whether the metal wall art you’re about to buy looks tacky.


Whether metal wall art is viewed as tacky depends on many factors, such as properly coordinating it with the surrounding décor, correct sizing, or being consistent in style or motif. Choosing metal art that is possibly tacky can also be related to someone’s personal taste, education, and interest in fine arts.


Humans have immensely enjoyed decorating the walls of their dwellings for centuries. To this day, you can observe the multitude of cave paintings and Egyptian hieroglyphs that have existed for thousands of years.

Despite the fact that the wall decorations used to serve more than an aesthetic purpose, many scientists believe that the paintings were meant to tell a story and communicate a message. Other theories claimed that they existed for the purpose of a ceremony.

In modern times, wall décor simply serves for appearance without any particular hidden message or meaning. A large percentage of this classification of the wall art comes in the form of metal.



Before we dig deep into what metal wall art is, whether it’s tacky, and why you should choose to hang it on your walls, we must first explain what makes the art tacky.


What Makes Art Tacky?

Tacky art is a common feature of posh shopping malls, hotels, gift shops, duty-free airport arcades, or casinos. It is designed to appeal to uncultivated or popular taste due to the fact that it is excessively sentimental or gaudy.

Tacky art is considered fake, in poor taste, and without style. Although many of us actually enjoy the artworks because of their humorous design, others insist that they are ugly and tasteless.

Often termed as “kitsch”, this type of art is a direct implication that the piece serves a purely decorative purpose that in no way represents any meaningful artistic merit.

These days, the world is saturated with cheap-looking products due to mass production, capitalism, and the industrial revolution. This is further worsened by a lack of interest in fine arts.

Currently, the distinction between fine art and kitsch (or tacky art) has become very blurred, with a fine line between these two forms. To able to properly distinguish fine art from kitsch, you need to be savvy and educated. But after all, if you like this type of artwork, there’s nothing stopping you from buying it.



What Is Metal Wall Art and Why Choose It?

Metal art pieces are being created for both aesthetic and practical purposes. These are primarily ornamental, functional, or décor items.

As the term suggests, metal wall art is a decoration hanging on the wall, and it is made from metal. Whether it’s a metal wall plaque, a sign, or even a clock, this type of artwork is an original way to make a statement in your home.

Today, there has been an increased interest in metal art, especially for the purposes of ornamentation and décor. The aesthetics and texture of metal artworks can be captivating. Now more than ever, interior designers make use of metal decorations, such as sculptures, wrought iron furniture, decorative hardware, ornamental décor pieces, and statues.

Such artworks can be made from materials including iron, tin, copper, brass, lead, bronze, silver, and gold. Metal’s resilience and its malleable nature have made it into one of the best materials to design arts and crafts with.

Of every metal to exist, iron is considered to be widespread the most in the environment. All iron art items are prone to rust when exposed to water, damp air, or moisture. But it can be prevented by coating the items with non-oxidizing materials like brass, zinc, or tin.

Various art pieces are made of iron, such as personal ornaments, kitchen pots and utensils, garden sculptures, drinking vessels, the ornamentation of weaponry, horse tack, and other functional items.

From large sculptures to tiny decorative pieces, all the different forms of iron artwork are made from either cast iron, steel or stainless steel, or wrought iron.

Tin is commonly implemented for plaques, hanging ornaments, wall signs, decorative badges, ornate vases, foil art, figural sculptures, water vessels, or candlesticks. In all forms, tin has been utilized for recycled art with many of the greatest creations in the form of bottle tops, food cans, and sweet tins. Due to the fact that it’s malleable and light, tin is inexpensive and readily available.

Copper is another widely used material for metal artwork. This superior metal is used for both industrial and decorative arts. Different nations highly utilize copper to craft statues, décor items, coins, weapons, hardware appliances, or household items. It’s being praised for its strength, workability, durability, and ease of molding into any desired form or shape.



Iron, tin, and copper are just three metals that are mostly used to create wall art. Metal art is greatly valued for the craftsmanship and designs.

Metal art has a kind of a special sparkle to it that cannot be found in any other form of art. It has a physical presence, intense texture with two dimensions, and even shades. Metal art fits very well with rustic interiors, more industrial and functional spaces, and even modern designs that combine different styles. Therefore, it should be a part of every home’s décor.


Is Metal Wall Art Tacky?

Adorning walls with tastefully selected metal decorations is a great way to add energy to a home. However, this must be done in a stylish way. Then, the art will become attention-grabbing and awe-inspiring for anyone who enters the room.

Metal art, like all forms of décor, can be considered tacky based on the way it clashes with the surrounding environment. Walls can easily become cluttered with too many metal art pieces. Plastering all your walls with them will not create the best visual effect. The uniqueness of the original art piece will start to fade. Using the same kind of decoration repeatedly in the same room will bring the overall look of the room down. In such a sense, less is more.

Make sure to maintain some kind of consistent style or motif in the room. Too much variety in décor might be confusing and look tasteless.

For example, metal wall art that contains some text, or inspiring and motivating quotes, would look disagreeable if you have a lot of other wall hangings that don’t go with each other.

So, if you hang up a scripture quote, a neon sign, a death metal print, a framed movie poster, a unicorn photo, and an old cuckoo clock, all in the same room, it’s all going to look out-of-place. None of the decorations work together.

We can be sometimes tempted to do a little too much for our décor, and that breaks the rules of good taste. Having all this in mind, your metal wall art is definitely going to look tacky.



Why Is It Important to Coordinate Metal Wall Art and How to Do It?

Generally speaking, art becomes tacky when it loses the uniqueness of the original piece and is lined across the interior with identical pieces. For every wall in a room, there is a particular space in which art could be mounted. And this can change relative to the furniture present in the room.

For instance, if a sofa is placed in front of a wall, the majority of the artwork is going to look best when centered above the couch, and more or less within an equal distance between the ceiling and sofa. Placing it too high often creates an imbalance in the look while leaving the sofa appearing too small. On the contrary, hanging it too low will make it appear like the room is closing in.

An additional important factor for coordinating metal wall art includes size. You need to relate your wall art size to the wall size. Choose small items for narrow walls and bigger ones for larger walls. So, if you hang a work of art on a wall that is too small, it is immediately noticeable. And the same applies to pieces that are too big. The artwork over a piece of furniture should not be longer than the width of the furniture.

As a rule of thumb, wall art should fill the room space adequately and not leave it wanting for decorating it even more. In the case that the wall art is small, you should consider grouping it with multiple pieces to create a unifying composition.



Metal wall artwork can provide the necessary framework that’s required in decorating and designing a space. It is still possible to make a metal wall art pieces work for you and add a touch of class and elegance to your home by mixing different metals together.

When you pair a beautiful metal wall art with a mirror, it won’t just reflect the art. But it will also make the entire room feel much larger and more open. A mirror complements a metal art perfectly, particularly when it features a metal frame!

Keep it simple by mounting only a single large piece on the wall. Not only will it make a style statement but it will also bring focus and help prevent a cluttered look.

Large walls or high ceilings require using large art pieces, or small similar-looking items arranged together in a grouping or a collection. Hanging long items or groupings in a horizontal line tends to give the illusion of width in a narrow room. On the other hand, tall signs or groupings mounted in a vertical line optically add height to a room.

It’s good to use wall pieces that have different dimensions or shapes. Choose the main piece that inspires you, and use its theme and color as a guide and foundation for other décor elements.

To create a refined look in the room, place decorative objects, like plants or books, between the works of art hanging on the wall.

Lastly, wall art should be hung so that the center point of the artwork or collection of art pieces is at about eye level for the average-height person.





How to Choose the Right Size Metal Wall Art?

When deciding on the correct size for your metal wall art, it is essential to follow the formula of width as a general guideline, which states:

[width of the wall] x 0.57 = [ideal artwork width]

When working with a collection or grouping of art, you should also utilize this formula to get the ideal width for your wall art pieces, including a 2-3 inch gap between the frames.

The same formula can also be applied when selecting the right height for a piece that is vertically oriented. The overall area should cover anywhere between 66% and 75% of the open wall space.

If in doubt, it’s better to choose a bigger work of art. A slightly larger one will always be better than one that is too small, making the walls look bare.


Where to Hang Metal Wall Art?

Metal wall art is not only suitable for the gallery wall but for any other space at home. For example, a metal wall sculpture of a stag’s head can be quite an unusual addition to a hallway. A metal wall work of art or wall sign with a motivational slogan could match a modern bathroom perfectly.

There are different sizes of metal wall art, from the smallest ones to oversize. Mini wall art pieces can be used alone or as part of a collection. Small pieces can be hung in rooms that don’t have much wall space, e.g. a bathroom. Medium art ranges are well-suited for the personalization of a foyer or home office. A large art item will create a classic and polished look when placed just by itself.

Oversized wall art items are able to stand alone as a wall’s or room’s sole focal point. It’s highly recommended to measure a wall before installing any oversized art due to its natural ability to overwhelm small spaces.


How to Hang Metal Wall Art?

Installing a piece of metal wall art is a task that requires carefulness. You must ensure the tool holding the metal item to the wall is able to sustain the item’s weight.

Since metal wall art is usually heavier than other types of wall artwork, it’s recommended to mount the piece in a safe location with a stud that is marked by pencil. Hanging the art directly on plaster or drywall could lead to tears and other damages.

Install the stud and slide the metal frame onto it. To get the piece hung in the exact location, you need to determine how low the wire or hook is located on the back of the artwork. Using a drill or screwdriver, simply secure the screw far enough to go through the stud, with enough length still left for the hanger or hook to rest comfortably.


What to Use to Hang Metal Wall Art?

You may choose from a large selection of hanging hardware for mounting metal wall art. Sawtooth bars or picture wires serve well for this purpose.

Other ideas for hanging a metal wall art, include:

Nails or screws, most common and easy practice for mounting items on the wall;

Magnetic hanging tools, for a clean and discrete mounting. The magnets are powerful enough to handle a lot of metal weight;

Velcro hanging strips, to avoid any damages or sticky residues on drywalls;

Clutter-free hanging wire, barely noticeable, long-lasting, and able to support a lot of weight. They create the illusion that the artwork is floating in the air;

Wreath hanging hardware, a hassle-free and affordable, suitable even for the heaviest of metal wall hangings;

Standoff hardware, for securing the item into the mounting hardware without drilling, and projecting the art from the wall which provides an attractive 3D design that adds to the uniqueness of the metal art.


Final Thoughts,

Metal wall art is only considered tacky when its placement fails to take into account the rest of the surrounding environment including furniture and other elements of décor. It is critical to also leave blank wall space, and have a range of decorations that serve to complement the artwork (but not copy it) in the presentation.