How to hang art on your walls

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s: How do I properly hang artwork so it doesn’t fall apart? Not with command strips, I suppose?

a: 3M Command Strips do not automatically disqualify, which are designed for easy, damage-free removal. They can be a good solution, but only if your artwork is relatively lightweight. Command picture hangers, picture shelves, and canvas picture hangers can hold about five to eight pounds, depending on the product.

Large picture hanging strips support up to 16 pounds if you use four pairs of them; However, 3M says that the frame cannot exceed 24 by 36 inches, and the wall cannot be brick, covered with wallpaper or fabric, or textured. The company also warns against using these hangers for precious or irreplaceable items or hanging artwork above the bed, which means the pieces won’t stay elevated.

If you don’t want to poke holes in your walls, this risk may appear to be acceptably low. Keep the weight of your trim by choosing lighter frame materials, such as hollow metal instead of thick wood or plexiglass instead of glass. Location He has a tool that asks for dimensions, then calculates the weight of the frame components.

If it’s not necessary to avoid making small holes in your walls, you have several other options, depending on the type of wall: a wall made of drywall or lath and plaster over wood or metal studs, or one made of concrete or masonry. You can never go wrong by attaching the artwork where the buttons are under it.

The simplest picture hangers, like the traditional picture hooks made by OOK, just clip it on. (Pre-drill if you have lath and plaster walls.) These hangers have a hook with a bracket that presses against the wall and a design that guides the nail at an angle, so it resists being pulled out by gravity. They come with ratings to hold 10 to 100 pounds and start at about $1 at Home Depot for a package of up to eight, depending on weight rating.

Keep in mind that the ratings for these and many other hangers are measured when a screw goes into a stud. Hangers will hold less in drywall alone, but what’s left is for you to guess.

To locate studs encased in drywall walls, tap on the wall to hear where a hollow sound changes to a clot, or use a stud finder. Reading on baseboard and plaster can be misleading, so if that’s what you have, look for the screws in the baseboards, which should indicate studs, or for electrical outlets, which usually have a screw next to them.

Once you locate one or two of the buttons, measure to find the other buttons; They are usually spaced 16 or 24 inches from midline to midline. To confirm the location of the bracket, drill a small hole in the plaster just above the board, where it won’t be very noticeable.

If nails aren’t where you want to hang your artwork, one option is a hanger designed to press drywall from the front and back. Hillman, which owns OOK, makes one of these screwless picture hangers that are rated as holding up to 200 pounds ($6.48 at Amazon). The hanger has a flat washer and tab that fits into a hole in the drywall and curves upwards to compress the back.

Another option is 3M’s Claw Drywall Picture Hanger, which comes in designs rated to hold 15, 25, or 45 pounds ($4.18 to $5.37 at Home Depot). The “claws” are prongs designed to press into drywall with manual pressure alone, with no nail required.

To hang heavy artwork between studs, install an anchor in drywall or plaster and line your choice of picture hangers to the anchor. Self-tapping drywall anchors made of metal or plastic have threads that are large and relatively rough on the outside, which allows them to hold reasonably well, even on crumbly gypsum. Since the anchors are self-tapping, they usually don’t even need to be pre-drilled, although a ⅛-inch starting hole helps if you’re going through thick paint or wallpaper.

Screw the anchor into the wall so the face flushes with the wall, then thread a smaller screw (included in the package) through a hook to secure your art, and tighten this screw into the center of the anchor. The anchor will rip out behind the drywall, holding the anchor in place. One example, the EZ Ancor Twist-N-Lock Anchor ($1.98 for four at Home Depot), holds up to 75 pounds of artwork. The EZ Ancor drywall switch anchors ($2.98 for two at Home Depot) are also self-tapping but can hold up to 100 pounds, because the outer casing is metal and the part that presses against the back of the drywall is larger.

For particularly heavy loads, or for fastening to lath and plaster walls, use real anchor bolts, which have a central stud and wings that fold down to enter through a hole in the wall and open to press tightly against the back of the wall. drywall or chipboard;

Installing switch screws can be frustrating; If you don’t pull the latch head so the wings are pressing against the back of the drywall while you tighten the bolt, the wings only rotate behind the wall. The head of the latch is difficult to hold, so thread it through the picture hook first, then pull the hook out from the wall while tightening the screw.

For masonry, pre-make holes and use plastic-sleeved anchors, which press into the brick or block and hold the central screw in place. anchor bolts are another option for walls made of hollow concrete blocks; However, get screws long enough to hold the folded wings down so that they are deep enough inside the block to open.

With any anchor or toggle stud, you can double the capacity by installing two anchors and running picture wire over each one. EZ Ancor recommends two feet apart on drywall.

There are also stabilizers for special cases. Interlocking straps known as French cleats are ideal for hanging open-back artwork, without hanging hardware. Attach one piece to the wall and the mating piece to the frame, then lower the frame piece to an edge on the wall section. Metal cleats, like the OOK French Picture Hanging Kit ($11.68 at Home Depot), come with coarse-threaded screws that work into drywall. If you choose wooden cleats, use an appropriate type of anchor to attach the wall section to the wall.

Do you have a problem in your home? Send questions to [email protected]. Put “How To” in the subject line, tell us where you live and try to include a photo.

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