Hanging a Picture Frame
Dry Wall versus Plaster

Hanging a picture frame in dry wall or plaster is very similar.

You can hang the heaviest of frames in either as long as you follow some simple guidelines like the ones provided below.

Drywall is not as sturdy as plaster. It's basically a gypsum core wrapped in paper.

It is much lighter than plaster though.

The heavier the frame, the more it will flex, if it isn't screwed into a stud.

Plaster on the other hand doesn't really flex since it is more or less a mortar that is spread, in layers, over lath boards and dries as a hard, thick "sheet".

This makes the wall very sturdy. 

The drawback when hanging a picture frame is that when you try to pound a nail or drive a screw into it, plaster tends to crack and crumble.

When hanging a picture on plaster, pre-drill holes before putting nails or screws into the wall.

 As always, use common sense, read the suggested weights of the hardware you choose and take the time to do it right. 



Dry Wall

  • can be hung without a stud
  • a nail and hook rated for the weight will do
  • Adhesive type hangers work well with frames weighing under 5 pounds

It is always safer to hang a picture from a stud, if possible.

Frames up to 15 Pounds

Plaster

  • can be hung without a stud
  • a nail and hook rated for the weight will do 
  • Adhesive type hangers work well with frames weighing under 5 pounds

Use painters tape to mark the pre-drill holes, and drill through the tape. This will help prevent crumbling.




Dry Wall

  • Use a screw into a stud
  • if there isn't a stud in the right location (figures!) you MUST use some type of fastener like EZ-Anchors or regular wall anchors
  • for larger frames use more than one fastener.

In most homes, studs fall every 16" on the center of the stud. If you find one just measure 16" over to find the next one.

Frames
15 - 50 pounds

Plaster

  • Use a screw into a stud
  • if there isn't a stud in the right location (figures!) you MUST use some type of fastener like EZ-Anchors or regular wall anchors
  • for larger frames use more than one fastener.

Unlike drywall, it's very difficult to locate studs in plaster without a stud finder. Its worth the cost to get one.

How to hang a picture

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May 2, 2017


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