Hanging Heavy Picture Frames
It shouldn't weigh you down

Hanging heavy picture frames or mirrors can be intimidating and even cause some anxiety. Before and after the process questions run through your head like - what if I use the wrong hardware? 

What happens if it's not anchored or screwed into a stud correctly?

Will it come crashing down and be ruined?

Worse than that - what if someone's nearby and gets hurt from broken glass

Why did I buy this thing to begin with?


It just requires some basic info and the right hanging hardware. 

For the sake of our conversation, I'm classifying "heavy" as any frame that weighs 20 pounds or more.  I recommend you double the weight limit when you pick your hardware. If your frame is 20 pounds buy hardware that will hold at least 40 pounds. 

Some may argue, but I am certain if I use a French Cleat that supports 75 pounds,  my 30 pound frame or mirror is not coming down. Period.

It's nice to have that kind of certainty.

Below are my two favorite choices for hanging heavy picture frames and mirrors 

Hanging Heavy Picture Frames with :
French Cleats or Z-bars

When you're hanging heavy picture frames or mirrors, this hardware is hard to beat.

It's a two part system typically made of aluminum or metal, but can be made of wood.

One bar attaches flush to the back of the top rail of your frame. It has an angle on the bottom that comes out toward the wall. The 2nd bar is mounted flush to the wall (in studs and or anchors) and angles out from the top towards the frame.

You simply slide the two bars together and you are done. Very simple.

The weight of the frame is distributed along the length of the metal bar. They come in varying sizes to hold from 50 pounds up to several hundred pounds. 

There are other types of hardware and solutions for hanging heavy picture frames and mirrors. Some people will swear by other methods. I recommend the French Cleat and leave it up to you to make up your own mind. 

Hanging a Heavy Picture Frame wih Anchors

If you prefer wall anchors, I recommend the E-Z Anchor. I think it's the best on the market for hanging heavy items on drywall without using a stud.

They come in different sizes that hold from 30 - 75 pounds or more.

You simply screw them into the drywall with #2 Philips head screwdriver (#2 is the most common size) until it's flush with the wall. Then screw a screw in - wow, that sounds screwy- into the anchor and you're ready to go. 

You can take them out of the wall very easily too (unlike toggle bolts or cheap plastic anchors) and have just a small hole to patch and paint. 

Always be sure, no matter what method or type of hardware you use, to follow the directions of the hardware and use common sense when hanging heavy frames.

Always mount hardware onto studs when possible and use the appropriate sized anchors when studs are not possible. 

     50 pounds

     100 pounds

     200 pounds

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Updated November 18, 2022