Hanging small pictures doesn’t require a lot of skill or heavy duty hangers. But anything weighing in at more than 10 pounds, and especially more than 25 pounds, requires hefty fasteners and much more caution.
When hanging something heavy, it’s always preferable to locate a wall stud behind the sheetrock and drive a nail or screw into it. With a heavy duty fastener in a stud, even mirrors weighing more than fifty pounds can be confidently hung. If the object is wider than sixteen inches, place a fastener into two studs, proving even more security.
If tapping into a stud isn’t possible, you will need heavy duty fasteners specially made for sheetrock or plaster. Here are the types available and their strengths.
- Plastic anchors come in various sizes and strengths up to 25 pounds. You must drill a pilot hole and push the anchor in until flush with the wall, then put the screw in. The plastic sleeve expands to grab the wall.
- Screw-in anchors are made of plastic or metal. The anchor itself is mounted with a Phillips driver, then a screw is inserted into the center of the anchor. Good for up to 25 pounds.
- Molly bolts tap into the wall until flush, then the screw is turned inward until the wings expand behind the wall. The screw is then backed out partially to use for hanging. Good up to 50 pounds.
- Toggle bolts are a little more difficult to work with, but can hold up to 50 pounds. Consult a YouTube video for best results.
Before hanging your picture or mirror, gather all the tools and materials needed. A ruler or tape measure, a pencil with eraser, a level, fasteners, and a variety of screwdrivers are among the items you’ll likely need. Here is a step-by-step tutorial for a large piece of artwork.
- For artwork with a picture wire in place, use your fingers to select two points along the picture wire four to eight inches apart and lift the wire toward the top of the frame until tight. Those two points will be the width apart for your wall fasteners. Measure the distance from the wire to the top of the frame.
- Find the exact height you would like to hang the picture on the wall and draw a pencil line on the wall using the top of the frame as the marker. Next, measure the distance from that line down to the two fastening points along the wire. Mark your two points for the fasteners, and use a level to make sure they are even.
- Install your fasteners and hang the picture, adjusting side to side until level.
- If the picture has hangers already installed on the top edge or sides of the frame, mark the height at which you want to hang it. Measure the exact distance from the top of the artwork down to the hangers on the frame, then install your wall fasteners using a level to make sure they are straight.
- Stand back and admire your art and your handiwork.