How to hang a picture without losing your deposit

By on Jan 19th

Photo by Kevin Dooley. Remixed under Creative Commons license.

Let's Learn a Thing today! I hear a lot of comments on Offbeat Home about the difficulty people have with hanging things, so I'mma put on my Housewife hat and lay it all out for you:

How to hang art on notoriously-difficult plaster walls

OR

How to break the rules of your lease the smart way. (If you do it right, no one will know!)

HELP I live in a plaster cage of sadness!

You can hang smaller frames with just a nail — I, personally, have had luck hanging paintings on 2×2 panels of wood — about six pounds — on two nails. If you want to be on the safe side use them with picture hangers — this helps to spread the weight of the picture out across the plaster and reduces the chance you'll wake up one morning and find a sad crumple of priceless artwork and plaster on the floor. I think it's a good idea to test nails in your plaster in an inconspicuous spot like the inside of a closet. In shoddier buildings, I've had whole chunks of plaster come out when I tap a nail in — but the plaster walls in my house take small nails like a champ.

Plaster can chip with the weight of a heavier frame or mirror, especially if it gets nudged and the nail shifts. To hang something large, you'll need:

Pre-drill a hole into the stud at a downward angle. Drive in the screw, and hang the picture!

By doing it this way, you'll find it easy to repair the walls when you move out. For a large bore left behind by a screw, use spackling paste. You need to patch nail holes left in plaster OR drywall? WHA-BAM:

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About Cat Rocketship

I was the Managing Editor of Offbeat Home for a year and a half. I have a rich Internet life and also a pretty good real life. Hobbies include D&D, Twitter, and working on making our household more self-reliant. I also draw things.