How to hang art on notoriously-difficult plaster walls
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:
- A drill
- A bit slightly larger than the nail/screw
- Screws/nails (Nails will do. Screws are better.)
- A stud finder. Yes! You need to find the stud. You may also be able to find your studs using a homemade stud finder.
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: