Nails, screws, wall anchors — a newbie’s guide to hanging on the wall
Decorated walls are a crucial part of making your home decor look complete. Without some paintings, photographs, or other pieces of art hanging up, your otherwise comfortable and cozy space can look a little bare. But it’s one thing to know this, and another thing entirely to actually know how to do it. This is where this helpful guide comes in. Below are all the things you need to know about hanging decorations on your wall for the first time.
Know what kind of wall you have. There are three common types of walls, and each one has its own set of requirements when it comes to hanging things up. These three types are concrete (or brick), drywall, and plaster. Concrete or brick walls are the hardest, with plaster coming next. Drywall is the softest of the group, and therefore the easiest to work with, sometimes only requiring your hands to set a proper hook. The other materials will more likely require actual tools, like a hammer, nails, and screws. A power drill can be especially helpful in certain situations. Practice a little bit with these until you’ve gotten the hang of how to use them. Once you’re feeling confident, you’ll be ready to hang with the best of them.
Create a plan. It’s probably not the best idea to just start hanging things completely freeform. While it’s sometimes fun to give in to our creative sides, it makes the most sense to strategize about what will go where before putting a million little holes in the walls. Visualize what pieces will look best in the room, and then figure out the best place to hang them.
Hanging lightweight objects. When it comes time to hang a piece, assess its weight. Certain hooks can attach to the outside of the wall with an adhesive and no tools required, but they have a limit as to how much weight they can hold. Different brands will have different weight thresholds, but you probably don’t want to take a chance and use these too much. Medium weight objects can be held in place with pushable Hercules hooks, which require no tools to install, and even less know-how. A simple nail-and-hook combination can work as well.
Hanging heavier objects. No matter what your wall is made of, you’re going to want to break out the tools for those extra-heavy mirrors, large framed paintings, hooks that will support heavy winter coats, or other big pieces. If you’re hanging something like this on drywall, you need to first find a stud, which is a piece of wooden framing beneath the wall. They are typically spaced 16 inches apart from each other, and can be found either with the help of an electronic stud finder, or by knocking on the wall until you find a part that sounds solid. Start the knocking process at 16 inches from the corner, find the solid sound, then measure in increments of 16 until you get to the area where you want to hang your piece. Drill a hole in the wall at that point, installing either a screw, toggle bolt, or expansion anchor to hold the hook. Each piece of hardware has its own set of instructions, and will be highly effective for hanging if followed correctly.
With a little practice, hanging and arranging your wall decorations will become second nature!
How to Hang Things on Walls [HowStuffWorks Home & Garden]