If your walls are lined with plasterboard, the weight of the object you’re hanging will determine how you secure it. The heaviest paintings should be hung from hooks fastened directly to the studs, while toggles and other plasterboard anchors can be used for lighter pictures.
The simple way to deal with masonry walls is to use a hammer drill to bore a hole for a plastic wall plug, then wind in a screw hook. And if you’re renting, don’t despair! There are entire product lines designed to let you put up pictures anywhere you wish, without leaving a trace once it’s time to move out!
Hanging from studs
The surest way to attach anything to a plasterboard wall is to find a stud and secure the fastener into that. Residential plasterboard is normally 10mm thick, so choose a suitably long screw hook to ensure adequate penetration into the stud.
Never hang a picture from a nail hammered into plasterboard! Instead, use brass hooks which have channels for matching nails, and tap those in to hang your picture. There is a wide variety of hooks available to support items weighing as much as 25kg or more.
Threaded plasterboard anchors
Frequently called WallMates, which is the trademark of a popular variety, these resemble oversized screws, and can be wound directly into plasterboard. They even drill their own pilot hole, and once they’re in the wall, simply wind screws or hooks into them to hang your picture. They can be removed just as easily by unscrewing them out of the wall again.
To install a toggle hook, drill a clearance hole through the plasterboard according to the instructions on the packaging. Then simply fold up the toggle mechanism, push it into the hole and allow it to spring or drop open. Wind in the hook until the toggle is pulled tight against the back of the plasterboard.
Plastic wall plugs
You will need a drill with a hammer function, as well as a masonry drill bit, to bore a hole into brickwork. Once you’ve made the hole, though, it’s a simple matter of tapping in a plastic wall plug and screwing a hook into it. These are often sold as a set, and the weight of picture they are rated for is clearly marked on the packaging.
Hanging pictures is easy, all you need is the right type of hook for your wall, and a few minutes’ work with a drill, so why not have a go yourself?