How to Install a Hidden Wall Safe

Written by emily patterson
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How to Install a Hidden Wall Safe
Protect small valuable items with a hidden wall safe. (safe image by Hao Wang from

A hidden wall safe can be installed in any concealable location. Behind wall hangings, such as pictures or paintings, may be the first place that comes to mind. However, inside closets and behind bookshelves are also good locations to install a hidden wall safe. Installation is relatively easy and no special expensive tools are required for the project.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nail
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Drywall saw
  • Drill with screwdriver bit or screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Measure the dimensions of the outside of the back of the wall safe.

  2. 2

    Tap the wall with a hammer until you hear a solid, rather than hollow, sound to locate the wall studs. Mark the estimated location on the wall. Use a small finishing nail to find the edges of the stud by hammering in the finishing nail to find the end of the open space between studs. The finishing nail will move freely where there is an open area but will encounter resistance where there is a stud. Mark the location of the stud on each side of the planned area.

  3. 3

    Place a level between the studs to draw with a pencil a line where you would like to position the top of the wall safe. Measure the distance from the top line to the bottom line, using the measurement of the height of the back of the hidden wall safe. Place the edge of a level on this line and draw a line across with a pencil.

  4. 4

    Mark the location for the inside edges of the studs on each side of the opening planned for the wall safe, using the marks made by the finishing nail as a guide. Align the level with the edges of the opening and connect the top and bottom lines for the opening to be cut out for placement of the safe.

  5. 5

    Cut the drywall along the lines made for the opening with a drywall saw. Remove the piece of drywall.

  6. 6

    Place the wall safe in position in the opening. Secure to the studs on each side by installing screws through the inside of the wall safe. Use a drill or screwdriver to secure the screws.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose an unusual location for the best hiding place for a hidden wall safe.
  • Make sure there are no wires or plumbing in the area where you want to install the safe. If in doubt, turn off electricity to the planned area from the breaker box and turn off the water to potential plumbing that may be run in the wall where you are installing the safe.
  • If in doubt about electrical lines in the area, use the drywall saw on an angle to keep the cut shallow to reduce the risk of cutting through an unexpected electrical line.

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