How to Hang on Paneling

Updated February 21, 2017

Hanging artwork, photos or shelves on panelling can be a challenge, as you won't necessarily know where the studs are located. However, with a little practice you can decorate your walls in any fashion you'd like, or increase your storage with handy shelves. There are a variety of methods for hanging on panelling; follow these steps to get the job done right.

Knock on your wall and attempt to locate a stud. Most wood-panelled walls can support a picture or small shelf on their own, however, locating a stud will give you a more solid anchor, especially for heavier picture frames or shelves that may hold large objects.

Write an "X" on the wall where you intend to insert your wall anchor. Then with an awl gently tap a small hole in the centre of the "X" as a starter spot. If you are hanging a shelf, which will require two holes, be sure to measure the length between the holes on the shelf back. Then, using a level, mark a second hole in the same manner as the first.

Pre-drill a hole through your panelling and into the wall behind it. Be sure to use a drill bit that is smaller than the wall anchor itself. Then screw a common wall anchor into your panelling using a Philips head screwdriver.

Insert a screw into the anchor, which will cause the anchor backing to expand and enable it to hold a considerable amount of weight. Hang the picture or shelf from that screw.


To hide the holes left by old shelves or pictures try to insert your anchors into the grooves of the panelling if at all possible. Glue hangers can also work well on smooth panel. Be sure to clean the area well first to ensure adhesion. Then let the glue dry for at least a full day before you hang anything on it.


If the item you want to hang is very heavy you may need wall brackets, which run the entire length of the wall. You can anchor the brackets both to the ceiling and floor for the greatest amount of stability.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Awl
  • Level
  • Hand drill
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • Wall anchors
  • Wall screws
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About the Author

Steve Bradley is an educator and writer with more than 12 years of experience in both fields. He maintains a career as an English teacher, also owning and operating a resume-writing business. Bradley has experience in retail, fashion, marketing, management and fitness. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and classics.