How Do You Hang Pictures on Drywall?

Written by shawn mcclain
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How Do You Hang Pictures on Drywall?
Small pictures are perfect for hanging on drywall. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Hanging pictures is a great way to individualise a room, but if the hooks aren't installed correctly, the picture can come crashing down at any moment. The risk is especially great with drywall, as the material is not nearly as sturdy as a solid wood wall. The first preference is always to install pictures into the wood wall studs, but if that isn't possible, you can hang pictures on drywall. Install light pictures, those that are only a few pounds, on a picture hook that has a set of angled holes. Heavy pictures require a toggle bolt and a flat picture hook in order to stay on the wall.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Picture hook, angled and flat
  • Nail
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Toggle bolt
  • Screwdriver

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    Determining Picture Placement

  1. 1

    Place the picture frame against the wall where you want to hang it. Mark a small dot on the wall at the exact point of each of the top two corners of the picture.

  2. 2

    Remove the picture and place a level above the dots. Align the edge of the level with the left dot, and position the level so that it is perfectly straight. Make a new right dot, directly above or below the original right dot, but on the edge of the level. Erase the first dot.

  3. 3

    Measure the distance from the top of the picture frame to the hanger on the back of the picture frame. If the frame has a long wire, hook the end of the measuring tape on the wire and pull it towards the top of the frame, then make the measurement. If you are going to use two hooks, then make the measurement to each hook from the nearest side of the frame as well.

  4. 4

    Run your measuring tape between the two dots on the wall and mark the exact centre point. If you are using multiple hooks, then measure the required distance from each end and mark the two spots on the wall. Measure a distance down the wall from these latest marks, and place a final pencil mark, or marks, where the hooks should go.

    Hanging Light Pictures

  1. 1

    Insert a nail through the hole in the angled metal hook. The head of the nail should be on the same side of the fixture as the hook is. If your hook didn't come packaged with a nail, any nail that fits inside the hole, but has a head the will not fit inside the hole, will suffice.

  2. 2

    Place the hook against the drywall, with the bottom of the hook positioned at the mark on the wall.

  3. 3

    Hold the hook in place and drive the nail into the drywall. The nail will go in at an angle, to help keep the picture up. Repeat the process for a second hook, if necessary.

  4. 4

    Place the picture over the hanger and adjust it so that the top two corners match up with the pencil marks.

    Hanging Heavy Pictures

  1. 1

    Place a flat picture hook on the wall, with the bottom of the hook aligned with the last mark you made. Place a pencil through the hole in the hook to mark the wall for drilling.

  2. 2

    Drill a hole on the mark that is wide enough to pass your toggle bolt through.

  3. 3

    Remove the wings from the toggle bolt by unscrewing them. Slide the bolt through the hole in the metal hook, then screw the wings back into place. Squeeze the wings together and pass them through the hole in the wall.

  4. 4

    Pull out slightly on the bolt as you screw it into place. When the bolt is almost all the way in, ensure the hook is positioned correctly, then screw the bolt the rest of the way in. Repeat the process for the next hook, if necessary.

  5. 5

    Hang the picture on the hooks, and align the top two corners with the original pencil marks.

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