How to Nail Into a Wall for Hanging Pictures

Updated February 21, 2017

When hanging pictures on a wall, it's necessary to find the wall stud to hold the items properly. Nails hold pictures securely when hammered into a wall stud instead of only drywall. Hammering a nail into drywall not only does little to hold the picture in place, it may end with a chunk of drywall ripped out as the picture falls to the floor. After locating a wall stud, determine the correct nail size for the picture you want to hang.

Glide a stud finder slowly over the wall area. The stud finder emits a sound or light when it crosses over the wall stud. If you do not have a stud finder, use a bright flashlight, or remove the lampshade from a small lamp. Turn on the lamp or flashlight and hold it 1 foot from the wall. Look for drywall tape or nails that cover the wall studs. Mark the stud's area with a pencil.

Place a nail over the marked area. Angle the nail so the head tips slightly up.

Tap the nail head gently with a hammer. Drive the nail 3/4 of the way into the wall stud, allowing a portion of the nail to stick out.

Hang the picture on the nail head, centring it on the wall.


Use thick nails for heavier pictures so they don't fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Lamp or flashlight
  • Nails
  • Hammer
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.