How to hang a picture

In partnership with Pip Perigoe Designs

Getting pictures hanging on the walls can make a house look instantly more homely. It’s good to know what to look out for before you start peppering your walls with nails that just refuse to go in. Here are a few useful tips and things to note, before you get started…

What type of wall are you working with?

The first thing is to simply check out what type of wall you want to hang the pictures on. Do this by tapping it. Is it solid? or is it hollow? You can bang into either types but the type of wall will determine what nail/wall plug you’ll need to use

Any obstacles?

Most importantly you’ll need to check for light switches and plug sockets and do this on both sides of internal walls. Do not attempt to hang anything above or below an electrical supply. If in any doubt contact an approved electrician.

What to do if you have a solid wall…
(rawl plugs necessary)

Solid walls generally require for you to drill a hole first. These are ones made of brick or concrete blocks and are normally found on the outside walls of the building. You will never be able to bang a nail into these types of walls, you’ll need to drill a hole and insert a rawl plug first.

Toolstation<- These are rawl plug. Image credit: Toolstation

The rawl plug is then inserted flush to the drilled hole and then a hook or a screw with a big head (so the picture wire won’t slip off once hung) is screwed into the rawl plug to create a firm hanging.
Simple straight forward rawl plugs come generally in three different sizes; yellow smallest, red medium and brown largest.

For hanging all but the heaviest pictures stick with the red ones, they are 5.5mil in size and you will therefore need a 5.5mil drill bit to fit in your drill to make your hole for the raw plug.

The rawl plug works by having little prongs that as you screw, forces the prongs to grip the inside of the wall. It is therefore important to make sure you push the rawl plug fully in so that it is flush with the wall. If it pokes out you will need to drill a slightly deeper hole and try again to get it flush. Sometimes this takes a little tap with the hammer.

You can buy rawl plugs at any DIY store.

What to do if you wall is hollow…

Your walls, particularly the internal walls, may well be hollow and covered in plastered board. It may be possible to hammer in a plastic hook or a standard picture hook with just a small hammer.

The plastic hooks typically come in small or large size and can be a very simple way to hang pictures. They have several very small flat pins and as you hammer into position, the pins slide into the wall.

If the wall is particularly hard or has only a thin layer of plaster this may not hold firm as the pins are very short. It’s worth bearing in mind the shape of the hook, you don’t want it to be visable once the picture is up.

<- These are picture hanging hooks that can be used in plaster board. Image credit: Toolstation

<- These light easyfix hooks can also be used for hanging pictures. Image credit: Screwfix

Take care when hammering in as its easy to hit the hook and snap it off… then you’ll be back to square one.