Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

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protagonist
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Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by protagonist » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:23 pm

The house is 130 years old, and I have tried all the obvious solutions with varying results. Anchors with screws sometimes work and sometimes don't....the plaster sometimes crumbles upon drilling and hammering in the anchors.

I was never very adept at stud-finding either. I guess the electronic stud finders take the guesswork out of it, but the studs never seem to be in the locations where I want to hang pictures anyway.

What is the most fool-proof solution for hanging pictures anywhere I want and protecting my walls? I hang some fairly heavy pictures.

I actually used something called Monkey Hooks to hang one fairly large painting (I would guess maybe 20-30 lb?) upon recommendation of the guy at the frame shop who sold them to me, with very good results. I later researched them and found that they are made for drywall, not plaster, but they seem to work well in this one instance and leave only a tiny hole. http://www.amazon.com/Monkey-Hook/dp/B000BM4Q3Y
Last edited by protagonist on Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.

retiredjg
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by retiredjg » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:30 pm

Some of those old houses have a wooden molding around the top of the wall. The picture hanging wires are just very long.

user5027
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by user5027 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:43 pm

We have good luck with 3M Command on painted drywall. FAQ say's they work on painted plaster.

3M Command

adamthesmythe
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:04 pm

I use a small drill, slightly smaller than the nail for a hanger; drill a hole angled downwards; hammer anchor in gently. Usually works fine.

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saltycaper
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by saltycaper » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:57 pm

Depends what's behind the plaster. If you have a good lathe system behind it, try Hillman Wall Dog anchors. Very simple to use, though I would drill a pilot hole perhaps 5/32, or 3/16 if you're careful not to make it any larger. If the plaster is directly applied to masonry, Wall Dogs might work for relatively softer materials like block, but a concrete screw like a Tapcon might be needed for harder materials. Hammer drill highly recommended for masonry, and sometimes required. I have had to experiment with different types of screws, as plaster thickness, lathe, and masonry material can differ even within the same building.
"I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said." --Alan Greenspan

fortfun
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by fortfun » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:02 pm

We've had good luck with these ooks:
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/p ... oCEsbw_wcB

wvmtnbkr
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by wvmtnbkr » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:29 am

adamthesmythe wrote:I use a small drill, slightly smaller than the nail for a hanger; drill a hole angled downwards; hammer anchor in gently. Usually works fine.


I'll second this method. My first house was approximately 100yrs old and had the old "horsehair" plaster. While it was well-constructed, there was no consistency to the thickness of the plaster throughout the home. I would mark the spot for the nail/hanger, place masking tape around that area, then with a very small bit I would cautiously drill a hole as described above. Patience is key; you don't want to rush and potentially crack the plaster or break the bit off in the wall. I used a high-quality bit for drilling in ceramic, too. The plaster immediately ruined any other bit.

Also, with my old house, a stud-finder was essentially useless due to the plaster thickness/composition. I discovered (when I gutted and remodeled the kitchen) that the studs where on an odd spacing (like 13 1/4" centers), but were custom-hewn 3" thick chestnut! They certainly don't build them like that, anymore!

Stephen

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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by NoVa Lurker » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:36 am

wvmtnbkr wrote:
adamthesmythe wrote:I use a small drill, slightly smaller than the nail for a hanger; drill a hole angled downwards; hammer anchor in gently. Usually works fine.


I'll second this method.


We do the same for hanging light stuff (mostly unframed canvas prints) on the plaster walls in the "old part" of our house (built in 1947), except we don't hammer the anchor in. I just drill a very narrow hole downward, then push in the anchor nail with my thumb. Even using a hammer gently can cause our plaster to crack and crumble.

I might try those Monkey Hooks for something in the future - first I've heard of them!

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by TheOscarGuy » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:37 am

http://www.homedepot.com/p/OOK-Professi ... /100039637

This is what we use for heavy artwork as well as pictures. I can not recommend enough.

JDot
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by JDot » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:03 am

I have little useful to add... only that our home was built in 1923 and I was charged with hanging custom made drapes and curtains from India. I purchased the special broad plastic screws (?) which allow real screws to be drilled into the plastic ones. (similar to drywall) But these were specifically designed for plaster and I purchased them at Lowe's. I had mixed results. I hope these increase the value of the home because I doubt I'll be taking them with us. (only partially because they were custom) I do not envy you.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:27 am

> special broad plastic screws (?)

Those are called anchors. There are many kinds available. My personal favorite are the color-coded ones available in many diameters.

Yes, mixed results is consistent with my experience. For heavier things like curtains or shades you have no other choice. You may need to try different size drills- possibly not the recommended size. Also sometimes shimming with paper or wood slivers helps. Fortunately unsuccessful holes are easily filled.

What you learn is that hanging things is not always straightforward and that it is best to do it once and leave it alone.

magicrat
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by magicrat » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:36 am

I have a similar situation and second the recommendation for Ooks. I use those for about 80% of my hangings. I have some areas where the plaster is thin and right on top of brick and the Ooks won't go in. For those areas, I use these http://www.amazon.com/Mintcraft-PH-1211 ... re+hangers

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lthenderson
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by lthenderson » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:44 am

I've always used snap toggle bolts. Especially if their is lathe behind the plaster, they will hold the heaviest picture I've ever hung.

http://www.amazon.com/Toggler-Snaptoggl ... gle+anchor

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IrvingJackson
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Re: Best system for hanging pictures on plaster walls

Post by IrvingJackson » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:42 am

I have a love-hate relationship with my plaster walls. When hanging anything heavy, I either screw directly into the studs or use Tapcon screws into the brick behind the plaster. Stud finders do not find the studs, so I knock on the wall and listen for them, then confirm location with a small pilot hole.

If the studs are not located where I need them, I screw a thin (< 1") strip of wood or mdf across two studs, and then attach what I am trying to hang to the wood. Usually I can do this so that the strip is hidden behind the frame.

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daveatca
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Best system

Post by daveatca » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:53 am

My friend has a 1936 house with plaster walls and lots of art.
He uses http://www.systematicart.com
Also look at http://gallerysystem.com

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