How to Hang Heavy Things on Plaster Walls?

Hanging Heavy Things on Plaster Walls

Have you been looking to redecorate your walls for a while now? Want to bring an aesthetic and modern look to your home? Or have you not been able to put up all your old wall hangings ever since you shifted to a new home in the fear of ruining your plaster walls?

Well, then you’re in the right place.

Keep on reading because I’m about to tell you all the tips and tricks that’ll come in handy when you want to hang heavy things on plaster walls.


How to Hang Heavy Things on Plaster Walls – Don’t Just Wing it

No doubt, wall arts, and hangings really bring the whole look of a house together. But it is hard to have that when your walls are plastered, or you have strict parents or landlords.

As you know, these walls tend to crack and break with the slightest of pressure or drilling. As a consequence, you end up with an unpleasant look instead of a pleasing look on your walls.

Worry no more!

Given below are some tips on how you can hang heavy things on plastered walls.

Look Out for Picture Rails!

You might or might not have noticed before, but some plastered walls have picture rails in them. As plaster walls are mostly found in homes that haven’t been remodeled in a while, this is something that has traditionally been present in them.

What you are searching for is a thin piece of molding at a higher point in your walls and which is horizontal in a way that covers all four walls of your room.

You may have originally missed it as a part of wall décor, but the purpose of its presence is to hook wires to the rail and to bring them down to where you want to hang the wall art.

As a result, this would prevent having to make holes in the wall and risking the chances of cracks.

In case you don’t have a picture railing you can also have it installed, with ease.

This works perfectly fine in two conditions:

  • You have a picture rail
  • You want to hang comparatively lighter objects

mirror hanging on plaster wall

If you fit well in both these conditions, then good for you. But if you have to hang a heavier object like a mirror or something, then just a wire is not going to do the trick.

Wall Studs – How to Find One?

The studs are what the picture rail is attached to, in the walls. But if you don’t have a picture rail, then you might have to go the extra mile to find one.

Now, depending on the locality and the preference of the builder, studs are present at different points on the wall. If you live in an area where several houses are built by the same builder company, then you can just ask your neighbors if they know where the studs in the wall are. Because chances are, they are placed at the same length and distance as in your house. That is mostly a couple of inches below the ceiling.

Somehow, if you don’t find the rails this way, you will have to find the stud manually or with the help of a stud finder.

How to Find Studs – Hit the Right Spot:

using stud finder

There are a variety of methods to find the studs in a wall. Ranging from the easiest and cheapest to one where you might have to spend some money, they are written below.

  1. Knocking on the Wall – Old-school Tricks Don’t Let You Down

Though it may sound useless, it really does the trick most of the time without requiring a lot of effort. What you are going to do here is light knocking on your wall. Start from the corner and gradually move to the center.

Listen to the sound that comes off the knock. If it’s hollow-sounding and it echoes, then the wall behind it is hollow. When you hear a thud that is comparatively dull and doesn’t feel hollow, then you’ve found the perfect side.

  1. Locate a Switchboard – Get Your Rulers out

The electric boxes, or switchboards, you have in your house are mostly attached to the studs. But, to be on the safe side, you have to take out the cover of the switchboard and then search around the corners to find a stud. Be careful to cut off the power of that board touching it, and avoid touching any wires.

If you locate one then that’s when the ruler comes into play. From the stud in the switchboard, measure a distance of 16 inches and that’s where the next stud should be. That’s because, in the last decade, most houses built have the same stud spacing.

But this may not work for you if the stud spacing in your house is not like others. Hence, it’s better to knock to find out if it’s the right place after you’ve measured it.

  1. A Magnet – Feel the Attraction

This is a fairly easy method, but you have to find a pretty strong magnet. All you have to do is attach the magnet to a piece of thread or string, suspend it and drag it over the wall. At some points, you would the magnet getting attracted towards the wall.

That is because the magnet is attracted to the nails in the wooden stud. However, this trick will only work if you have a very powerful magnet.

But in case you have metal studs in your walls instead of wooden studs, you will feel a powerful attraction running along the whole length of the stud and not just the nails.

  1. Buy a Stud Finder

If any of the above methods didn’t work for you, then you can get a stud finder as a last resort. It is really easy to learn how to use the stud finder. Most stud finders don’t work well on plaster walls, but it’s worth a shot. Especially if other methods didn’t work for you.

What Comes Next?

plaster wall maintenance

Assuming that you’ve found the stud in your wall by now, all you need to do now is drill the hole into your stud without any fear of ruining your walls.

The whole point of finding the stud is so you can make sure you are not drilling into the hollow part of the wall. Because that will definitely ruin all your walls with a crack, or worse, a bigger hole that will not be covered easily with a painting too.

Once you’ve drilled into the wall, you can hang any wall décor or art piece that you want.

Sounds perfect, right?

But wait, there are some tips on how you’ll need to maintain the wall during and after the process of hanging the décor.

Treat your Wall with Care

Plaster walls are not as insubstantial as wooden walls. But they do require some taking care of if you want them to last longer.

  • Keep the hammer away: In the above processes I mentioned, you would hardly need to use a hammer. Make sure that you keep its use minimal if you absolutely have to use it.
  • Patch holes and cracks: If you ever find any holes and cracks in your walls, patch them right away or as soon as you can. They might turn it into a bigger worry, that may not even get fixed easily if left for a long time.
  • Keep the wall clean: Avoid using dirty tools on your walls as it can leave a nasty and unpleasant stain. Deep-clean your walls once or twice a year to keep it in the best state.
  • Avoid dampness: Try your best to keep your walls dry. If you do see some water stains that indicate a water source dampening your walls, you need to check it and fix it.


And That’s a Wrap!

Now that you have read through everything that you need to know about how to hang heavy things on plaster walls, you are good to go.

You can get around to furnishing, and buying your favorite art pieces without worrying about your walls. Nothing better than a great art piece to capture people’s attention.

Happy decorating!

No Responses