7 Tips on How to Hang a Heavy Picture – Secure Mounting Guide

Hanging heavy pictures requires careful consideration. Choose the right support method based on weight: studs for over 20 lbs, wall anchors for drywall, and rail cable kits for versatile options up to 300 lbs.

You finally find the perfect picture to hang on the wall, but then you realize it weighs fifty-seven pounds. No problem.

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How do you hang something heavy on a wall?

You hang something heavy on a wall very carefully.

A picture or painting can fall and break if you use the wrong support. And you want to avoid damaging the wall at the same time.

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5 Options To Use To Hang A Heavy Picture

Hanging a heavy picture takes more than just a hammer and nail.


If your home is built over a wooden frame, your walls are likely drywall and plaster. 

The wooden beams are called studs, where your wall is strongest, so that’s where you want to hang the heavy picture.

Sometimes to use studs, you’ve got to sacrifice a little aesthetic. You may want to consider another option. 

How do I find the stud?

CRAFTSMAN Stud Finder, 3/4-Inch Depth (CMHT77633)

You’ve got a couple of options when locating a stud.

You can buy a stud finder online or at your local home improvement store. Or, do it by hand using your finger and tapping along the wall. It will make a hollow sound until you find the stud, which will cause a thump. 

From there, you’ll use a thin nail that can hold up to 20 pounds.

While not recommended, threaded wooden screws can sometimes hold paintings over 50 pounds.

Wall Anchors

#8 Self Drilling Drywall Plastic Anchors with Screws - No Pre Drill Hole Preparation Required - 75 Lbs

Wall anchors, or screw-in anchors, are the best hanging solution when dealing with drywall without studs. It is a safe way to screw directly into the drywall so you can put up your picture.

The wall anchor will give the screw extra stability preventing it from falling and giving someone a concussion.

Drywall anchors come in two varieties – plastic and metal. 

Plastic anchors work well for objects that weigh less than 20 pounds. It has two tiny legs that expand and support the screw on the other side of the drywall. 

Pictures and paintings over twenty pounds will require something a bit more stable. Metal wall anchors support heavier frames and keep them on the wall.

Rail Cable Hanging Kit

STAS Cliprail Picture Hanging System Set - Covers 9.84 ft of Wall Space - Basic Picture Rail & Art Hanging Gallery Kit (Matte Silver Rails, Includes 6 Hooks & 4 Cords)

The best hanging solution for heavy pictures will be rail-cable hanging kits. The system uses cables attached to a rail setup along the wall to keep picture frames hung safely.

The picture itself is mounted on the cable with the help of hooks and can be adjusted as many times as you want.

The nail-less solution is most commonly seen in schools, homes, and art galleries.

You can mount it on any surface when you choose a rail cable hanging system, and it can sometimes hold up to 300 pounds per track.

  • drywall
  • plaster
  • brick
  • wood

Hanging Hooks

Command Small Wire Toggle Hooks, Damage Free Hanging Wall Hooks with Adhesive Strips, No Tools Wall Hooks for Hanging Christmas Decorations, 10 Clear Hooks and 12 Command Strips

The biggest downside to hanging hooks is that you have to damage the wall. Use a stud for safety if you’re driving a nail through the wall.

Hanging hooks can hold around 25 pounds, and you can double up on them.


You can find adhesive hanging hooks that use an adhesive strip. Don’t rely on them to hold more than five pounds or so.

It’s an easy DIY solution, and they don’t damage the wall or leave marks. 

How can I hang a heavy picture without drilling?

Another common nail-less option is Velcro. It’s simple to hang small pictures or artwork, but don’t test it beyond five or six pounds. And Velcro is a single-use hanging solution.

Preparing to Hang the Heavy Picture

You’ll need to do a few things before you hang a heavy picture on the wall.

Weigh the Picture

Most likely, you don’t have a sticker on a painting telling you how much it weighs. So, you will weigh the work of art the old-fashioned way – using a bathroom scale.

Most hanging methods, including nail-less solutions, are perfectly safe if the object weighs 10 pounds or less.

Anything over that will require special and careful attention.

The Wall

You’ll need to figure out what sort of wall you’re working with. 

Plaster walls are most commonly found in homes older than the 1940s. Nowadays, most homes will have drywall.

If you’re eating with mortar, ceramic tile, or brick, you can still hang heavy pictures with the necessary tools and approach to hanging.

Where On the Wall

You’re likely pretty sure as to where you want to hang the heavy frame, but there’s a little more to it than just hammering and hanging.

You will want to hold the frame against the wall and mark the top of it with a pencil or painter’s tape

Most people recommend you hang a picture at eye level, but we say hang it where you want as long as you do it safely.

Mark It Up

You’ve already marked the top of the frame for hanging. Now use a measuring tape and mark where you plan to drill or hammer in the fastener.

The frame might hang lower when on the fastener.

Consider a Second Hanging Point

You will want to add a second hanging point for strength when dealing with a heavy picture. 

For example, if your frame hangs from a wire, you will use two fingers and hold the wire against the desired hanging points. It becomes more stable the further apart your fingers are.

Measure the two points and transfer them to the wall using a pencil.

How do you hang a 30 pound picture on drywall?

Plastic drywall anchors work fine for pictures weighing 5 to 20 pounds. You’ll need to go with something a bit sturdier for a 30-pound picture. 

Metal wall anchors or wall studs are hanging solutions for a 30-pound picture.

How do you hang 50 lbs on drywall?

An anchor or stud may work fine; it might not.

When hanging any 50-pound object on the wall, you should consider investing in a rail cable hanging kit.  

The hanging technology decreases the odds it will fall on someone’s head, and it protects your expensive painting from taking fall damage.

FAQs about Hanging Pictures

What is the best way to hang a heavy picture?

The best way to hang a heavy picture is to consider the weight range and choose the appropriate hanging method. For pictures weighing between 5 and 20 pounds, plastic drywall anchors are a suitable choice. When dealing with pictures weighing between 20 and 50 pounds, it is advisable to either utilize a metal wall anchor or ensure attachment to a wall stud. In cases where the picture is even heavier or when seeking a versatile solution for hanging multiple pictures, a rail cable hanging kit proves to be an excellent option.

How heavy of a picture can drywall hold?

The weight that drywall can support depends on how it is mounted. While drywall alone can hold approximately 1.6 to 2 pounds per square foot, using the appropriate hardware to attach an object to the stud enables the drywall to bear up to 100 pounds.

Can I hang heavy pictures without nails?

You can hang heavy pictures without nails by using VELCRO® Brand HANGables® Picture Hanging Strips (Large). These strips are specifically designed for hanging heavy pictures and mirrors, with each pack capable of holding up to 16lbs. Simply attach one half of each set to your picture frame and the other half to the wall, pressing down firmly to secure them in place.

How much weight can a gorilla hook hold?

A gorilla hook can hold up to 50 lbs, while monkey hooks have a maximum weight capacity of 35 lbs.

What do you use to hang heavy pictures on drywall?

To hang heavy pictures on drywall, you can use a drywall anchor. If you are unable to locate a stud or if the stud is not in an ideal position for hanging your picture, drywall anchors provide a secure solution. They are available in different sizes and packages to accommodate your specific needs.

What can you use instead of a drywall anchor?

Instead of using a drywall anchor, you can secure the item to a stud, which can be done by driving a screw directly into the drywall and then into the stud. Alternatively, you can mount a piece of wood across multiple studs for added support.

How do you hang a 100 pound mirror?

To hang a 100-pound mirror on drywall without the support of a stud, you will require drywall anchors capable of supporting the mirror’s weight. Consider using sleeve expansion anchors for lighter loads. To install, start by drilling a pilot hole, then insert the anchor and firmly tap or screw it into position, ensuring it is flush against the wall.

How much weight can drywall hold for pictures?

The weight that drywall can hold for pictures depends on the method of mounting. When properly secured to a stud using appropriate hardware, drywall can support up to 100 pounds, although drywall alone can typically hold around 1.6 to 2 pounds per square foot.

How much weight can a plastic drywall anchor hold?

A plastic drywall anchor can hold a weight range of 30 to 85 pounds per fastener, making it suitable for various applications. These self-drilling screw-in anchors, made from nylon, are commonly known by different names.

How much weight can nails in drywall hold?

The weight that nails in drywall can hold should not exceed 10 pounds. If there is no other option but to hang a nail directly into drywall, it is crucial to consider the maximum weight capacity.

How do you hang a heavy picture without damaging the wall?

To hang a heavy picture without causing any wall damage, one can utilize press-in hooks. These hooks are designed for drywall and offer a quick and simple solution. By creating a small hole in the wall and inserting the metal end until it reaches the hook, you can securely hang heavy objects with minimal harm to the wall.

How much weight can a command Strip hold?

The command Strip can hold a weight of up to 16 pounds for larger objects measuring 24 to 36 inches, while smaller hanging strips can support a maximum weight of 4 pounds.

Do command strips damage walls?

Command strips can damage walls if they are pulled up instead of down or if the pull tabs are ignored. However, in my experience, the most damage they cause is peeling up the top layer of paint. I have never had Command Strips pull up drywall.

How do you hang heavy art without holes?

To hang heavy art without holes, you can utilize adhesive hooks and strips. Another option is to hang the artwork from your molding. Additionally, make good use of your mantel as a display area. Bookshelves can also serve as a creative way to showcase your art. Lastly, don’t hesitate to bring out an easel for a unique and versatile hanging solution.

How do you hang heavy art in an apartment?

To hang heavy art in an apartment, one can utilize adhesive and Velcro strips, which are effective methods for placing artwork without causing damage to the walls. For heavier pieces, Command strips are widely preferred as they feature dual adhesive strips that securely attach both the artwork and the wall.

What is the least destructive way to hang pictures?

The least destructive way to hang pictures without damaging the wall is by using a special adhesive tape that can be applied to the back of the frame or picture. This tape is quick and easy to use, and unlike nails, it won’t cause any permanent damage to the wall.

What are command strips?

Command strips are a type of adhesive product that is used for hanging pictures and decorations. They provide a quick and easy way to decorate without the need for nails or screws. When you use command strips, you can be confident that your pictures will be securely held in place. The best part is that when you are ready to remove or reposition your pictures, the command strips come off cleanly without causing any damage to the walls, such as nail holes, cracked plaster, or sticky residue.

How do you hang a 100 pound picture?

To hang a 100-pound picture, you can use traditional wall hanging hooks such as Brass, Tremor, and Nickel hooks. Tremor hooks have a weight capacity of 75 lbs, while both brass and nickel hooks can support up to 100 lbs.

How much weight can you mount without a stud?

The weight limit for mounting without a stud is as follows: TV mounts can securely hold a bracket with a 30-pound TV on drywall without the need for drilling into a stud. Toggle bolts, which are a type of drywall anchor, can support up to 50 pounds, while steel hollow-wall anchors have a weight limit of up to 100 pounds.

Can I hang a picture in drywall without studs?

Yes, it is possible to hang a picture in drywall without studs. To do so, you can utilize drywall anchors, also known as screw-in anchors. Drywall anchors are a suitable solution when there are no wooden studs available and you need to screw directly into the drywall. By using an anchor, you can provide additional stability to the screw and prevent it from becoming loose.

What happens if you don’t hang on a stud?

If you don’t hang on a stud, there is a possibility of drilling into sheetrock when you hang something heavy on the wall. The weight of the artwork may exceed the wall’s capacity to support it.

How do you hang pictures without a drywall anchor?

To hang pictures without a drywall anchor, the most effective method is to secure the item to a stud. This can be achieved by either driving a screw directly into the drywall and then into the stud or by mounting a piece of wood across multiple studs.

Can you hang a picture with just a nail?

Hanging a picture with just a nail may be suitable for small, lightweight pictures of 1 to 30 pounds on drywall, plaster, and paneling. However, it is important to consider the weight and size of the picture to ensure proper support and prevent any potential damage to the wall.

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