How to Hang Pictures, Shelves and Lamps on Your Walls


During the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens across the US have become ever-more acquainted with the inside of their homes. With less to do outside – and now with winter well and truly on the way – this has been a time of relaxation and reflection within our cherished homesteads. It’s little wonder, then, that thousands across the country are embarking on DIY projects to improve their homes. And hanging up pictures and lamps, or building shelves, is a great introduction to DIY in your home this winter. Here’s what you need to know about these beginner-level DIY projects.

Survey Your Wall

Whenever you’re going to hang something on your wall, you’re going to penetrate the wall with screws. These are what will bear the load of whatever you’re hanging – be that a long set of shelves, or a simple picture frame. Walls tend to be made up of drywall – simple to drill through, but with less capability to support heavy objects – or stone, wooden framing, or other denser materials. 

Search online to find out how to survey your walls. Some recommend tapping your walls to deduce which parts are hollow, and thus drywall, and which parts feel hard. The aim of your survey is to decide the best place to hang your wall fixtures. Remember that drywall alone is unlikely to bear the weight of heavy shelving with heavy books on top – so each project will require you to hang objects in different places on your walls.

Positioning Your Screws

Now that you know which parts of your wall are appropriate for hanging a picture, a lamp, or a set of shelves, it’s time to get drilling. The key to this process is to understand where the drill hole will sit in relation to what you’re hanging. For example, some picture frames are fixed at the back via a wire that finishes halfway up the frame, hidden from view. As such, your screw should be positioned in the knowledge that half of the length of your picture will be over the screw and half under the screw.

Another consideration comes into play when you’re putting in multiple screws to hold a shelf or a larger horizontal wall piece. Here you’re going to need some guarantee that you’re drilling in exact parallels, to avoid a wonky shelf. Be as careful as you can, using a spirit level to ensure your screws are entering your wall at the correct height.

Using Screws

Different screws work best in different homes. For walls that are hollow, you’re going to be using simple drywall screws that you can purchase cheaply online. For masonry and wood-backed walls, you’ll be using harder and more powerful screws – and you may even need the assistance of a more powerful drill to put them in place, too.

Don’t rush the drilling and screwing process. This is the bedrock upon which your light fixture, picture of the shelf will sit. Take your time, plan your project, and concentrate hard when you eventually take a screw to your wall.

These simple tips will help you to place new objects on your walls this winter, helping set up your first DIY project of 2020. 




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