All Hooked Up


 

In our decades' worth of experience hanging frames and executing art exhibits, we have installed frames and art pieces in all sorts of materials and locations.  Besides the frame the artwork, photograph, or artifact is mounted in, we also have had to carefully consider HOW it will be attached to a wall, an easel, another freestanding object, or even the ceiling.

Since our TFS clients are usually decorating homes and offices by decorating their walls with frames, this post will focus on the hooks we use to mount frames onto a wall. But if you need any more advice on how to attach frames or unusual artworks on unusual materials, call us!

If you are looking for ideas on how to layout frames onto your walls, you might find a previous blog post extremely helpful in the design of your layout.  But this particular post will focus on the practicalities; namely, what hooks to use to attach your frame onto your wall, based on wall material.  (Just a disclaimer: this is a post with simple instructions; if unsure, please consult a professional or call us.  Safety is best!)

Concrete

Concrete or cement is one of the best wall materials to hang heavy art or wall decor on because of its stability and that it is a solid material to drive hooks or screws into.

One of the most important things to consider is to make sure that it's not a significant structural column.  You can check your house plans for that, or if you are in a building or condominium, you can ask your admin or the building's engineering department to clarify that for you.

Once you know it's safe (and permitted by your admin) to attach your frame onto it, the next thing to figure out is how much support you need from your hanging provision.  In our experience, most light frames, including all the frames we offer here at The Framing Stylist), can be supported by these hooks:

These are hooks labeled for hardwall, actually.  But in our experience, this works for cement and almost NEVER for hardwall!  We're not sure, but every time we try to drive the pins into hardwall, it never goes through--maybe the hardwalls we've encountered are way too dense? (If anyone has an explanation, we would love to know!) We don't know, but in any case, these work perfectly for cement.

The hooks in the photo are lined up in increasing load capacities.  The packages these hooks come in indicate how many kilos they can support.  Our rule of thumb is to use the middle ones for our small to medium frames, and the biggest ones for the larger ones (like our 20Rs).

We like these hooks because it eliminates the need for a drill and screw.  In some condominiums, the use of a drill requires permits that in turn require a long list of permits...so this makes it easy and ready to go. No dust, no energy, no special equipment or special skills needed. 

Of course, if you do choose to fix your artwork (especially very heavy ones) using a drill and screw, by all means, do.  The use of a drill is pretty straightforward, but it would be best to consult a professional or someone versed in the use of a drill--and ask them to do it, especially if you've never used one before!  Apart from a drill, you will need screws, tox, and protective gear (we'll get into that later).

Drywall

Common in most buildings and especially partition walls in condominiums, drywall is composed of gypsum, which is a mineral, sandwiched between sheets of paper. (IRL it is definitely more technical than how we've described it here, but we didn't want to bore you!)

As we mentioned earlier, the hooks we recommended for concrete, while packaged for drywall use, is impossible to use.  We use another type of screw: the drywall anchor.  (We still remember searching high and low for these locally.  We ended up ordering our supply from Home Depot in the U.S., but these days, these anchors can be found in most mainstream hardware stores like Wilcon, True Value, Ace Hardware, or Handyman.)  

 

We use the one in the center (the white screw).  This is, again, a favorite of ours because we don't need a drill.  We can use a regular ol' screwdriver or phillips for this.  We drive it into the wall, and as it settles itself into it, the pointed portion "splits in half" lengthwise to latch onto the drywall and butterfly out onto the other side of drywall, which is the hollow part of your wall.  You can then fix a screw into the middle of the anchor or simply hang your frame onto the anchor itself.  Just make sure it's stable and not wobbling about.

The picture also features other kinds of drywall anchors you could use.  Those on the left we recommend for extremely heavy items, and the ones on the right are perfect for lighter items.

 

Wood

For wood walls, the dependable nail is a good go-to.  The white hooks we use for concrete are also great to use, as long as you also drive the center pin into the wall on a diagonal facing down.  As you'll see below, the hooks show four pins, but also with the package is an extra pin for each one that you can drive down the middle hole on each hook head:

 

Another good option are picture hangers like these: 

In our experience, this is difficult to find in most hardware stores.  (We'll have them in-store, soon!) They're pretty simple to use, too--simply drive the nail through the hanger head and through the holes.  The hole nearest the wall is lower than the hole on the front of the head, so automatically driving the nail into the holes will put the nail on a stable diagonal.

Safety Equipment

We can't stress enough the need for safety equipment, even if hanging your artwork seems like a simple task.  Please use safety gloves (to protect your hands--and your manicure!) and especially safety goggles since sometimes those pins and flying debris can catch you off-guard.  Masks are also recommended if you're drilling.

We hope this post has made hanging your frames easy and stress-free! If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to email us at theframingstylist@gmail.com or give us a call or text at 09295851051.


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