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Ellen’s Tips for Hanging Pictures and Artwork on Plaster Walls

You finally bought your dream home in Brookside, and now you’re ready to make it your own. You want to hang your favorite artwork and family photos but are afraid of doing damage to the plaster and lathe walls. But don’t let them scare you – they’re not as formidable as they seem. You just need a few things to get started. Follow Ellen’s tried and true tips and tricks for your plaster and lathe walls and your beautiful old home will take on brand-new warmth.

How to Hang Artwork and Photos on Plaster and Lath Walls

  1. 3M Command strips.
    Command strips are an easy solution to hanging décor on plaster and can easily hold your small or medium-sized art. They come in a variety of sizes and styles and won’t leave behind nail holes, cracked plaster, or sticky residue when removed. Just look closely at the weight the strips can hold when purchasing. Plus, if you decide to move a piece of art to a different spot, you can do so without marring the wall.
  2. Standard picture-hanging hooks.
    Yes, it’s that simple. These hooks are perfect for medium décor pieces, and your plaster walls are strong enough to hold the weight of medium-sized pictures. Just gently tap the nail into place diagonally using the hook as a guide for the angle. Tapping the nail in horizontally can damage the wall, so be careful.
  3. Heavier Pictures.
    For larger or heavier pieces, you will want to go with a Hillman OOK Shield Picture Hanger. There are several different types, but this particular one is load rated for 100 lbs. These hangers are sturdy and fabulous for your old-house plaster and lathe walls. They are used by museums and art galleries around the world and even come with a padded back for added protection for your plaster walls. The great thing is that our very own Brookside/Waldo Euston’s Hardware store always carries these particular hooks, and their staff are more than willing to answer any questions you may have about the best tools for the job.  Of course Ellen always recommends shopping local and getting to know the neighborhood shops, but if for whatever reason you don’t live in Brookside or Waldo, you can order them online.
  4. When in doubt, drill a pilot hole.  
    This is the most important tip. This helps to remove a little bit of the plaster and prevent cracking. If you accidentally hit a piece of lathe too hard with a hammer, the vibrations can cause cracking, so be gentle. Drill a pilot hole slightly smaller than the size of your nail or screw.

And that’s it – enjoy decorating your new home! If you have any questions, stop in to see Ellen at the local Brookside Real Estate Office located in the heart of Brookside at 9 W 63rd St. She’s your local old home expert and loves to share her experience and passion for any and all things Brookside.