Hanging things on walls is one of the quickest ways to make your new apartment or house feel like home. However, as a renter, you may be wondering how to securely hang things on walls with minimal wall damage. Your landlord may not allow holes in the wall, or perhaps you don’t want to have too many holes to fill when you move out.
Below are some tips on how to hang stuff on walls that will have you feeling at home in no time.
How can you hang stuff on walls without causing damage?
Several easy-to-use adhesives allow you to hang things on walls without causing any damage. These are often the best way to hang things on walls if you are a renter. Here are a few of our favorites.
Adhesive putty is simple and easy to remove. It works well for hanging posters and other lightweight items on walls. A little putty goes a long way, and a few pieces placed on the corners, edges, and in the middle will keep posters in place. Knead and stretch the putty before use, and make sure the surfaces are clean for a lasting stick.
When hanging lightweight items such as a poster, wrapping paper, or small frames on walls, sometimes all you need is tape. Packing tape, double-sided tape, and masking or painter’s tape can all be used without risking paint damage.
Adhesive strips and hooks come off walls without leaving any residue, making them perfect for renters who want to hang things without causing damage to the walls. Command strips and hooks come in small, medium, and large sizes and hold up to eight pounds. Adhesive-backed strips are best for flat-backed items and framed pictures. The hooks are useful for hanging other, more irregular items or can be used as storage hooks. Adhesive hangers work best on smooth surfaces. Remember to clean the wall with rubbing alcohol before applying and allow for cure time before hanging.
Hook-and-loop or Velcro tape is a great way to hang tapestries, fabric, and other small items on walls. It is also the best hanging solution if you need to quickly and easily remove the item regularly. Opt for peel-and-stick Velcro with a strong adhesive backing, and follow the directions for applying and curing.
What to Use for Heavier Items
Sometimes nails or anchors may be the best way to hang something on a wall, especially if what you want to hang is heavier. But before you start hammering or drilling, double-check with your landlord to make sure you’re allowed to put holes in the walls. Then, determine what kind of wall surface you have, and check for wires, air pipes, and ducts.
Most units, apartments, and houses will have drywall. However, if you are in a pre-1950 structure, it could have lath and plaster covering. An easy way to check is with a pushpin — it will go into drywall but not plaster.
Hanging Things on Drywall
Drywall is typically around half an inch thick and not exceptionally sturdy. Hanging items on drywall can be a bit tricky. You need to make sure you use the correct tools and techniques to prevent damage.
Attaching a screw to a stud is the best way to go, but it’s not the only option. If the stud’s positioning does not work for you, consider using a nail, hook, anchor, or other drywall-friendly option.
How To Find Studs
Studs are the pieces of wood that make up the wooden framing beneath the drywall. Typically studs are vertical and spaced 16 inches apart, but this is not always the case.
An easy way to find studs is to look for light switches and electrical outlets — these are usually attached to studs. Another way is to knock on the wall with your knuckles. A muffled, solid sound probably indicates a stud, while a hollow sound means no stud.
If you want to find studs without the hassle of measuring, you can buy a residential stud finder and scan the wall. Or, run a powerful magnet along the wall, if you have access to one. It will indicate where screws and nails are and is an efficient way to find metal studs.
How do you hang things on walls with nails and anchors?
Now that you have finished examining your walls and checking for studs, it is time to start hanging things. Below is a list of useful hangers and anchors that you can use to hang items of every shape and size.
Picture Hangers and Nails
Picture hangers and nails are handy for hanging most lightweight items and only leave a small hole. They come in various sizes, separately or in kits, and are ideal for hanging items weighing up to 20 pounds.
Monkey Hooks are curved hooks that don’t require any anchors and leave tiny, easy-to-fill holes. They can hold up to 50 pounds and are best for hanging items with a wire at the back.
Tap-In Expanding Anchors
Tap-in expanding anchors are perfect for hanging items weighing less than 10 pounds. They are quick and easy to use. Simply tap the pointed end of the anchor into the wall until it is flush. Then insert the screw into the hole in the anchor and tighten. The anchor will expand and lock into the wall.
Drywall anchors look like large plastic screws and come in various sizes. They are easily inserted into drywall using a screwdriver. Depending on the type, they either expand or lock into the drywall, supporting up to 50 pounds. These anchors are strong enough for towel racks, mirrors, and large pictures.
Toggle anchors with bolts are a little more complicated to install but work well for heavier items like coat racks and bookshelves. To install these, you will need to drill a hole large enough for the screw and toggle to fit into the drywall. When tightened, the toggle anchors securely to the inside of the drywall.
Now that you know how to hang things on walls, it is time to get creative and make yourself feel at home in your new space. Need a new home? Search apartments and houses for rent on Zumper and find yours.
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