A few weeks ago, I talked about the woes of having plaster walls. Since I’m not a fan of them, we’re in the process of slowly changing them over room by room. But when I wanted to hang shelves in my office (which has plaster walls covered by wood paneling), I needed to figure out how to do it. The good news is that it isn’t that hard!
When we first moved in, I had no clue how different plaster is from drywall! Especially for hanging things. The problem with plaster is that it tends to crack when you put a nail in it. So avoiding that is important since fixing cracks is expensive.
how to hang heavy things in plaster walls
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Traditionally, homes with plaster walls had a picture rail. This is a piece of trim that is attached to the studs higher up on the wall. You then connect wires to the picture rail from a hook and hang the art from the wire. Thus eliminating the need for making any holes in the walls. So installing or using a picture rail is an option!
If you’re going to hang something light in plaster, you can use a small screw or nail and it should be fine. Since my plaster is covered in paneling, that’s what I’ve done so far. If you’re going heavier, you’ll need special tools.
a stud finder for plaster walls
Sadly, a traditional stud finder won’t work with plaster since it will just detect the lath, not the studs. But, using a stud finder that is magnetic works like a charm since it sticks to the nails in the lath that are connected to the studs. This worked GREAT for me- even with the paneling over the lath and plaster (which I was worried would make it too think for the magnet to work).
I used the Stud Buddy and it was perfect for what I needed. I’ve also heard great things about Studpop2 since the magnet pops out when you get to a stud. Either of these will help you find a stud so you can use a screw into the stud for hanging heavy things in plaster.
anchors for plaster walls
For the next option, you can use an anchor and screw designed for plaster. I used these anchors/screws and they worked wonderfully! The down side of this option is that you’ll be putting a big hole in the plaster. So make sure to measure twice and drill once! Use a drill to create a pilot hole with a drill bit before inserting the anchor. This will help eliminate cracks.
Then, you can hang as usual. Ready to see how my office shelves turned out?!
I wanted a happy place to put plants in my office. This definitely foot the bill! Here’s the DIY-
- Cut the 6' board down into 3 pieces- 2' each
- Paint the boards with 2 coats of chalk paint
- Finish painting with a clear top coat
- Attach the brackets into the walls with screws and anchors
- Put the wood board onto the shelf brackets and enjoy!
These shelves are SUPER sturdy! The brackets/anchors would hold a much bigger shelf and would be soooo cute in a kitchen too!
I love this happy, colorful moment in my closet! It works with all the white walls and light that this room gets. Is this a project you’d try?
If you missed any of the office posts, you can check them out here-
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