How to hang a picture


Hanging a picture seems so easy, but so many little things can go wrong. Here's how to do it correctly, with guidance from Master Contractor, tv host, and author Ed Del Grande.

How to hang a picture Ever have doubts whether you can hang a picture correctly? What if you’ve tried to do so, and all you’re left with is a big hole with a loose screw or nail hanging out. Here’s how to fix it using a molly bolt.

A molly bolt expands behind the wall to secure the screw to the wall.
  1. If there's not already an existing hole, drill a small hole with a drill and place the molly bolt inside it, all the way to the flange.
  2. Insert the screw into the bolt.
  3. Tighten with the screwdriver; the molly bolt will expand behind the wall and hold it in place.
Note: For heavier wall hangings, such as a mirror, make sure to find a stud.
Transcript LISA:  I’m Lisa Birnbach for You have to hand a picture on a wall. It’s one of those jobs that you really don’t think your going to do that well, and there are lots of ways to mess up. So lets talk to Ed Del Grande, author of House Call. What am I doing wrong and is everyone else doing wrong?

ED:  Well here’s a typical situation. Look at the screw, see how loose it is, that’s not going to hold anything. What happened someone screwed it directly into the sheetrock. There’s no backing, they missed the stud, and the sheet rock isn’t strong enough to hold it. So after a while it loosens up and that picture ends up on the floor.

LISA:  Umm. Ed, you left out the part where I hit my finger with the hammer.

ED:  Well, forget about hammers and all lets just get this screw out of there completely because I’m gonna show you what we’re going to do. We’re actually going to use a wall shield. Now see this wall shield right here? This is the red part of it right here; they’re called the Molly’s or Red Devils. Those are common names, but when you put the screw into the shield, which is in place in the sheet rock, it expands behind the wall. And that’s what locks it into place, and that’s the pro tip.

LISA:  It sounds like a pill, red molly’s, red devils. Wow.

ED: Well, you can hold onto that. No, this is good stuff.

LISA:  And this is all you need?

ED:  This is all you need. Here’s one without the screw in it. Now see the hole? You get this shield, now see, sometimes you have to drill a small hole but usually if you have an old nail in there you can push it right into place or tap it in with a hammer, but that’s a perfect fit. Looks better already doesn’t it?

LISA:  It does, and this won’t go in any further then-

ED: No. It has that flame so it won’t go in. Now you get that screw, you get that in place and it will stand right up. Now, watch this, its like magic Lisa. I’m going to start screwing this in with my screwdriver and as it goes in that shield the shield will expand through the wall. And look it’s getting tighter already. Remember Lisa, the tighter you screw that in the tighter that shield will lock up to the wall.

LISA:  And you can hang up a picture frame.

ED:  Or a painting. Sure.

LISA:  Ahh, right on that-

ED:  Let me see that painting.

LISA:  Correct you don’t need anything else?

ED:  Well remember this is a light painting, anything heavy like a mirror make sure you find that wall stud and screw right into the wall stud.


ED:  But, for a nice painting like this you just have to put it up there and…I think I even got it straight.

LISA:  Wow. So Ed, this is it, we’re done.

ED:  That’s it.

LISA:  So your saying normal people can do this.

ED:  Anyone can do this one.

Lisa:  Really. Well I’ll have to give it a shot. Thanks so much.

ED:  Thanks.

LISA:  For I’m Lisa Birnbach.
meet theexpert
  • Ed Del Grande

    Ed Del Grande Master Contractor Ed Del Grande is a master contractor and plumber and the author of House Call: Foolproof Tricks of the Trade from a Master Contractor. He hosted Ed the Plumber on the DIY Network and currently writes a home improvement newspaper column.
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