Hang it Up! (Decorating Your New Home)

You’ve purchased your new home. You’ve moved everything in, and unpacked all the boxes. You pretty much have furniture positioned where you want it, and it almost feels like home. But as you look at your walls, you realize that to get a true homey vibe, you need some wall art! You might have pieces you brought with you, but you also might want to get some new pieces which work with your new space. Whatever the case, once you’ve gotten your wall décor selected, stop and read our advice below before you begin pounding holes into your pristine, new walls!

Artwork on Wall
Hanging pictures properly takes planning!

To Nail or Not to Nail?

Most of us have grown up thinking that in order to hang wall décor, we need to pound nails into our walls. While sometimes the weight of the picture dictates that only a nail or screw will do, modern technology offers many other options for lighter items. A rule of thumb is that if your wall art weighs more than 8 pounds, you will need to go with one or more nails or screws. But if it’s lighter, you might be able to use a far less invasive hanger, which adheres securely but also pulls off with no damage or residue when you need to move it.

If You MUST Hammer/Drill …

If your artwork is heavy, you have two options with drywall. When you are hanging it where there is a stud behind the drywall, a simple nailed-in hook should work great. But if you are hanging heavy art between studs, you will need to use some sort of securing mechanism that protects your drywall. Options include screw-in anchors, expanding plastic sleeves, tap-in expanding anchors, or toggle bolts. Each of these hangers has an area which expands after the hanger is inserted in the wall. This expansion helps to distribute the load and to secure the hanger from pulling out. However, they are very invasive and will leave a hole in your wall should you ever decide to remove them. With very heavy artwork, you may need to use several hangers to further distribute the weight.

To Avoid the Damage …

To avoid the damage that an expanding hanger can cause, opt for adhesive options if your item weighs less than 8 pounds. Adhesive options include picture hanging strips, adhesive hooks in various weights, mounting tape or reusable adhesive. All of these are designed to remove with ease, to leave no residue and to not damage painted surfaces (but check the package label to verify this).

Picture Hanging Strips

First, you can put picture hanging strips on the back of your picture and then adhere it to the wall. These function with adhesive and Velcro. Each picture strip is two parts: the part that adheres to your artwork and the part that sticks to the wall. Begin by cleaning both surfaces with Isopropyl (“Rubbing”) Alcohol and allow to dry. Next, press the two parts of each picture strip together. Remove the liner of the picture side of the strip and press it against the picture for 30 seconds. Repeat this process if you are using more than one strip on the artwork. When all strips are secured to the artwork, position and mark the location where you wish to hang it. Then, remove the liner on the wall side of the strips, position the art and press in place. Now, very carefully pull the strips apart so the picture part is on the artwork and the wall part is on the wall. Press the wall strip securely to the wall for 30 seconds. Wait an hour before actually hanging the wall art back on the strips. As a guide, one strip can support about 3 pounds, so two strips can hold around 6 pounds, and four strips can bear approximately 12 pounds.

Adhesive Hooks

As with the picture hanging strips, adhesive hooks have a liner on the backside which covers the adhesive part. Hooks work best for wreaths, scarf valances and other lightweight items which do not need to rest flush against the wall. Begin by marking the desired location of your wall décor. Next, clean the wall where the hook will stick with Isopropyl Alcohol and let dry. Remove the backing from the hook adhesive and push into place. Allow to set for an hour to be sure the adhesive has achieved full strength before hanging your artwork. The packaging will indicate the maximum weight one hook can support.

Adhesive Tape

Quite similar to picture strips, adhesive tape has two sticky sides. Be certain that the tape you choose is specifically designed to use on painted surfaces; regular double-sided tape will damage paint! Just as with the other adhesive fasteners, you will need to clean both the wall surface and the picture surface before applying adhesive tape. Begin by peeling the backing off of the side that faces the artwork and press in place. Next, remove the liner from the opposite side of the tape and adhere to the wall surface. Please note that adhesive tape has far less holding power than picture strips or adhesive hooks. It can only support up to a pound.

Reusable Adhesive

To use reusable adhesive, prepare the wall and artwork surfaces by wiping with Isopropyl Alcohol. In addition, wash your hands, as finger oils will diminish the adhesive bond. Next, pull off a piece of adhesive, which resembles putty, and soften it by rolling and kneading it. Shape the adhesive into a little ball and press onto your artwork. You might need to use several balls of adhesive to secure your pieces. Press into place on the wall. Reusable adhesive will only hold up to a pound.

A Final Note on Plaster

If you happen to have plaster walls, you must be extra careful before using any sort of fastener which gets nailed or screwed into your wall. Plaster has a tendency to crumble and chip at the point of fastening. Before you drill or nail, place a piece of tape over the spot where you intend to create the hole. then nail or drill into the tape. After your hanging fastener is attached, carefully pull away the tape.  You will see far less damage to your plaster if you do this.

Happy Decorating!

American eWarranty is a US company specializing in 10-year new home warranties and 5-year remodeling warranties. Learn more at our website, www.americanewarranty.com.



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