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How To Hang Things on Plaster Walls
Life and Style Daily
October 05, 2021
7 min

Are you wondering how to hang things on plaster walls? We know that you don’t want to experience any hassle while decorating your walls, and by that, we got you.

Decorating your home with pictures and paintings are the ones that give your home spice and something your eyes can trail after when you’re looking for relaxation.

If you’re looking forward to decorating it, you can start by getting oriented with everything you need to know about your plaster walls.

What Are Plaster Walls?

Knowing what plaster is becomes the first step before attaching the pictures or any decorations you choose to attach to your wall.

Plasters are known for their versatility, especially on old houses that come from the 1950s era---having it can reduce the noise that your room produces and can resist fire. It has a harder surface than drywall, but it’s somewhat brittle on the compared product.

Before attaching a plaster wall, you must have a lath or the supporting system attached to it. Usually, the lath comes in different materials like woods and rocks, but they are excellent for support.

What Is a Plaster Wall Made Of?

Of course, having a plaster wall comes in with an essential backbone like the lath, and it is followed by the stud acting as its wooden frame. Nails play an essential part in fastening the lath and the stud to steady them all together before attaching the plaster.

And in terms of the material of the plaster, it comes off as a paste as you combine the materials (lime, sand, or gypsum) with water. It is often combined to make a hard and sturdy surface often used in old homes and buildings.

But even though it may seem outdated, many people start to appreciate what it can do to enhance your overall house look.

How Much Weight Can Plaster Walls Hold?

Since we now know what it is composed of, you may have noticed that it is purely made of the paste that we attached before the lath and stud. The wall may give up if you attach too many things on top of it, so how much weight can plaster walls hold on?

The key to knowing how to hang things on plaster walls is getting the weight capacity first. You can attach anything you like to display on your wall, but the weight will have to play a role to consider them all.

You can hang anything that weighs 20 pounds or nine kilos if you choose not to screw them to the wall studs.

Meanwhile, you can also hold things up to 150-200 pounds or seventy to ninety kilos in the screw you attached in the studs.

Plaster vs. Drywall: What’s the Difference?

While these two are commonly associated with the beautification of the walls, they are two different things.

In terms of cracking, drywall takes the upper hand because it is made of softer material. They are nailed to the wooden studs, unlike plaster which tends to harden over time, making its installation a laborious job and cost much money.

Unlike drywall, plaster walls do not get any unwanted molds. It comes with high quality because it is molded and installed by skilled builders. Even though it costs a lot of money, the plaster gives homeowners better soundproof walls than those who utilize the drywall.

Plaster is often found in old houses. And even though it is somehow expensive, the plaster endures for a very long time because of its structure that produces a rock-like surface after installation.

Benefits of Using Plaster vs. Drywall

One of the benefits you can quickly see in plasters is that it gives texture to your home, unlike drywall that gives off a very smooth and finished surface.

Besides, you can now enjoy listening to music from the enormous speakers because it gives more soundproof capability and lasts for a hundred years without changing them annually.

How to Hang Pictures On Plaster Walls

After knowing the weight capability of pictures on the plaster walls, you can now move to the next step of hanging pictures on plaster walls. Here are the steps that you can follow throughout the process.

Step 1: Distinguish The Placement of Your Picture

You will have to be extra careful with plaster to avoid the cracks. You can place a mark on the spot where you want to hang it and have proper spacing for each picture.

Step 2: Spot the Lath

Spotting the lath will have to use the drill to see whether you hit it or not. Once you’ve found it, you can now go to the next step, which is attaching screws into the wall.

Step 3: Screw The Wall Up

Using a nail is not the option that should secure your picture on the wall. While it works for some, it will more than likely not handle the picture at all.

Attach the screw in your wall in the hole you drilled, and you’re now free to hang your picture on the wall effortlessly.

How To Hang Heavy Things on Plaster Walls

In hanging heavier objects on the plaster walls, you will have to look for the studs instead of laths. It may sound a bit complicated, but we’ll be here to walk you through the process.

You can easily detect it by your stud finders or figure them out manually by sizing them or using magnets.

The manual distance between each stud will fit on 16” to 24”. But since it can still be laborious to measure, you can find one near the windows, doors, and even outlets for your electricity. You can also find one of the studs in the corner of your room.

After finding the stud, you can now drill holes where you want to hang the things. It shall go first through the plaster then to the lath before it finally settles to the stud.

Testing the spot is necessary so that you can ensure that nothing will go wrong. Drill a hole in it then you can now secure it with a hanger or brackets.

How To Hang on Plaster Walls With a Picture Hanging System

Picture hanging system is handy for this solution, mainly because it is very convenient to use.

It starts with easy rail installation along the wall, then attaches the attached pictures with hooks where you can rearrange it anytime you want.

Ultimately, this picture hanging system holds up to 300 pounds without damaging your walls and other wall decoration for many years.

Hanging Pictures On Plaster Walls Without Nails

You can use adhesive hooks, double-sided tape, and picture rails to hang your picture without nails. Make sure that each picture does not weigh more than 5 pounds (in the case of double-sided tape, it should weigh less than that) then you are good to go.

How To Hang Pictures On Plaster With a Plaster Hook

The efficient tool for hanging items on your plaster walls is the plaster hooks. They come in with nails, but they are much more effective than the nails that you’re already associated with. It can hold 20 pounds or 9 kilos worth of items, and you wouldn’t need to pound on the plaster hook mercilessly so that it would bite the surface.

Hang Pictures With Plaster Wall Anchors or Hanging Objects From Plaster Walls With Drywall Anchors

Wall anchors are the best for drilling plaster because it holds your screws properly without breaking the plaster around them. They are good with expanding and biting the back of the wall, making it secured, and going through the anchor.

However, it is worthy to note that these anchors are only good when you have other screws occupying the part of your wall.

What Is Picture Rail?

Since we are still talking about how to hang things on plaster walls, it is also worth noting that picture rails are one of the best things you could ever have on your plaster wall.

Picture rails are working to give off a classic and sophisticated way to hang wall decorations. This picture rail comes on with a cable that holds off all of the pictures. It is already nailed to the studs, and you can choose however high or low your cords are going to be.

Hanging From Picture Rails

When you already have a picture rail, you can hang several items that weigh no more than 100 pounds. You can see that there are some wood screws, and each of them holds twenty to twenty-five pounds, making them perform reliably.

Hanging Without Picture Rail

If you’re still thinking of other ways to hang things on plaster walls, there are still some alternatives other than picture rails to attach your pictures.

You should not use the nails because it will undoubtedly loosen up the lath rather than make the nail fit for your pictures.

You can use screws in your wood lath for light items to give you the strength you need for the picture to hang nicely on the wall. However, if you want heavier items on your wall, you will need more support from a 2” screw attached to the stud.

If that option is not doable, you may choose to go with anchors with different weight capacities, even though you will have to drill bigger holes in the plaster.

The last step is to cover up the holes in the plaster to get the finished look you want to achieve.

How To Fix Small Holes in Plaster Walls

You don’t have to worry about the small holes because you can paint it with the matching color of your wall. But if they are much bigger than expected, you can apply some joint compounds and let them dry before painting them.

Plastic wall anchors, Molly Bolts or Toggle Bolts?

Plaster walls go well with molly or toggle bolts rather than plastic wall anchors. To attach them, you will have to use a masonry bit and choose between the molly or the toggle bolt, which are both ideal for pictures with not much of a large size (precisely 20 to 50 pounds).


Now that we know how to hang things on plaster walls, you can now enjoy decorating your plaster walls without hurting them. There are many ways you can do them, and if you don’t have the tools, you can still go back and read the alternative options that suit you.

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