HOWTO Hang A Picture Frame Without Drilling A Hole In The Wall!

Taking a little break from personal finance and investing onto improving a different kind of asset – your home! If you own a home, and if you hate drilling holes as much as I do, you are gonna love this post!

There is something about defacing a freshly painted wall with a drill that puts me off! I would go to any lengths to avoid drilling. And I did. Made a trip to the nearest Home Depot.

What Type Of Wall Do You Have?

That’s the first thing you need to find out before anything! Though the guy at Home Depot was very helpful, I could read what his brain was screaming. Newbie Alert!!!

Why Does The Wall Type Matter?

Because depending on the wall, the hooks to secure your picture frame will change! You cannot use a hook meant for drywall on concrete and vice versa!

Walls can be of one these common types. Concrete/Brick, Drywall or Plaster. That would be the first thing you’ll have to find out. And they may not be the same throughout the house depending upon when that part of the house was built. Newer homes are built using Drywall. If your home was built during the 50s or prior it could be plaster.


It is not hard to tell if your wall is made of Brick or Concrete. They are hard! Bricks have a distinctive color and shape and feel. Hard to build but they last for a long time.


Most newer constructions use Drywall. They are light relatively easy to work with.


Home builders stopped using plaster around the ’50s. Though plaster is stronger than drywall, they are labor intensive.

To the untrained eye (aka newbies like me), both drywall and plaster look similar. You cannot mistake concrete or brick with either of these! Both plaster and drywall could look deceptively similar.

How To Tell The Difference Between Drywall And Plaster

The guy at the Home Depot said plaster feels cold! (He obviously doesn’t know my ex!) Cold as opposed to what I said to myself! The other test is to drill a hole and find out! Oh I hate catch-22s!

But here’s a reliable way to tell the difference between drywall and plaster. Take a push pin and try to push it with your hand into the wall. If you are able to push it in, the wall is most likely drywall if not it could be plaster. (I’m assuming you’ve ruled out concrete, stone, brick and wood – if you can’t tell the difference you’ve got a bigger problem than me!)

Hanging Light Weight Objects

Hanging light weight objects without drilling via command hooksNow that you’ve determined the type of wall, the next step is to find out the weight of the object you wish to hang.
If it is something really light weight (0.5lb to 5.0lb) you can use these removable hooks from 3M called Command Hooks. They work on a variety of surfaces and requires no drilling and very easy to install.

The best thing about these hooks is that you can also remove them without damaging your walls!

Hooks For Drywall

Hanging pictures in drywall without drilling - hercules hooksIf you have drywall and the object you wish to hang is over 5 pounds, then the next best option to use Hercules Hooks. These are installed by pushing the hooks directly onto your drywall with your hands and require no tools. They make a pin-sized hole and you can hang upto 150 pounds!

Hooks For Plaster, Brick And Concrete

Ook hangers for plaster, concrete and brickWhat about plaster? You can’t push Hercules hooks onto these with your bare hands! I found Ook’s hardwall picture hanging hooks the most effective. The idea is pretty innovative. These hooks have these tiny pins on the hooks that need to be tapped onto your hardwall with hammer. It requires very minimal effort and is quite secure. Holds objects weighing from 30 to 75 pounds.

Fixa Picture Hook Kit from IKEA UPDATE: IKEA sells a Picture Hook kit for a ridiculous $4.99 and the 116 assorted pack includes a hook similar to OOK hangers. I was at IKEA the other day and I was surprised to find this! Of course I bought it, but haven’t used it yet so can’t tell how well it holds up. But if you have an IKEA store nearby, check it out. The series is called FIXA, Article Number: 901.692.78. I’ve added a picture.

There you go! The internet’s easiest primer on hanging objects from your wall without drilling!

38 thoughts on “HOWTO Hang A Picture Frame Without Drilling A Hole In The Wall!

  1. I love those Hercules hooks. I use them a lot in the kids’ rooms since they like to hang things and change the look reasonably often. It is a lot easier than drilling holes and the mini hole in drywall will cover with a little paint.

  2. Great pointers. I’ll pass them on to my wife. Reminded me of graduate housing where the apartments were so old you’d drill a hole to put up curtain brackets and half the wall would come down.

  3. I love the hercules hooks. We use them all through the house for hanging a variety of objects. I haven’t tried the command hooks yet. I may have to try those for some of our lighter objects like the family calendar.

  4. I have to check out those hooks for concrete. I haven’t seen them before and that’s what we need.

    • Ooks work great on concrete! I put up a mirror with ease – the tough part was getting two hooks aligned!

  5. I just hung some pictures over at my Dad’s house yesterday. We used those Hercules hooks, popular device! I measured from the ceiling down to to get the same height on 2 pictures and they were still not level. Found out later, their was a 1 inch difference in floor to ceiling height on the same wall, Arrggh.

  6. Nice post, MC. I hadn’t heard of Hercules hooks.

    Sometimes, simple nails will do for light objects, as long as they’re driven at a 45 degree angle. I have my knife collection hung up on my study wall with nails and fishing line.

    • Looking at the comments, looks like Hercules is quite popular! Nice tip on driving a nail at 45 degree angle!

  7. I was just thinking about how I need to hang some mirrors about half an hour ago- what a timely post.

    I want some Hercules hooks. I think I saw an ad for them awhile ago, and then totally forgot about them. It is great to know that they work so well.

    Thanks for writing a post that applied directly to me! :)

  8. Another vote for the Hercules hooks. My kids are always redecorating their rooms so this helps out a lot in that process!

    • Sadly Hercules hooks don’t work on plaster (majority of my house is plaster with extensions built with drywall). But these are great on drywall!

  9. My husband is the master of hanging things, however his method requires drilling holes. Through his experience, he’s found that drilling the hole first is key (not so messy), then using drywall anchors per the weight of the object. The drywall anchors get pounded in flush with the wall, so repairing the holes is much easier with a little putty and some paint. ;)

    • I have some putty handy in case I mess up! For installing larger objects like furniture, you have to drill – no way around it!

  10. I discovered those 3M strips a couple years ago when I moved into a rental home. Yes they work well, but they will tear the paint off when you remove them. Also, at some point they will fall. Mine lasted maybe 10 months, and there went some valuable pictures smashing to the hardwood floor…be careful!

    • Thanks for the warning Justin! I’ll be careful not to hang anything valuable. Right now only my keys!

  11. I love the hercules hooks. I saw them in one of the late night tv commercials. First it took a couple of tries to get it in with least damage (I am slow :) ) now they worth great!

  12. MC knows home improvement, too? What don’t you know? Looks like Hercules hooks, here I come. You may need to work out a sponsorship deal with them!

  13. Thanks for the tip. I can use a few of those at home!

  14. Interesting, don’t think I’ve ever seen Hercules hooks before. I’m mostly a hammer and nail kinda gal for hanging pictures and light weight decorations. Living in earthquake country we’re supposed to bolt everything to the walls, especially the heavy stuff, but I haven’t been very good about that.

  15. Thanks for the tip – I’ll have to consider the Hercules hooks for when I hang some photos….which I’m overdue to do.

  16. Any ideas how I can hang picture frames on a brick wall without drilling holes?

  17. Just recently, I’ve heard of these hook, but I have no experience with them.

    I hate, absolutely had to pound hole in my walls, and when I do, I make sure they are the smallest nail that would accomplish the job. So to me, this sounds most excellent!

    Thanks for the great tutorial and introduction!

  18. Love it, you must have read my mind because I have been meaning to go to the home store to buy some Command hooks after seeing them advertised on TV!

    Thanks for the break down on the different types- I’m such a newbie. Even though I hung stuff, now that i’ve moved, I forgot how to do these things again.

  19. Just wondering if the IKEA FIXA Picture hook works on concrete or brick wall?

    Cause i’ve been reading alot of places that hammering nails into your concrete or brick (cemented) wall will chipped it off, leaving huge craters….

  20. OMG this probably seems like the most ridiculous article to write, but THANK YOU! I moved to Florida three years ago from NE Ohio (where we dont have concrete homes), we are renting a home, and have not been able to find anything to hang things on the front porch with. I’ve called around many different hardware stores and no one seemed to have a good answer on how to hang on concrete without drilling into the wall.

    These OOK things are even at my local hardware stoe! Again, thank you, I’ll be picking some up later to day. I have so excited and greatfull!

    • You nailed it Nicole! When I wrote this article I said to myself: This is a personal finance blog and this article is absolutely ridiculous! But I felt compelled to write since I can totally relate to your pain in getting some answers to this seemingly mundane problem!

      Thanks for your comment, made my day and much appreciated! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>