You would be forgiven for thinking that anyone can surely know how to hang a picture frame. Knock some nails into the wall, attach the brackets and voila, job done.
Not so when it comes to brick because no nail is going to tap right into that. It needs to have a pre-drilled hole drilled into it, which isn’t the easiest of tasks without the right tool for the job. Even after the hole is drilled, you need a different hanging kit to the traditional ones available.
Picture hanging kits are plentiful. You can even pick packs of hooks up in the pound shop, but don’t do that. The minuscule pins that are on them won’t budge with brick. As for trying, you’d do well not to have one spring back on your face as it shatters with one swift blow of a hammer in an attempt to knock it into the wall.
With brick, nails won’t work either. And it’s a good thing too because when you do it right, you get the most secure fitting possible. Brick is a lot sturdier than cavity walls, so you’ll get a more secure fitting provided you go about it the right way.
Let’s make it easy, safe, and disaster free.
The last thing you want is to get your new frame up, sitting prim and proper for a week before the load becomes too much and the whole thing comes thunderously crashing to the floor.
That’s avoidable and the likely cause of such catastrophes is the wrong anchor type.
The first thing to know is what you’re working with…
Checking the Wall Composition
You need to know the composition of your wall, so you know what type of anchor to use on it.
The two types of anchors are:
- Drywall anchors
- Brass anchors
Brass for brick and Drywall for (any guesses) - drywall.
The tells are:
Brick walls are colder to touch than drywall
Push a pintack into the wall. If it goes in, it’s drywall. If you can’t, it’s because it’s brick. A pintack will never pierce it.
The tools you’ll need to hang picture frames on brick walls
- Corded power drill with hammer action setting
- Masonry Drill bit
- Sturdy tape measure
- Brass picture hanger
- Wire detector
Getting the job done
Don’t attempt to drill into a wall before checking for components behind it. You do that with a wire detector, or any other device that’s designed to alert you to where components are behind a wall, preventing a disaster situation like drilling into a gas pipe connecting to the boiler in the upstairs cupboard or loft.
Don’t take a guess approach that all wires will run horizontally or vertically from light switches and wall sockets. Assuming you weren’t there during the build, you’ve no way of knowing what’s behind a wall. Use high-tech gadgetry to find out and keep yourself and your home safe.
The tape measure will help you get the spacing equal and let you mark the wall with your pencil to represent where the hole will be being drilled.
Then it’s just the brute power of the drill to power through the brick and then get your brass fittings installed to hang your frame.
About your drill
The drilling job will be made much easier if you use a corded drill rather than a cordless one. When you use cordless, you’re getting convenience at the sacrifice of power. That’s something you can’t afford when you’re trying to pierce into brick. Brute force is required and you’ll get that with a corded hammer action drill with a masonry drill bit for whatever size of wall anchor you need to secure your frame to the wall.
Quick note on nails
Don’t be fooled by walls that let you get nails hammered only slightly into the wall. If that’s happening, there’s a good chance it’s plaster-covered brick wall. Over the years, the brick could have been re-plastered numerous times. The only grip the nail would be getting is to the depth of the plaster overcoat. Not the actual brick therefore, even if you do get the picture up, it’s not going to be the sturdiest because it’ll be the wrong anchor type.
Remember, there are two types of anchors, Drywall and brass. Brass is best for brick whereas drywall anchors can only be used cavity walls.