Picture and Mirror Hangers

It’s important to choose the right type of hanger when hanging a picture or mirror

Picture and Mirror Hangers

The two main things to consider when hanging pictures and mirrors are making sure the object is securely fastened to the wall and that it is positioned so that it is straight and level.

Tip: Choose the perfect spot by considering the size of the picture or mirror, the size of the wall, height of the ceiling, furniture placement and more.

Wall Surfaces and Object Weight

Not all walls are the same and you need to choose a hanger that’s specifically designed for the type of wall you’re working with. When hanging larger objects on drywall you will probably need to use a hollow wall anchor for extra support. If you’re working on plaster, brick or a stone wall you will need a drill to create a pilot hole.

  • Make sure the wall can bear the weight of the object you’re planning to hang.
  • Hangers will need to be rated to handle the load they’ll be supporting.
  • Loads are based on static surfaces so you may need a stronger hook if you’re hanging an object on a door or other surface that can move.

The following chart details information about different types of hanging hardware.

Hardware Application and Description Points to Consider

Angle Irons

Metal brackets mounted underneath an object to provide extra support.

  • May be needed with particularly heavy objects
  • Help support weak frames


Drilled into the sides of a frame and used to hang objects on nails or hangers. May also be used to string wire through.

  • Best when screwed in before picture is framed
  • Provide tremendous stability when mounted on picture hooks
  • Helps objects to remain straight and level

Felt Pad

Placed on the corners of a painting, picture or mirror.

  • Prevent wall from being marred when hanging an object

Gummed Hooks

Plastic hooks that feature a square backing coated with adhesive.

  • Use only with lightweight objects
  • Adhesive may damage wall’s surface

Mirror Clip

Used to hang mirrors of all shapes and sizes.

  • Available in decorative designs that stylishly complement mirrors

Picture Hook

Used to hang paintings, photographs and other objects. Feature a hole or holes through which nails are inserted and a hook on which the picture rests.

  • May feature one, two or three holes
  • Channels guide nails in at an angle for maximum holding power
  • Use with case-hardened, blue steel nails
  • Load rating varies


Strung across the back of paintings and connected to D-hooks or eye hooks. Used to hang objects from screws, nails or hangers.

  • Pliable and strong
  • Edges may be sharp
  • Use electrical tape to blunt sharp edges
  • Must be properly tied to ensure integrity

Installation Considerations

  • Hang pictures at or below eye level.
  • Keep pictures several inches above the top of any furniture sitting below.
  • Hanging pictures on two hooks provides greater stability and keeps them level.


Consult the chart below to determine which types of nailers are best for which jobs.

Type Ideal Usage Points to Consider

Brad Nailers

  • Trim work
  • Function as down-sized finishing nailers

Coil Nailers

  • All-day jobs
  • Shingling
  • Framing
  • Hold the most fasteners per load
  • Ideal for the serious professional

Finishing Nailers

  • Door casing
  • Baseboards
  • Trim work
  • Crown molding
  • Utilize thin strips of finishing nails
  • Angled tools are easy to use in corners and tight spaces

Headless Pinners

  • Crafts
  • Delicate trim work
  • Use small-gauge fasteners
  • Create very small entry holes

Palm Nailers

  • Between wall studs
  • Between ceiling joists
  • Fit in the palm of your hand
  • Ideal for narrow spaces


  • ¼"or thinner material and
  • Use a narrow-crown staple

Stick Nailers

  • Framing
  • Various construction tasks
  • Easy to handle
  • Weigh less than coil nailers
  • Require more frequent reloading


There are two types of firing modes:

  • Bounce-fire triggers allow you to squeeze and hold them so you can fire a nail every time you touch, or bounce, the nose of the nailer to your work surface. This trigger may need to be installed separately.
  • Sequential firing requires you to pull the trigger each time you fire a nail. This allows you time to set up the proper angle for the shot.


Anchors. Picture hangers should not be used to hang heavy objects or when working on a hollow or concrete wall. Anchors work best for these jobs.

Bendless Nails. Use to install hangers into concrete or brick.

Stud Finder. Easily locates wall studs needed to secure hangers or anchors.

Mounting Putty. Apply a small amount on the corners to secure a picture to the wall and keep it level an straight.

Lights. Use spotlights and track lights to highlight favorite pictures.