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If you’re putting up pictures or other wall decor, you might be wondering if you can screw into plaster without an anchor. Plastic anchors are not ideal for this material, and wood screws are the preferred choice for hanging items on plaster walls.
Using picture rails is also a good option. If you cannot find the proper anchor, you can use a molly bolt, which is an alternative to self-tapping anchors.
Plastic anchors won’t work on plaster
When mounting picture frames, mirrors, or mirrors on a wall, plastic anchors won’t work. Plaster is made of a very soft material and plastic anchors won’t hold on this surface. The best way to fix your hanging items is to use drywall anchors or wood screws. Wood screws are much stronger than plastic ones, and they will hold the wall securely for a lifetime.
Drywall, for example, is much softer than plaster. It contains more calcium sulfate and gypsum than lath and plaster, and has paper on each side. That means large threaded plastic anchors won’t work in plaster, and you’ll end up with a cracked wall. To make things worse, plastic anchors aren’t as strong as they look.
Instead of plastic anchors, try expansion anchors. They’re usually blue and are made for masonry walls. They expand to grip the wall masonry and won’t pull out. You can also use masking tape to keep plaster from cracking. If you’re still worried, use toggle bolts. However, if you’re not sure which type of anchor is right for your plaster wall, you can use toggle bolts or metal anchors instead.
Besides plastic anchors, you can also try toggle bolts, which are metal bolts with winglets that fold in one direction. To use them, you’ll need to drill a hole into the wall. Then, just insert the bolt until its tension tabs protrude and rest against the back of the plaster. Once you’ve inserted it, the tension bolt will hold the wall in place.
If you don’t have picture rail, you’ll need screws to hang items on plaster walls. A drywall screw of about one inch should be sufficient for hanging light items. Adding a wood lath to the wall gives the screw additional holding power. Simply move the screw up or down a half-inch and it will grab the wood lath better. If you don’t have wood lath, you can always use wall anchors to hang the picture.
Molly bolts are a better alternative to self-tapping anchors
Unlike self-tapping anchors, molly bolts do not require a pilot hole. They can be installed with a screwdriver or a screw gun. Self-tapping anchors do not work on ceilings. Molly bolts are hollow wall anchors with a metal sleeve. They provide medium holding power, but are also reusable.
When screwing into plaster, you may need to use molly bolts. These anchors come in several different sizes and can support up to 20 pounds. L-shaped plastic retainers are also commonly used to install wall-mounted mirrors. They aren’t as easy to install as other drywall anchors, though. Molly anchors are not as convenient as self-tapping anchors, which require a hole for installation. However, they work well in older plaster-and-lath walls.
Another type of anchor is known as a toggle bolt. To use toggle bolts, drill a hole twice as wide as the bolt’s diameter. To install the toggle bolt, make sure to center it on the drywall to prevent it from spinning out of place. Typically, a toggle bolt is 100 pounds, but it can be harder to level than a self-tapping anchor.
Molly bolts have many advantages over self-tapping anchors. Unlike self-tapping anchors, these bolts can be removed without damaging the anchor. In addition, they can be used for mid-weight objects weighing from 25 to 50 pounds. When screwing into plaster, molly bolts are easy to remove. In addition, they are a much better choice for walls than self-tapping anchors.
Another reason why Molly bolts are a better alternative is that they are easier to use. Unlike self-tapping anchors, Molly bolts require no pre-drilling. Simply insert the bolt into the wall with a screwdriver or drill. Unlike self-tapping anchors, Molly bolts are easier to use with plaster walls.
Molly bolts are more effective than self-tapping anchors because they are reusable. If a screw is not used, it can be removed using a screwdriver and needle-nose pliers. In addition, molly bolts are easier to remove than plastic anchors. You can also use them to screw into plaster if you are not comfortable with permanent fixings.
Wood screws are a better choice for hanging items on plaster walls
For light-duty uses, coarse-threaded screws can be used. They can be driven into drywall without a stud. They can hold more weight than a standard nail, and will leave a small hole when removed. Wall Dog Screws from Lee Valley have a good bite in drywall and are rated for 60 pounds. They are also available in wood or masonry, if a pilot hole is drilled first.
When hanging large items on a plaster wall without an anchor, wood screws should be used instead of drywall anchors. A stud in a wall will hold 80 to 100 pounds, and several screws can hold 200 pounds or more. Using a stud-finding tool will help you find a stud in the wall. Once you have located a stud, tap the wall and pre-drill a hole with an electric drill, leaving 1/4 inch of screw projection from the wall. A 2 1/2 inch wood screw will hold 80 to 100 pounds or 35 to 45 kilograms.
Wood screws have two head styles: plain or tapered. Both have a flat surface and are available in a variety of sizes and types. The most common screw is a #8 wood screw with a 5/32-inch diameter. Choose the screw that best fits your project and task. Finish screws are specifically designed for attaching trim and are smaller than standard wood screws. They also have a tapered head that allows them to penetrate the surface of the wood.
If your plaster wall does not have a picture rail, you can hang a picture or other item using screws. One-quarter inch drywall screws are sufficient for hanging light items. Wood lath is also a great way to add more holding power. Before drilling, mark the area where the screw needs to be drilled with masking tape. This way, you can make sure that you have drilled the correct size hole.
Wood screws are also a better choice for hanging items on plaster-and-lath walls. Wedge anchors need a hole slightly larger than the anchor length, and must be tightened before they can attach the woodwork. Then, use the nut to secure the woodwork. While you can use a wedge anchor for hanging items on plaster walls, the best choice for hanging items on plaster walls without an anchor is to use wood screws instead.
Picture rails are a classic way to hang wall decor on plaster walls
If you have plaster walls and want to hang pictures and other wall decor, picture rails are a great choice. The rails already have studs and cable attached to them for hanging your pictures. If you are using heavy items, you will need to drill larger holes in the plaster to support the anchors. Also, you may want to cover the holes with plaster to finish off the look.
This technique is often used to hang pictures. Instead of drilling holes in the wall, picture rails make it easy to hang your pictures. They also make it easy to change your pictures because you can simply move the hook along the rail and adjust the chain on the back of the picture. Picture rails are also durable and require no nails. You will find that picture hanging is not as difficult as you might think.
Picture rails are usually mounted above crown moulding. They support pictures and mirrors against the wall. Older homes may already have picture rails, but they are often topped with extra-decorative crown moulding. If you’d like to hang your pictures on your old plaster walls, you can always add a picture rail. The benefits of installing a picture rail will outweigh the downsides of hanging them on plaster walls.
The greatest benefit of using a picture rail system is its durability and ease of installation. The picture rails are strong enough to support the weight of a large object, like four pictures. The weight of a picture is evenly distributed on the rail, which makes them a long-lasting option. If your pictures weigh five pounds or less, you can hang them with adhesive hooks.
If you have heavy-duty pictures that need to hang on plaster walls, you can opt for a picture rail. It is secured to the wall by screws that run through the rail. The picture rails are very durable and will hold up to fifty pounds. For heavier items, they are best used in conjunction with picture hangers that use a hook or two. This way, you don’t need a drill machine.