Do I need to hang my picture on a stud?

Many people ask us if you need to use a wall stud in order to safely hang a picture. The short answer is No. As long as you have a hanger that is rated for your picture weight and the wall surface you are hanging it on -  you won’t need a stud. Here are a few tips so you can get the right hanger for the job.

image of 3 light pictures hanging above a couch and product images of DécoNails that are specifically designed for picture hanging.

For lighter items

The reality is that studs are rarely located where you want to hang your picture. So finding a hanger that will support the weight of your item for your wall surface is key. Lighter or smaller items, such as: picture frames, canvases, shadow boxes, clocks, decorative plates, can safely be hung with a nail or brass picture hanger without a stud. Make sure to choose a nail sized according to the weight of your piece. Our DécoNails™ for example, are specifically designed for securely hanging items up to 20 lbs in drywall. It’s also good to have a nail with a head, so it can grip the hanging hardware on the back of your picture, so avoid using a finishing nail.

Tip: Hammer a regular nail into the drywall at a 45° angle. This helps to grip your hanging hardware on the picture. 

Image of a heavy picture hanging above a couch and product images of DécoScrews™ which are designed to hang heavy wall decor in drywall

For heavier items

Heavier or large frames with glass, mirrors, or anything that feels heavy when you’re holding it against the wall will need extra hanging power. Consider using 2 nails, hooks or screws for each piece, which will help distribute the weight to make the picture more stable. Note that using two hangers does not mean you will be able to hang double the weight.

In some cases, especially when dealing with large heavy mirrors, it’s best to use screws with wall anchors. They make larger holes in walls, but you need to think about safety first. Our DécoScrews™ act as a screw and anchor in one, and are specifically designed for hanging items up to 30 lbs in drywall. 

For more tips on hanging heavy décor securely, check out this related blog post: “Hang heavy décor securely”.

Illustration showing how to use a bathroom scale to calculate the weight of your artwork

How much does my picture weigh?

It can be hard to estimate the weight of your wall decor. Here’s a quick fix. Use a bathroom scale to easily calculate the weight of your picture, so you can confidently find the right hanger to securely hold it on the wall. 

Tip: Most canvas art, even large ones weigh less than 6 lbs. For reference, a gallon of milk weighs about 8 lbs. 

Ultimately, you have to feel comfortable with the hanging system you choose. If you are unsure, then err on the side of being conservative and select a hanger that is rated for more weight than the item you are hanging.  

We love designing products to make decorating easy and help people create spaces that bring them joy. Click on the live chat below or email us at:, and we’ll do our best to help you Create the home you love™

-The UTR Team

At Under The Roof Decorating our mission is to design innovative products that help you Create the home you love™.

We believe everyone should have a home they love that reflects who they are. Our passion is to design products to help you quickly and easily decorate your home—all on your own. Discover the joy of creating spaces you love, and the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

Our products are available online and at many retailers in the USA and Canada, including Target, Lowe's and The Home Depot.
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Reviews (1 comment)

  • Rob On

    How heavy does a picture have to be such that I would need to worry about making sure that I am putting my hook into a stud?

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