Hanging on various walls

Artwork by Dawn Yoshimura

When hanging artwork on walls, it is best to check what type of wall material you are dealing with, and to research the most secure way to hang the artwork. Consulting with your framer will also help make the right choices for the hardware on your pieces and the best way to hang the pieces securely. If it is a space you intend to change out the artwork, the best solution is some type of rail system, and this includes your home or office space in order to give the most flexibility to change the artwork without needing to retouch, patch and paint walls between hangings.

  1. Drywall. This can use Command hooks or single J-hooks for smaller pieces of 7 pounds or less.  Larger pieces should be hung upon 2 J-hooks to distribute the weight up to 20 pounds. Expanders should be considered for larger and heavier pieces for more permanent displays.
  2. Cinderblock. You will need an electric hammer drill with a masonry drill bit to drill a pilot hole. The screw you set in should have either a plastic expander or a spring loaded wing expander. It easier to drill in between tiles or blocks if you use the plastic expander for pieces that are not more than 50 pounds. The expander is able to hold 50 pounds up to 100 if there are more than one to distribute the weight. This will not be desirable if it is only temporary and many holes are made over time. So, yes, you can hang securely on a cinderblock wall, but this is not a good option for Ho’omaluhia.
  3. Wooden. You can use nails or J-hooks on these walls. For larger and heavy pieces use 2 to distribute the weight.
  4. The mystery wall. At one venue, the walls have acoustic tile over sheet rock, fixed over cinder block. You cannot drive an ordinary nail into this wall, and if you use a masonry bit, you will likely damage the acoustic and sheet rock surface layers. Using a rail system to hang pieces with fishline from hooks is the best bet. In other words, don’t hang with nails. Or hang light and small pieces using J-hooks no larger than 12×16 inches. Hang large, heavy pieces on the wooden walls.