You finally got that huge painting you’ve been wanting and you take it out of the box, admire it, and then suddenly realize you’ve got one big problem: lath and plaster walls. How are you going to hang something so heavy?
Well, fear not. It may seem intimidating, but with the right tools and a bit of know-how, you can easily hang heavy items on your lath and plaster walls.
In this article, we’ll look at what you need to hang your item securely and how to do it safely.
So grab your tools, grab that huge painting or whatever else you’re hanging, and let’s get to work!
Tools and Materials Needed to Hang Heavy Things on Lath and Plaster Walls
Hanging heavy items on lath and plaster walls can involve a bit of extra work, but the results are worth it.
Before you start, you’ll need to make sure you have the right materials and hand tools for the job.
You’ll need a stud finder to locate the studs in your wall, as well as a drill with a masonry bit for making holes in your lath and plaster walls.
You’ll also need wall anchors or toggle bolts, lag screws with washers for attaching lag shields to your wall, and toggle bolts for heavier items.
Finally, don’t forget the basics: a hammer, screwdriver, and measuring tape will come in handy too.
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to get started!
Safety Guidelines for Hanging Heavy Items
Hanging heavy items on lath and plaster walls is a tricky task; done incorrectly, it can damage your walls and fixtures, or worse, put you at risk for injury.
So to make sure you’re safe and secure, it’s important to follow some basic safety tips before you start.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Measure twice to make sure that the wall can support the weight of the item you want to hang.
- Ensure stability by using screws that will fix securely into the wall and stay in place. Use an anchor if necessary.
- Wear protective gear like gloves and goggles throughout the hanging process to protect yourself from stray screws or power tools.
- Know your limits. If any part of the process feels too difficult or complicated (or dangerous! ), don’t hesitate to call in an expert for help.
Following these safety guidelines will ensure that your project is completed safely and securely, with no risks!
Fastening Heavy Items to Lath and Plaster Walls
It’s challenging to hang large objects on lath and plaster walls, and you’ll need specialized equipment to do it securely and safely.
For heavier items up to around 25 pounds, use hollow wall anchors.
You’ll need a masonry bit for the pilot hole, a hammer drill for drilling into tough material like concrete, and a screwdriver for tightening the anchor into the wall.
If you’re hanging something heavier, like a bookshelf or some shelves, then you’ll need to use anchoring bolts.
For this, you’ll also need a masonry bit for drilling holes into the plaster wall and some expanding anchors for added security.
It’s important to get the right size anchor bolts; too big, and your item will be too loose; too small, and you could damage your plaster wall.
If you want to hang shelves but don’t feel comfortable using regular anchoring bolts or hollow wall anchors in your lath and plaster walls, then consider going with wall-mounted shelves instead.
This will provide great support without risking any damage to your delicate walls.
All you have to do is put up mounting brackets at both ends of the shelf and secure them with screws into the lath sections of your walls—simple as that!
Choosing the Right Anchors and Fasteners
Hanging heavy things on lath and plaster walls can be intimidating, but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
You may need to use special anchors and fasteners that are strong enough to handle your wall-mounted items.
Wall plugs are great for small objects like pictures or shelves because they distribute the load over a larger area, preventing the cracking and crumbling of your plaster walls.
They are typically easy to install by drilling into the wall and then screwing in the plug.
Molly bolts are metal anchors with a two-piece design that helps keep them from coming out of your wall.
They work well with medium-weight items like mirrors or large frames because they provide strong support while being easy to install.
Just make sure you have a drill with an appropriate size bit for these bolts!
For heavy items like shelves or built-ins, lag bolts are best, as they can handle a significant amount of weight without causing any damage to your plaster walls.
Since they can be difficult to install, you may need an electric drill, a masonry bit, and a hammer drill bit just to get started!
When choosing your anchors and fasteners, make sure you take into account what kind of material is present in your walls, such as wood framing or metal studs, as this will impact which type of anchor you should use for mounting your item safely and securely.
Testing the Strength of the Fasteners
It’s important to make sure that the fasteners are strong enough, otherwise your heavy items could come crashing down on someone.
The best way to test the strength of your fasteners is to use a load testing tool.
This gives you a good idea of how much weight your fastener can hold and ensures you don’t get yourself into any trouble with your heavy items.
You should always use heavier-duty fasteners when hanging heavier items, as regular nails and screws may not be suitable for the job.
Here are some tools that you will need when hanging heavier items from lath and plaster walls:
- Wall anchors
- Drywall anchors
- Masonry screws
- Drill bits
- Hammer drill
Wall Repair After Hanging Heavy Objects
It’s important to understand that hanging heavy objects on lath and plaster walls can cause damage.
The wall nail holes and miscellaneous chips in the plaster need to be repaired before any painting or wallpapering.
To do the necessary repairs, you will need a putty knife, lightweight joint compound, a sanding block or sandpaper, a paint tray or liner, and interior flat latex paint.
Steps To Repair The Wall
Let’s run through the steps to restore the wall before applying a fresh coat of paint:
- Using the putty knife, scrape away any crumbling bits of plaster around the nail holes.
- Fill the nail holes with lightweight joint compound using your putty knife to smooth it out.
- Apply joint compound to any cracks or chips in the wall that may have occurred during installation.
- Allow for sufficient drying time as directed by the instructions on the package (typically between 24 and 48 hours).
- Sand down any lumps or rough areas until you get a smooth surface. Use a damp cloth to remove excess dust from the patched areas of your wall.
- Prime and then apply one or two coats of interior flat latex paint onto the patched areas, making sure you match your existing colors as closely as possible for the best results.
In short, if you want to hang something heavy on lath and plaster walls, you should take extra care to not only find the right tools, but also to use them correctly.
With the right tools, such as robust anchor screws, plastic anchors, and molly bolts, you can easily hang heavier items without causing any damage to the wall.
Plus, you can be sure that everything will stay securely in place.
So, next time you want to hang something heavy, take some time and make sure you have the right tools and know how to use them.
Can I use regular screws on lath and plaster walls?
No, use special screws or anchors designed for this type of wall.
How do I find studs in a lath and plaster wall?
Use a stud finder or tap lightly with a hammer to locate nails that attach the lath to studs.
What’s the best way to hang heavy objects on lath and plaster walls?
Use special screws or anchors, and a picture-hanging system that distributes weight evenly across the wall.