State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500193
Fasteners for Hanging Objects on Plaster Walls
Lightweight Objects or Pictures
Very lightweight objects can be supported with a piece of tape. (Vis.
1) The wall must be smooth, clean and dry. The glue is affected by
humidity and may let loose so do not hang anything that will break with
this kind of fastener.
Objects with a wide variety of weight can be supported by a metal hook
on a long, tapered nail driven at an angle into the plaster.
These come in packages of three or four and in different sizes
depending on the weight supported.
Medium Weight Objects
Some kind of insert, plastic, fiber, wood, or lead can be used with a
sheet metal screw.
Drill a hole just large enough to be able to tap the insert into the
hole. Tap the insert into the hole until it is flush with the surface.
Turn a sheet metal or wood screw into the insert. Usually these inserts
come packaged with the right size screw for the particular insert. It
will also tell you what size hole to drill.
Heavier objects can be supported with a molly bolt or toggle bolt.
Drill a hole through the wall to fit the size of molly bolt
--be sure not to get the hole too big or you may have difficulty
turning the bolt without having the connector turn. If the only drill
is too small, use a small screwdriver, knife, or other object to ream
out the hole until the fastener will slide in snugly. Push it in and
turn the bolt clockwise until it feels tight. Now the fastener has
expanded and should stay tight. Remove the bolt and attach the object
screwing the bolt in tight. Do not over tighten or you may pull the
fastener loose. Remember plaster is soft.
A toggle bolt can be used similar to a molly bolt but with less care
taken when installing. Select a bolt long enough to include the object
plus the wall plus the length of the toggle then folded up.
Drill a hole through the wall. If you do not have a drill: Drive a nail
through the wall. Wiggle it until it comes loose and you can pull it
out. Put a small screwdriver, knife, or piece of metal into the hole
and carefully enlarge until the toggle will slide through. Assemble the
object on the bolt and push the toggle into the hole until you can feel
it spring open. (Now you cannot remove the bolt without losing the
toggle in the wall). Tighten by turning clockwise.
A toggle bolt should be used where the object will be drawn up tight to
the wall because the hole must large enough to receive the toggle. The
object should be large enough to cover the large hole that is
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus,
with references from Michigan Extension bulletin
E816 Wall Repair and Fasteners.
to main page
This information is for
educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade
names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those
not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon
publication and may be printed verbatim with credit to MSU Extension.
Reprinting cannot be used to endorse or advertise a commercial product
MSU is an
employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials
are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender,
gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political
beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran
status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
for webpage problems