The oldest of historic brick homes have solid brick walls of two or more layers called wythes, with plaster covered interior walls. Owners who expose an interior brick wall as part of the restoration are then faced with the question of how to hang a picture on a brick wall.
Here’s what Bob Villa has to say:
"If you’ve never done it before, this may seem like a daunting proposition. Whereas drywall or plaster yield easily to a nail, bricks and mortar obviously require a different approach. And yes, the steps involved are different, as are the necessary tools and materials, but even a beginning do-it-yourselfer can hang pictures on a brick wall. Simply follow the instructions detailed below."
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Chalk; Spirit level (optional); Drill; Masonry bit; Wall anchors; Flush-mounting picture hooks or screws; Screwdriver
You may never before have considered picture hanging a messy project, but when you’re working with brick, there’s the risk of dispersing dust around the work area. So before you begin, it’s a good idea to cover fragile items nearby with either plastic sheeting or a drop cloth. Doing so will minimize the amount of time you’ll need to spend cleaning up once you’ve completed the job.
Use chalk to mark the location (on the mortar, not on the face of a brick) where you want to install the picture hook. Don’t worry—chalk can be rubbed away when you’re done.
Ask a friend to stand in the middle of the room while you hold the picture frame over the chalk mark you’ve made on the mortar. Taking into account the manner in which the frame is going to hang—from a wire or by means of a D-ring or sawtooth hanger— confirm that you’ve chalked the correct spot. If you are hanging multiple pictures, you may want to break out the spirit level so you can make sure everything aligns.
Attach a masonry bit to your drill/driver and proceed to drill a hole into the mortar where you marked it with chalk. Drill deep enough to accommodate a wall anchor, but not so deep that you might puncture any wires or pipes behind the brick.
Place a wall anchor into the hole you’ve drilled. Next, screw a picture hook into the embedded wall anchor. Finally, hang the picture frame over the hook you’ve secured into place. Now you’re done. Last but not least: Stand back to enjoy the view!
- Choose a masonry bit that’s the correct size for the wall anchor you’re using.
- Use two wall anchors to safely secure a heavy, glass-fronted picture frame.
- When drilling, be careful to protect your eyes from the dust that may scatter.
Renaissance Development, a leader in brick restoration and historic preservation, specializes in the restoration of an old brick building’s mortar joints using traditional methods (tuckpointing) and materials. Contact us for a free site visit and project quote.