Metal wall art is a great investment that will add aesthetic value to any home. While it may seem simple to hang metal art pieces, it’s typically heavier than a normal painting or canvas, so there is more to it than meets the eye. You need the right fittings for the type of wall, the correct measurements, the right tools, and most importantly, you need to mount it securely without damaging the wall.
Metal wall art can be hung on almost every type of wall, as long as you have the right supplies to match the weight of your artwork. The most common method of hanging metal art is using a drill to install screws and bolts. You can also hang metal wall art using heavy-duty Command Hooks or Strips for a no nail option.
We understand this sounds like a tricky task, which that’s why we have created this beginner-friendly guide of step-by-step instructions to help you hang your metal art the right way. This guide will help you avoid costly mistakes, will address your frequently asked questions and help you hang metal wall art like a pro.
What To Use To Hang Metal Wall Art
Metal wall art is heavier than your usual paintings or framed canvases, so you’ll need more than just standard hooks and hammers. There are a few more steps involved in this process, but it is worth taking the time to do it properly.
Before you start, make sure that you have this checklist of basic supplies below:
✔ A power drill
✔ Wood screws, nails, or hook screws
✔ Toggle or anchor bolts
✔ Hanger (or other means to hang the artwork)
✔ Tape measure, calculator & notepad
✔ Stud finder
✔ Weighing scale (optional)
Sometimes, you might need different tools to hang a specific type of metal artwork; however, your metal art supplier should be able to provide you with detailed instructions if needed.
Before you’re ready to hang any metal art piece, indoors or outdoors, there are two initial steps to follow:
- Find A Good Spot – You probably already know where you want to hang your metal artwork, but this is one of the first things you need to do if you haven’t. In most cases, you’ll be choosing a custom metal art piece sized for a specific space, so chances are you already have this covered.
If not, the location you choose will primarily revolve around the size of your outwork. Wherever you choose, you want your metal artwork to be the space’s focal point, so consider choosing somewhere central in your home or office.
- Weigh Your Metal Art – If you don’t have a scale or if you don’t have one large enough to weigh the metal artwork, ask your metal art manufacturer for the approximate weight of the piece. Take note of this because you will need this information to choose the right fixtures and fittings.
If you’re not feeling confident about hanging your metal wall art yourself, it’s best to consult a handyman or other contractor to ensure your wall isn’t damaged in the process. There’s no shame in getting a helping hand, and the results can be well worth consulting an expert.
You should always take appropriate safety precautions when carrying out any of these tasks, including wearing a dust mask and goggles when drilling, and ensuring you can use any power tools confidently and safely.
How To Hang Metal Wall Art On Drywall Or Plaster
First, let’s stop and consider – do you know what drywall and plaster are?
If you’re renting, or haven’t thought much about what kind of walls you have at home, you’ll want to identify what kind of material you’re working with. Before drilling holes and hanging heavy artwork, identify what your home’s walls are made of and choose the right mounting method.
Drywall consists of two paperboards with gypsum sandwiched in between. The easiest way to identify drywall is to knock on it. If you hear a hollow, airy sound, then it’s drywall. If the sound seems dense, your walls may be made of concrete, brick, or stone.
Compared to drywall, plaster is a more labour-intensive type of wall treatment. Plasterers need to nail lengths of wood called laths to the studs and apply several coats of plaster to achieve either a smooth finish or a stucco-like aesthetic. Plaster is also harder and more brittle compared to drywall.
5 Steps For Hanging Metal Wall Art On Drywall Or Plaster Wall
It’s much easier to hang artwork on drywall, but it isn’t impossible to hang metal wall art on plaster, either. Check out the steps below to learn how to hang your metal wall art on these surfaces:
Step 1: Choose A Hanger That Can Hold Enough Weight
You need to weigh your metal artwork before you begin because you will need to choose a strong hanger to hold the piece.
You should always assume that the hanger supports at least 25% of the metal artwork’s approximate weight, so use more hangers if necessary.
To give you an idea, if the piece weighs around roughly thirteen kilograms, choose a hanger rated to support up to fifty kilograms. If unsure, ask your local metal art supplier or hardware store for the best way to hang your metal art piece. A picture wire or sawtooth bar is often the first recommendation.
Some metal artworks already come attached with their own hangers.
Step 2: Locate The Studs
Studs are the vertical metal or wooden beams that support the frame of your home. Studs are found behind drywall or plaster walls and are usually spaced either forty or sixty centimetres apart.
Since studs are extra sturdy, they are the ideal spot for hanging heavy artwork. If you use a drill to secure and hang metal art on your drywall or plaster directly, it might not support the weight, which can cause damage to the wall.
To locate studs, you will need to use a stud finder. Run the tool against your wall, and it should make a beep when it locates the nails (or anything metal) used to install the studs. Once you find the studs, mark the area with a pencil.
Step 3: Measure Where You Want To Hang Your Metal Wall Art
Before drilling into your wall, you will need to do some calculations to ensure you’re hanging the piece at your desired height. Now is the time to whip out your tape measure, a pencil, notepad and calculator.
Here is a reliable method for measuring the perfect position for your artwork:
✔ Measure one hundred and forty-four centimeters from the floor. In our experience, this is the best height to work with and is a great rule of thumb.
✔ Then, measure the width of your art and then divide that number in half (Let’s imagine it’s seventy-five centimeters, for example).
✔ Next, measure the distance between the top of the frame and the hanging wire at its most taut, as if it were hanging on the wall (let’s say that’s five centimeters). Subtract the number from the half-width you took above (seventy-five centimeters – five centimeters = seventy centimeters).
✔ Measure and mark the magic base number plus the number above from the floor (one hundred and forty-four + seventy-one centimeters = two hundred and fifteen centimeters from the floor). Use a level and mark that spot. That should be the perfect height to hang your artwork!
Of course, the exact height at which you hang the artwork will depend on its size and your vision for the room’s decor.
Step 4: Start Securing The Screws To Drywall And Plaster
Drywall is usually around quite thick (1cm to 1.5cm) so you’ll need screws that are long enough to pierce deeply and securely through the drywall and straight into the stud. The recommended screw length is around 2.5 to 4.5cm.
To make things easier, you can drill a pilot hole in the drywall first using a power drill and then use the screwdriver to secure the screws by hand. Depending on your preference or the hanger you’re using, you can also use nails or hook screws.
When hanging metal wall art on plaster walls, it’s not recommended to hammer nails directly into the surface, as it may cause it to crack and break.
You will need to drill patiently into the plaster using a carbide drill bit. Regular drill bits are too dull and will not do the job. For best results on hanging metal wall art on plaster, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Mark the spot where you want to drill with masking tape. This will help prevent the plaster from chipping away at the edges of the hole you’re drilling.
Step 2: Set the drill at the lowest speed setting, and drill slowly. Do not exert any unnecessary effort.
Step 3: Before securing the screw, use a wall anchor to ensure screws are firmly in place.
Step 4: It’s recommended for you to use plaster hooks or plaster picture hangers for plaster walls. These can hold artwork up to thirteen kilograms.
Step 5: Hang The Metal Artwork
Now that you have the screws in place, it’s time to hang the artwork itself. This is the easiest part. Just make sure you don’t let go of the artwork immediately until you feel its total weight resting securely.
Use a level to confirm if the piece is evenly placed.
There you have it! You now have a stunning piece of metal artwork gracing the walls of your home or office.
If you want to hang your metal artwork on a different type of wall, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. The following sections will cover different wall surfaces.
How To Hang Metal Wall Art On Brick
Hanging metal wall art on brick walls involves many of the same steps as hanging on drywall or plaster. But there are a few key considerations you must note before hanging metal wall art on brick:
Are You Drilling Into Vintage Brick? – If you live in an older home or building, chances are you will need to get special permission before you drill holes into it. If you’re renting, your landlord should know whether it’s alright to drill. If you’re a homeowner, your realtor should be able to point you in the right direction.
Vintage Bricks Are Often Softer Than Modern Bricks – Updated construction standards require new bricks to be sturdier, stronger and harder to drill through, while older bricks are softer and more brittle. It is crucial to know this before drilling work so that everything runs smoothly and no unexpected damage occurs.
To determine the age of your brick, you can consult a contractor, home improvement expert or interior designer. You can also just do some quick research online. Once you have all the information above and know it’s safe to drill into your brick wall, you’re now ready to hang your metal art.
Steps for Hanging Metal Wall Art On A Brick Wall
The key differences in the steps for hanging metal art on a brick wall are that you don’t need to locate studs. You will also need slightly different tools and supplies:
✔ Special brick or masonry hangers
✔ Power drill
✔ Masonry drill bits
Step 1: Measure Where You’re Hanging Your Metal Wall Art
Once you have the above supplies, you can scroll back up to this article’s drywall and plaster section and follow the measurement steps (Step 3) to determine the perfect height to hang your metal artwork.
Step 2: Mark Your Spot And Drill
When you have the correct height determined, mark it, and then you can start drilling. Here’s how:
✔ Take your drill and masonry bit. This type of drill bit is specially designed for masonry walls like brick or concrete.
✔ Place the masonry bit on the drill and then drill deep enough to accommodate the screw.
Drilling through brick is harder than drilling through lightweight drywall or plaster. You may need to take frequent breaks before you can reach the desired length.
Step 3: Secure The Anchors
Hammer in the anchors into the holes you just drilled. The anchors will help keep the screws in place and keep your metal wall art extra secure.
Next, take your screws and drill them into the anchors. You will need to leave an extra length at the tip to secure on the hanger.
Step 4: Hang Your Artwork
Before you can safely hang the metal art piece, tighten the screws by hand. Once you’re sure that it’s tight enough, it’s time to hang up the metal artwork. Use a level to verify that the artwork is evenly placed.
Pro Safety Tip – Wear a dust mask and goggles when drilling through brick or masonry walls. Avoid wearing loose clothing as it might get caught in the drill. Put your hair up and remove jewellery, as well.
How To Hang Metal Wall Art On Tiles
Hanging anything on a wall made of tiles is challenging for DIY-ers, but with the proper knowledge, it is possible to do so without damaging your tiles.
If you have an outdoor space with a tile backsplash or you have a blank space in your kitchen tiled interior, a metal art piece is a perfect way to bring the space alive.
Steps for Hanging Metal Art On Tile – Drilling Into Tile Grout
Usually it’s best to avoid drilling into grout to hang anything, especially heavy metal art. Drilling into grout will cause it to crumble and break, and can damage the surrounding tiles. However, if you’re forced to drill into grout, it’s not impossible to do.
If drilling into grout is unavoidable, follow these steps to cause as little damage to your walls as possible.
Step 1: Gather The Right Supplies
✔ Power drill
✔ Tape measure
✔ Stud finder
✔ Carbide-tip masonry drill bit or diamond-tipped drill bit. These drill bits can pierce and drill through ceramic or glazed tile, quarry tiles, porcelain, hard stone, and ceramic tiles. You may need multiple pieces as these can overheat, and you may need to change them.
✔ Safety gear: safety glasses, particle mask, work gloves
✔ Masking tape (for marking)
✔ Drill guide (optional)
Step 2: Find Studs, Measure & Mark With Masking Tape
Locate studs using a stud finder. (You can find more info on studs and how to find them in Step 2 of how to hang metal art on drywall and plaster)
It’s recommended you drill into the grout that’s located directly on top of a wall stud for extra stability and strength.
When you find it, measure to determine the correct hanging height for your metal artwork. (Follow the measurement guide in Step 3 of hanging metal art on drywall and plaster).
Mark your measurements with masking tape, as this can help create a firmer and smoother foundation for drilling.
Step 3. Prepare To Drill
The key to drilling into tile grout is to take it low and slow. Set the drill to the lowest setting and drill directly on the masking tape. Should the drill overheat, you can place a cold cloth on it to cool it down before starting again.
Step 4. Attach Anchors And Screws
Once you have carefully drilled deep enough to accommodate your screws, nails, or hook screws, attach the anchors, then drill screws into the anchors. Don’t forget to leave around 3mm to 6mm off the tip for hanging the metal artwork.
Step 5. Hang The Metal Art
Double-check that the screws are tight and secure. Then you can hang the metal artwork safely.
Alternatively, hang metal wall art on tile without drilling.
Yes, it’s possible to safely hang metal artworks on tile without drilling holes for nails or screws. Jump over to the next section for the right steps.
How To Hang Metal Wall Art Without Hooks Or Nails
Did you know you can hang metal wall art on any surface without screwing or drilling? As long as your metal art isn’t too heavy, you may be able to use Command Hooks or Strips as a no-nail method of hanging metal wall art.
This is especially helpful to know if you’re renting and want to spruce up the place with wall art. So, while spackling up holes isn’t really a big deal, it can become time-consuming and annoying if you ever need to move out of your rental property or want to remodel your home.
Here’s how to hang your metal wall art without drilling a single hole:
3M Command Hooks – Designer and Utility 3M Command Hooks come in sizes that can support up to three and a half kilograms. These can securely hold up metal wall art on any type of surface within that weight range. You can always use multiple pieces to ensure that the metal artwork is held up securely.
Since Command Hooks hang your metal wall art slightly distended from the wall, the effect is a gallery-like display of your stunning metal wall art.
3M Command Strips – For lighter metal wall art pieces, you can use Command Strips for a clean, no-gap finish – as if your artwork was hanging “invisibly” on your wall.
Vintage Picture Rail Mouldings – These are less common but work fantastic. The picture rail hangs straight from your ceiling mouldings where you can attach an invisible string or aesthetically pleasing rope to hang your metal artwork.
Other ideas for “no nail, no fail” metal wall art hanging-hacks:
✔ Use press-in hooks like Monkey Hooks or Super Hooks. These can support pieces up to sixty-nine kilograms.
✔ Artfully place metal wall art pieces on bookshelves or on top of the fireplace mantle.
✔ For a more modern twist, some spaces place metal wall art on the floor, leaning on the wall.
✔ Use brick clips for brick walls. No holes are needed; instead, it just clips on the brick and you can hang your metal wall wart. Brick clips can hold up to eleven kilograms.
How To Hang Outdoor Metal Art
Hanging metal art outdoors is a beautiful way to elevate your outdoor living spaces. Whether it’s your deck, patio, balcony or even your front porch or veranda, metal artwork makes a unique statement in any outdoor space.
Follow these quick DIY steps for hanging metal art outdoors:
How To Hang Outdoor Metal Art Without Nails
If you’re not keen on drilling or hammering holes into your exterior surfaces, you can definitely still hang up metal art using the following supplies:
✔ 3M Exterior Command Hooks
✔ 3M Exterior Double Sided Tape (can support two kilograms)
✔ Brick Clips (if you are installing on outdoor brick walls or surfaces)
✔ Vinyl Siding Hooks
✔ TSP (Tri-sodium phosphate), or rubbing alcohol to clean exterior surfaces
Hanging lightweight outdoor metal art using the above is quick, easy and shouldn’t take you more than ten minutes. Remember to clean the exterior surface with TSP or rubbing alcohol and let dry before attaching metal art with Command Hooks or double-sided tape.
If you are hanging metal art on brick, an alternative to drilling holes is to use brick clips. These can hold up to eleven kilograms, and can just as easily be clipped on the brick to hang your metal artwork.
Vinyl siding hooks are also a great, non-invasive alternative to hanging metal art outdoors. It rolls easily into the seams of your siding, causing no damage and giving you the option to move it later.
How To Hang Outdoor Metal Art With Tools Or Nails
Suppose you can’t find a way around drilling holes or hammering nails, hanging metal artwork on a vertical surface outdoors – such as a brick wall or a wooden surface (like a door, or fence, for example). In that case, the process is more or less similar to hanging metal wall art indoors (you can scroll above for the complete steps/materials):
✔ Prepare and use the suitable materials
✔ Measure and mark
✔ Drill, screw or hammer nails and then hang the metal art
There are a few exceptions:• Masonry nails are recommended to use for hanging metal artworks outdoors on brick surfaces. They’re more secure because of their design: a squared-off cross-section and a taper from head to tip. They are also easier to install and easier to repair with a masonry repair filler should you wish to remove the metal artwork. These are also cheaper compared to concrete nails.
• Because you are using masonry nails, you will also need masonry drill bits to drill pilot holes before you hammer in the masonry nails.
• For hanging metal art on wooden exteriors like doors or fences, standard door hangers and regular wood nails will do the job. For custom pieces, however, your local metal art supplier should be able to coordinate installation requirements with you.
• For hanging larger, heavier metal art installations, it’s best to leave this to the professionals. These may need special tools and require skilled workers to install.
Can You Hang Metal Art With Command Strips?
Yes, 3M Command Strips can support up to 3.5kg and should be strong enough to securely hold metal art for various indoor or outdoor spaces. Home improvement professionals recommend using multiple strips to ensure stability. 3M Command Hooks or brick clips (for brick walls/surfaces) are also great alternatives for heavier metal art pieces.
H3: How Do You Hang Heavy Wrought Iron on the Wall?
Hanging heavy wrought-iron pieces indoors or outdoors poses several challenges, but it’s possible. For hanging on drywall or plaster, always use a stud finder so you can drill directly into the stud for stability. Also, use hooks instead of just regular nails, as these are sturdier and more secure. Remember not to hammer nails directly into plaster, as the material is brittle and can break apart.
For brick walls, you can use several brick clips or masonry nails (drill holes using a masonry drill bit). Use wall anchors before securing screws – this goes for drywall/plaster/brick walls. Once you get the hooks in place, you can now safely hang your wrought-iron piece.
This article is published in good faith and for general informational purposes only. Kanyana Engineering does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information. Always seek specific advice on your metal fabrication project to ensure all variables are taken into consideration.
Graham Dawe is the Managing Director and Works Manager of Kanyana Engineering. With decades of experience in the metal fabrication industry, he is dedicated to keeping Kanyana at the forefront of the sector’s technological growth. Looking beyond the process itself to holistic, integrated CAD, CAM and MRP solutions, Graham believes Australian manufacturing has an enduring place on the global stage. In Kanyana Engineering’s state-of-the-art workshop in Mandurah, WA, Graham delivers an exceptional standard of work for commercial, industrial and government clients alike.