The Easiest Way to Hang Pictures on Plaster Walls

Until we rented a house with plaster walls, I never considered what material builders used before drywall was created. Well, since our first rental, I have learned a lot about plaster walls. How to make war with them. How to make them your very best friend.

In the rental house, at first we noticed the molding was different than we’d seen before. There was an inch gap between the ceiling and the top of the molding. Weird. We thought it was a mistake in the construction at first until we noticed it was that way in every room of the house!

When we tried to hang art on the wall the old hammer and nail method did not work in our favor. Some walls did better than others, but mostly the plaster crumbled around any nail we hammered into the wall. And there was little hope of moving it once you hung it, because the hole was gaping! Never to be unseen! Of course, we could go through the trouble of puttying up holes and all that – which we did – but what a headache!

plaster wallsRachel Winchester plaster walls

Both of these pictures are rooms in our old house. We hung shelves which stayed in place as well as a whole gallery wall in the guest room, but oftentimes the plaster crumbled around the nail.

You might remember when we tried to create shelves in the dining room. It was a trial and error process. Screws stayed in some places in the wall, but whenever Jesse added the shelving, the plaster crumbled and the shelves couldn’t hold any weight.

Rachel Winchester plaster walls
Through that experience, we learned what not to do when hanging artwork or pictures on plaster walls.

Do not – unless in special circumstances – hammer nails into plaster walls!

Thankfully, we have yet to put any nails in the walls of our current house. Instead, we learned how to use the picture molding. And it is the easiest way to hang pictures!

The molding in these old homes is hung a half inch or so below the ceiling so that you can hang pictures from the molding. It’s called picture molding. And it’s brilliant!

Since hanging artwork and pictures in our new house, we use these hooks to hang stuff from the picture molding. If something is lighter, we use command strips. Though I have had them mess up the walls too so the hooks seem like the best way to go most times.

Rachel Winchester easiest way to hang pictures on plaster wallsRachel Winchester plaster walls picture molding hooks
You remember how I just simplified the entry gallery wall from seven pictures to one? It was such a breeze thanks to the picture molding.

I simply and slowly removed each picture from its hook. And then slid the one I wanted to keep over into place. No putty. No pulling nails from the wall. Pure magic! Simplifying that gallery wall made me realize how much I love picture molding. I never knew it existed before a few years ago.

If you happen to have plaster walls, get you some hooks, wire/string, and wire cutters/scissors, and enjoy hanging pictures the easiest way there could possibly be!

Rachel Winchester pictures on plaster walls
Rachel Winchester pictures on plaster walls

Rachel Winchester pictures on plaster wallsRachel Winchester pictures on plaster wallsRachel Winchester pictures on plaster walls

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2 Comments

    1. I had no idea about this plaster/molding situation! I’m so impressed with how seamlessly you’ve decorated without drywall. Your style is simply gorgeous!

      1. Thank you, Grace! I was not happy about the wall situation at first, but I’ve come to really love it!!

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