Pat Sullivan demonstrates wall hooks and anchors for hanging


Pat demonstrates how wall anchors support the weight of your paintings and artwork.

INDIANAPOLIS – One of the most common home improvement tasks is hanging anything on a wall, whether it’s pictures, artwork, a bookshelf, or assembling a television.

Most walls are built with vertical wooden supports called studs, and then covered with plasterboard covered with paper known as drywall.

A two-inch screw or nail driven through the drywall into a wood stud is one of the most stable supports for hanging a heavier object on a wall.

But many people, especially renters, don’t want to poke holes in walls that will later need to be backfilled and painted. So they use temporary hooks that stick to walls with tape that peels off without leaving a stain. The downside to these hooks is that they don’t carry much weight.

Pat out Sullivan Hardware and Garden demonstrated on 13Sunrise how screws and anchors work to attach heavier items to drywall and studs.

First, a stud finder can locate the wood within a wall by sensing the density of the material in the wall. The battery-powered sensor is swiped horizontally across the wall and beeps or lights up as it sweeps over a joist behind the wall. This is the best spot for a nail or screw to support the hanging hook.

But if you can’t find a stud in the middle of a wall where a picture or other item would look best aesthetically, Pat recommends a drywall anchor and screw to attach the hanging hook.

By drilling a hole in the drywall and pushing a plastic anchor in, you can then drive a screw into the anchor. As the screw enters the anchor, it spreads the anchor against the plaster and paper, essentially forming a tight lock for the hook. Plastic anchors are best for lighter loads.

With a heavier object, a metal Molly anchor that spreads and clamps to the back of the drywall is more secure. The Molly anchor comes with a threaded bolt which, once inserted into the drilled hole in the drywall, is turned until the back of the anchor is pulled and spreads out like an umbrella to rest against the back of the wall.

Watch Pat’s Sunrise segment and demonstration of installing a molly anchor in the video player.