Do You Need a Stud Finder To Hang Pictures?

Your artwork will need extra support to avoid placing additional pressure on your wall, and that’s where a stud finder becomes an excellent tool. A Stud finder (stud sensor or stud detector) will accurately help you locate invisible framing studs placed behind your wall. With a stud finder, hanging pictures on wall will be more accessible, ensuring you place it where it should be.

Stud detectors have come a long way since the 20th century when the first was magnetic. Then followed the electronic stud finder in 1977. The two types of stud sensors are still in use today. The magnetic uses a magnet to locate nails or screws on drywall, while the electric use batteries to detect your wall’s density.

Let’s have a deep insight!

Do You Need a Stud Detector to Hang Pictures?
Do You Need a Stud Detector to Hang Pictures?

How to use a stud finder to hang pictures?

If you use an electronic stud sensor, you should know it will detect the edge of the stud or center. Here is the process of using the electric stud finder.

How to use electric stud finder

  • Stick painter’s tape on the area you want to hang your picture.
  • Place your stud detector against your wall, holding it upright. Press the button while moving the detector in one direction slowly until it sensors a stud and beeps.
  • Mark on painter’s tape using a pencil at the edge of the stud, then release the button.
  • Place the stud finder six inches apart, hold it firmly on the wall, and press the button.
  • Then start moving it in the opposite direction slowly to find the other edge of the stud; and then, if it beeps again, stop.
  • Mark again using a pencil on the tape center or the edge of the stud, then release the button.
  • If you mark both edges, the center of the stud will be between the two marked spots.
Do You Need a Stud Detector to Hang Pictures?
Electric stud finder

How to use magnetic stud finder

On the other hand, The probability of finding a stud screw or nail using a magnetic stud finder is 90% unless there’s a tick layer on the wall. Here is the process of finding studs using the magnetic finders.

  • It is similar to an electronic one, except you don’t have a button to press,
  • hold the magnetic stud sensor against your wall, then move towards one direction slowly until you detect a stud.
  • Now mark it. Note that it will be the center of the stud.
Do You Need a Stud Detector to Hang Pictures?
Magnetic stud finder

How to hang a heavy picture without a stud?

When you can’t find a stud sensor, you can use your finger to try to locate the stud using your finger. You will feel a hollow sound when tapping, but the sound changes to a dud when you get a stud.

After finding the stud, you can use the nail to hang your pictures on the wall. Here are other methods of hanging pictures on drywall no stud using other tools.

Use wall anchors

Do You Need a Stud Detector to Hang Pictures?
wall anchors

However, you can hang heavy pictures without walls using drywall (screw anchors). These drywall anchors come in handy when you don’t have wooden studs and want to screw your drywall directly.

These anchors provide the stability of the screw and prevent them from becoming loose. These anchors come in two types: plastic and metal. The plastic anchors are suitable for pictures weighing 20 pounds and below. For pictures above 20 pounds, you should use metal anchors because the plastic anchors can’t stand the weight.

Use rail cable hanging kit

A rail cable hanging kit is another underestimated solution for hanging pictures without nails on the wall. You can hang your pictures using cables attached to a rail installed along your wall. Then mount the photos on the cable using hooks.

The rail cables are the best choice because they can hold heavy pictures and be mounted on any surface wall. You can adjust the position or height of the picture, and you can change it anytime.

Use rail cable hanging kit

How to hang pictures on Sheetrock walls?

After finding the studs with stud sensors, it’s time to get your tools and prepare where to hang your pictures. Drilling a stud on the wall leaves a hole that can affect your lease. Here are steps on what to do when grilling a stud.

  • Using a drill bit, slowly drill your Sheetrock and the stud. Create a hole in the areas you marked, but be careful when drilling with electrical and plumbing cords.
  • Drill gently on the wall until you reach the stud.
  • Don’t choose big drills when drilling studs.
  • Pull the drill away after making the hole in the stud.

Sheetrock walls are not very sturdy; as a result, you shouldn’t be hanging heavy pictures on the drywall in the spots without studs.

So in case you make holes in your walls, you can use drywall anchors, drywall nails, and expanding plastic sleeves to hang your pictures or pieces of art.

How to hang pictures on Sheetrock walls?

How to hang a painting on drywall?

Having drywall doesn’t have to stop you from hanging your favorite pictures, regardless of the weight. For light pictures, you can use

  • Tap in expanding anchors: this is excellent for light pictures with less than 10 pounds.
  • Toggle bolts: toggle bolts are meant to hook-heavy pictures or loads like coat tracks. Installing them is quite a challenge because they require a larger hole. After creating a hole, insert the toggle and tighten it on your wall; the outcome will be sturdy enough to handle heavier weights.
  • Monkey hooks: are curved metals that look like dry cleaner hangers. They are sharp-pointed at the end and can be used as picture hanging hooks. They are perfect for hanging artwork or mirrors.
How to hang a painting on drywall?


What should I use to hang pictures on my wall?

You can use different types of materials to hang pictures on the wall. However, you should be careful because some hanging equipment can’t stand the heavyweight. You can use monkey hooks, drywall nails, and tap-expanding anchors.

What size nails for hanging pictures?

Nails with 11/2 inches or 2 inches are ideal for supporting most pictures, even when nailed between studs. You should drive the nails 45 degrees on the wall to work magic. It provides excellent holding power.

What type of nails are for hanging pictures?

If you want nails for hanging pictures, go for finishing nails. They should be 11/2 inches to hold heavier pictures even without studs.

What to use to hang pictures on plaster walls?

Plaster walls have plaster hooks that you can use to hang your pictures. The hooks can support pictures of any weight from 20 pounds and below. Don’t use nails on the plaster wall because they may cause cracks; use screws instead.


No wall will prevent you from hanging your favorite pictures or art pieces!

Every wall has its challenges. But the good news is every wall has the best way to hang pictures on drywall without holes.

With the right way to hang pictures on your wall, you won’t damage the wall or restrain yourself from making your home look amazing. Rather, you can decorate your home, giving your home a warm look when maintaining a beautiful and sturdy wall.

Also read – Learn How to Install Paneling on Studs?

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