The Best Nails for Hanging Pictures of 2022

If you want to hang some artwork and need a sturdy anchor, this hardware can help get the job done.

By Mark Wolfe | Updated Apr 7, 2022 2:32 PM

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Best Nails for Hanging Pictures

photo: iStockphoto.com

When you hang a piece of artwork, you should feel confident that it will stay put. The wrong hardware can set you up for a disaster, complete with falling frames and damaged walls. In fact, sometimes the best nails for hanging pictures aren’t nails at all.

Whether you have drywall, stucco, masonry, and plaster walls, there is a type of nail or hardware that is right for you. So, whether you have a large, heavy portrait or a series of small frames to hang, this guide will help you choose the best nails for hanging pictures in their respective categories.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Yellow Paw Picture Hangers
  2. BEST BUDGET: Hillman 592301 Polished Finishing Nails
  3. BEST HEAVY DUTY: OOK Heavy Duty Picture Hangers
  4. BEST KIT: hecho Assorted Picture Hanging Kit
  5. BEST FOR DRYWALL: Toofix Self Drilling Drywall Anchors with Screws
  6. BEST FOR MASONRY: CONFAST Hammer Drive Nail in Anchor
  7. BEST FOR PLASTER: Hangman Double-Headed Bear Claw Hangers
  8. BEST FOR EASY REMOVAL: Command Small Stainless Steel Hooks
The Best Nails for Hanging Pictures Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Nails for Hanging Pictures

Nails for hanging pictures vary in their type, weight capacities, and materials, among other aspects. Keep the following features and factors in mind when choosing the best nails for hanging your pictures.

Wall and Nail Type

Drywall, plaster, paneling, stucco, and masonry walls have unique properties that require different screws, nails, and treatments for hanging pictures.

For drywall, thin paneling, and plaster, the most common option is a picture hanger. This is a piece of hardware that makes installing artwork fast and easy. It includes either a mounting nail or finishing nail and a specially designed hook with two holes in the top that guide the mounting nail into the wall on a steep angle.

Bear claw screws and picture hangers are another great option for plaster. They are self-tapping, double-headed screws that install easily without pre-drilling. A raised secondary screw head holds the frame hardware as securely as a hook. For hollow and solid masonry walls and stucco, fluted masonry nails, concrete screws, toggle bolts, and a few other options will do the trick.

Picture Weight and Size

Some pictures may be heavier than others, so ensuring they are given the proper support to stay on the wall is important. For example, a simple finish nail with or without a picture hanger may be just fine to hang small, lightweight pictures of 1 to 30 pounds on drywall, plaster, and paneling. But, large, heavy frames, on the other hand, require a stronger drywall anchor system that distributes the weight over a larger area so it does not pull out of the wall.

For the heavy frames, hanging on wall studs is a viable option. You can use a stud finder to find the studs or tap on the wall until it no longer sounds hollow. Once you find the stud, you can insert a finish nail or wall anchor into the stud which will support picture frames of 20 to 30 pounds.

Our Top Picks

As you shop for the best nails for hanging pictures, protecting your walls is equally as important as securing your artwork. Whether you need a simple nail or a heavy duty anchor, this list offers safe, secure solutions for your consideration.

Best Overall

The Best Nails for Hanging Pictures Option: Yellow Paw Picture Hangers
Photo: amazon.com

The Yellow Paw Picture Hangers includes 200 zinc-plated hangers and finish nails for hanging most pictures in your home. This is excellent go-to hardware for installing artwork and other framed pieces. These hooks can also hold keys, tools, or other “hangables” below the 30-pound limit.

The holes in the top of the hook align the nail for easy installation and a secure hold. They come in a convenient snap-close plastic case for easy storage. These picture hangers are designed and tested to hold up to 30 pounds each on drywall or wood wall surfaces.

Product Specs

  • Type: Picture hanger
  • Suitable Wall Types: Drywall and paneling
  • Weight Capacity: 30 pounds

Pros

  • Comes with 200 finishing nails and picture hangers
  • Easy to install
  • Snap-close plastic case

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavier frames
  • Nails may be too short for some uses

Get the Yellow Paw hooks on Amazon.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Nails for Hanging Pictures Option: Hillman 592301 Polished Finishing Nails
Photo: amazon.com

Hillman 592301 Polished Finishing Nail is a great choice when you just want a simple, multipurpose nail. It is a 6d nail, measuring .12 inches in diameter and 2 inches long, with a smooth shank and small head. The polished finish looks good, too. Drive it in at a 45-degree upward angle as a secure mounting point for small pictures.

Other common uses include interior trim and finishing work. This nail is not for use with treated wood or where corrosion may be a problem.

Product Specs

  • Type: Finishing nails
  • Suitable Wall Types: Most walls
  • Weight Capacity: 30 pounds

Pros

  • Suitable for lightweight pictures, trim, and finishing work
  • 2 inches long
  • Polished stainless steel
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Not suitable for corroding paneling
  • May be too thick for some finishing work

Get the Hillman finishing nails on Amazon.

Best Heavy Duty

The Best Nails for Hanging Pictures Option: OOK Heavy Duty Picture Hangers
Photo: amazon.com

OOK Heavy Duty Picture Hangers are a good solution for hanging large, heavy framed pieces, like mirrors or paintings, on either drywall or plaster. Professionals use these types of hangers to install priceless pieces at museums and galleries. The fine points on these thin nails leave only tiny pinholes in the wall. The hardened blue steel won’t bend when hammered into hard plaster.

Thanks to their easy-to-grip heads, these nails are easy to remove and reuse, too. With three nails per hook, these hangers support up to 100 pounds.

Product Specs

  • Type: Picture hanger
  • Suitable Wall Types: Plaster, drywall, and paneling
  • Weight Capacity: 100 pounds

Pros

  • Suitable for hanging large, heavy frames
  • Blue steel nails included
  • Easy-to-grip heads

Cons

  • Pricey compared to similar options

Get the OOK picture hangers on Amazon.

Best Kit

The Best Nails for Hanging Pictures Option: hecho Assorted Picture Hanging Kit
Photo: amazon.com

Hecho Assorted Picture Hanging Kit includes an assortment of picture hangers and mounting hardware. The kit includes 59 picture hangers: 25 with a 10-pound capacity, 15 with a 20-pound capacity, 10 with a 30-pound capacity, 6 with a 40-pound capacity, and 4 with a 75-pound capacity.

The kit also includes 25 1.5-inch nails, 10 feet of mounting wire, 10 eye hooks, 10 sawtooth hangers, and 10 D hooks. These items come presorted in a segmented snap-close box. All screws and nails come matched with the corresponding hardware.

Product Specs

  • Type: Picture hangers and hooks, finishing nails, and wire
  • Suitable Wall Types: Plaster and drywall
  • Weight Capacity: 10 to 75 pounds

Pros

  • 59 hangers and 25 nails included
  • Comes with mounting wire
  • Presorted in a snap-close box

Cons

  • May not be suitable for paneling
  • Some users report poor quality

Get the hecho picture hanging kit on Amazon.

Best for Drywall

The Best Nails for Hanging Pictures Option: Toofix Self Drilling Drywall Anchors with Screws
Photo: amazon.com

Toofix Self Drilling Drywall Plastic Anchors make a strong, fast connection without pre-drilling. Use a Phillips screwdriver to twist the wide-threaded anchor into the drywall, then screw in the anchor screw, and proceed to hang pictures weighing up to 50 pounds.

The deep-thread design provides strong engagement in ⅜-, ½-, or ⅝-inch gypsum wallboard (drywall). These are easier to remove than other types of hollow wall anchors. Simply remove the anchor screw and unthread the anchor. The package includes 20 plastic anchors and screws.

Product Specs

  • Type: Drywall anchors
  • Suitable Wall Types: Drywall
  • Weight Capacity: 50 pounds

Pros

  • Suitable for heavy frames
  • Does not require pre-drilling
  • Deep-thread design
  • Easy to install and remove

Cons

  • May crack inside the wall

Get the Toolfix anchors with screws on Amazon.

Best for Masonry

The Best Nails for Hanging Pictures Option: CONFAST Hammer Drive Nail in Anchor
Photo: amazon.com

CONFAST Hammer Drive Nail in Anchor is specifically designed for use in concrete, block, and brick walls and surfaces. To install, predrill a ¼-inch hole (between ¾ of an inch and 1¼ inches deep) into the masonry surface, insert the anchor into the hole, then drive the nail into the anchor. It provides a secure, permanent mounting point for pictures and artwork up to 450 pounds, depending on the specific wall material and condition.

This anchor installs faster and with a smaller pre-drilled hole than many other masonry anchors. Drilling masonry requires a carbide-tip bit attached to a hammer drill. But, beware: once installed, this anchor cannot be removed without damaging the wall. The package includes 100 anchors and nails.

Product Specs

  • Type: Anchors
  • Suitable Wall Types: Masonry walls
  • Weight Capacity: 450 pounds

Pros

  • Suitable for brick and concrete
  • Easy to install once pre-drilled
  • Comes with 100 anchors

Cons

  • Pricey compared to similar options
  • Requires pre-drilling
  • Permanent once installed

Get the CONFAST nail in anchor on Amazon.

Best for Plaster

The Best Nails for Hanging Pictures Option: Hangman Double-Headed Bear Claw Hangers
Photo: amazon.com

Double-headed Hangman Bear Claw Hangers are self-tapping screws with a tapered shank that work easily into hard plaster walls without pre-drilling. The lower head at the top of the threads maintains stable wall contact, while the upper head easily connects with keyholes, D-rings, sawtooth brackets, or wire hardware on the back of framed artwork.

The best part is that Hangman Bear Claw Hangers won’t crack your plaster. These screws are rated for 30 pounds and up to 100 pounds when screwed into a stud. This pack includes 25 hangers.

Product Specs

  • Type: Bear claw screws
  • Suitable Wall Types: Drywall, wood, brick, plaster, and concrete
  • Weight Capacity: 30 to 100 pounds

Pros

  • Double-headed design
  • Suitable for use with keyholes, D-rings, sawtooth brackets, or wire hardware
  • Self-drilling
  • Includes 25 hangers

Cons

  • May stick out too far for some preferences
  • Some users report difficulty using

Get the Hangman claw hangers on Amazon.

Best for Easy Removal

The Best Nails for Hanging Pictures Option: Command Small Stainless Steel Hooks
Photo: amazon.com

Command Small Stainless Steel Hooks are a great option for folks who don’t want to use tools and for dwellings where you can’t make holes in the walls. The peel and stick backing adheres to a variety of smooth surfaces, including painted drywall, finished wood, tile, metal, and glass.

Pull the bottom tab and stretch the strip to remove it with no residue left behind. These stainless steel hooks look classier than their plastic counterparts, which is great if they are exposed to hold keys or jewelry. They hold up to a half pound, which is plenty for small- to medium-size frames. The package contains eight hooks and ten clear adhesive strips.

Product Specs

  • Type: Peel and stick
  • Suitable Wall Types: Drywall, finished wood, tile, metal, and glass
  • Weight Capacity: 0.5 pounds

Pros

  • Easy to install and remove
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Suitable for light objects and picture frames
  • 8 hooks included

Cons

  • Pricey compared to similar options
  • Not suitable for use on wallpaper

Get the Command hooks on Amazon.

Our Verdict

Our top pick for hanging most pictures is the Yellow Paw picture hangers as they are easy to install, come in a snap-close plastic case for storing, and support up to 30 pounds. For the heavy-weight frames you need to hang, we recommend the OOK picture hangers that support up to 100 pounds with their large-hooked design and come with the blue steel nails required for installation.

How We Chose the Best Nails for Hanging Pictures

We researched the most sought-after nails to hang pictures in their respective categories and discovered that the best models are determined by their type, weight capacity, suitability with different walls and surfaces, quantity provided, and other special features included by select brands.

To ensure our list included the best nails for hanging pictures on the market, we included options with finishing nails, hooks, anchors, wiring, and bear claw screws to meet the needs of different frame weights and sizes. We also made sure that our top picks could be used on drywall, plaster, paneling, masonry walls, glass, metal, and tile to make decorating your space as easy as possible.

Most of these products also come with varying quantities for multiple frames with select picks including over 100 individual units. While some of these picks require pre-drilling, many of them are easy to install with a screw or drill.

FAQs

Now that you know more about the nails to use for properly hanging pictures and some of the best options on the market, you may still have some questions about how to use and install them. Read on for some of the most-asked questions about these nails.

Q: Can you hang pictures on drywall with nails?

Nails are a perfectly good option for hanging pictures on your walls. But, one should consider using a hanging hook on a finishing nail to ensure that your picture hangs securely and does not slip off the nail.

Q: How do you anchor a picture on a wall?

Installing drywall anchors to hang pictures provides much greater holding power than nails for heavier frames, but it can be tricky for first-timers. Here is a step-by-step list for anchoring a picture on a wall:

  1. Mark the wall where you want to install the anchor. For a heavy frame, consider using a stud finder first to mark the location.
  2. Pre-drill a hole for the anchor to fit into on the marker. You will need a bit that is slightly smaller than the anchor itself to ensure the anchor will fit snugly.
  3. Insert the plastic sleeve of the anchor (if required) into the drilled hole. A rubber mallet or a hammer may be required to gently tap the sleeve into place.
  4. Place or screw the anchor into the sleeve, ensuring that the anchor sticks out from the wall enough to support the frame’s hooks or wire.

Q: How do you hang a picture frame that has no hooks?

If your frame has no hooks or has lost its wiring, new wiring or hooks can be installed on the frame itself. Here are a couple of ways you can add new hanging hardware:

  1. Nail in 2 ½-inch finishing nails on the back of the frame and wrap one end of a wire to both nails. Then drive a single ½-inch finishing nail into the wall on a steep angle and hang the frame on the wall with the wire.
  2. If your frame is made out of metal, you can buy new hooks for the frame. Many can be pressed into the back of the frame or can be placed in the space between the frame and the backing of the picture. Once hanged, use a level to ensure that the hardware is placed correctly.