When you hang a favorite 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. Drywall, plaster, paneling, and masonry walls have unique properties that require different treatments for hanging pictures.
A simple finish nail may be just fine to hang a small, lightweight frame on drywall. 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.
Also for drywall, as well as thin paneling and plaster, you might use a picture hanger. This is a piece of hardware that makes installing artwork fast and easy. It includes a mounting nail and a specially designed hook with two holes in the top that guide the mounting nail into the wall at a precise angle.
Bear claw screws 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, fluted masonry nails, concrete screws, toggle bolts, and a few other options will do the trick.
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.
Yellow Paw Picture Hangers includes 200 zinc-plated hangers and finish nails. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CONFAST Hammer Drive Nail in Anchor is specifically designed for use in concrete, block, and brick. 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.
Double-headed Hangman Bear Claw Hangers are self-tapping screws with a tapered shank that work easily into hard plaster 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.
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.