Interior Walls & Ceilings

How To: Hang Picture Frames on a Brick Wall

It's not hard to hang picture frames on a brick wall. First, read through our simple instructions. Then grab your drill, some wall anchors, and a friend—and get to work!
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Although exposed brick offers a warm, appealing aesthetic redolent of history, many homeowners are puzzled by the question of how to hang pictures on a brick wall. If you’ve never done it before, this may seem like a daunting proposition. Whereas drywall or plaster easily yield to a nail, brick and mortar obviously require a different approach. Yes, the steps involved are different, as are the necessary tools and supplies. But make no mistake: Even a beginning do-it-yourselfer can hang pictures on a brick wall. Simply follow the instructions detailed below.

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Step 1

You’ve probably never thought of picture hanging as an especially messy project, but when you’re working with brick, there’s always the risk of dispersing dust around the work area. So before you begin, it’s a good idea to cover fragile items nearby with either plastic sheeting or a drop cloth. Doing so minimizes the amount of time you’ll need to spend cleaning up once you’ve finished the job.


Step 2

Use chalk to mark the location (on the mortar, not on the face of a brick) where you want to install the picture hook. Don’t worry—chalk can be rubbed away when you’re done.

Step 3

Ask a friend to stand in the middle of the room while you hold the picture frame over the chalk mark you’ve made on the mortar. Taking into account the manner in which the frame is going to hang—from a wire or by means of a D-ring or sawtooth hanger—confirm that you’ve chalked the correct spot. If you are hanging multiple pictures, you may want to break out the level, so you can make sure everything aligns.

Step 4

Attach a masonry bit to your drill/driver and proceed to drill a hole into the mortar where you marked it with chalk. (Don’t have any masonry bits? You can easily order a set from Amazon or elsewhere.) Be sure to drill deep enough to accommodate a wall anchor, but not so deep that you might puncture any wires or pipes behind the brick.

Step 5

Place a wall anchor into the hole you’ve drilled. Next, screw a picture hook into the embedded wall anchor. Finally, hang the picture frame over the hook you’ve secured into place. Now you’re done. Last but not least: Stand back to enjoy the view!

Additional Tips for Hanging Picture Frames on a Brick Wall

  • Choose a masonry bit that’s the correct size for the wall anchor you’re using.
  • Use two wall anchors to safely secure a heavy, glass-fronted picture frame.
  • When drilling, be careful to protect your eyes from the dust that may scatter.