The days of hope, hammer and a nail are long gone. Today's line of wall-mounting hardware means frames, mirrors and artwork hang straighter and more securely than ever.
These fasteners eliminate worries over damage to a wall surface or to a valuable picture or frame that might fall from a wobbly nail.
Whether light and small or heavy and large, virtually any object can be properly and securely displayed with the right hardware, which mostly costs between $3 and $8 for multi-piece packages at hardware stores and home centers.
Here's what to look for:
Light duty. Objects 10 to 12 pounds or lighter usually can be held in place with adhesive-type hanging strips and hooks, made popular by 3M's Command line. Think of double-sided tape, only with an extra tough adhesive.
The sticky strips and hooks often can be reused, and they don't damage the wall surface when being repositioned. Be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions on packaging. Some surfaces must be cleaned with an alcohol-type fluid, and others, including some wallpapers, won't hold some hangers.
Medium weight. Objects up to about 25 pounds need to be fastened more securely. Unfortunately, this means making a hole in the wall. But specially designed anchors, if installed properly, often limit damage to the surface. Look for hooks or fasteners with large teeth for biting into drywall or expandable straps or wings that grip the inside of the wall.
The most stable fasteners tend to be multipurpose, so they can lock into drywall, plaster and even concrete.
Heftier options. Sometimes, the old way is best. Using braided steel wire and hooks to secure larger pieces is tried and true. Plus, newer hardware makes this technique more reliable. Shield-shaped hangers by Ook (www.Ooks.com), for example, use a non-marking adhesive and tiny nails to hold objects up to 100 pounds in drywall, wood and plaster.