Hanging Pictures on Plasterboard Walls: Is It Possible?

If you’ve got a framed picture, artwork, or prized document you want to show off, the best way to display it is to hang it on the wall. But before you start hammering away, check what your wall is made of. If it’s plasterboard or drywall, consider the age-old debate: “Can you hang pictures on plasterboard walls without turning your wall into something resembling Swiss cheese?”

Let’s dive right into this burning question and take a look at how you can best hang pictures on your plasterboard walls.

What are plasterboard walls?

Plasterboard, also known as drywall, is a building material known for its affordability, versatility, and ease of installation. Plasterboard is commonly used for interior walls and ceilings in residential and commercial buildings. It is made of gypsum plaster, which is sandwiched between two layers of paper. While it has many advantages, plasterboard is unfortunately not as sturdy as brick or wood walls. This makes picture hanging a more challenging endeavour, as the standard method of hammering a nail into the wall quickly becomes rather messy and ugly when dealing with plaster. But not to worry; picture hanging on plasterboard walls is undoubtedly possible.

define plasterboard

Can you hang pictures on plasterboard? Yes – here’s how:

Get the right tools for the job

While using nails to hang pictures works well for brick and wood walls, it will only end in tears (and crumbling holes) for your plasterboard walls. Instead of nails, consider suitable alternatives, such as:

  • Brass hooks
  • Click rail cable hanging kits
  • Wall studs
  • Threaded plasterboard anchors
  • Toggle hooks
  • Plastic wall plugs

When choosing the proper hardware, consider the weight and dimensions of your artwork, the recommended maximum weight for your hanging tool, and whether your wall has sturdy wall studs. For best results, get your tools from reliable hardware stores. If you plan to hang multiple pictures, ensure you get enough hardware for all of them – or invest directly in a sturdy picture hanging system made specifically for hanging and installing artwork.

A guide to hanging pictures on plasterboard walls

Once you’ve got all your tools and hardware, it’s time to get to work. If you’re not sure how to hang your picture on a plaster wall, it’s important that you do it properly to ensure safety, longevity, and efficiency.

  1. Gather your tools — a pencil, measuring tape, hammer, level, and whatever hardware you’ve chosen for your picture.
  2. Locate any wall studs (beams that support the frame of your home, made of sturdy wood) — if you can find them, you can secure your picture to them. If not, no worries — you’ll probably have to use a plasterboard anchor.
  3. Measure and mark where you want to hang your picture. If you have a friend, get them to hold the picture in place while you take a step back — it’s all about perspective!
  4. Install your hardware, whether it’s a brass hook, hanging rail, plasterboard anchor, or toggle hook. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  5. Hang your picture once you’re sure the hardware is firmly in place. Use a level to ensure that it’s perfectly straight (or don’t — sometimes crooked pictures provide a little bit of charm!)
  6. Admire your picture! Step back, have a drink, and reward yourself for your hard work.
tools used to hand pictures on plasterboard walls

Avoid these common mistakes

Your walls make up your home, so it’s essential to treat them well and avoid causing damage through incorrect hanging methods. Common mistakes when hanging pictures on plasterboard walls include:

  • Overloading the wall with heavy pictures.
  • Not taking the artwork’s weight and dimensions into account. 
  • Using improper hardware and techniques.

Hanging heavy pictures on plasterboard walls is a risky endeavour, but you can minimise damage to your walls and pictures by using the proper hardware and techniques suitable to your picture’s weight and dimensions. To avoid making costly mistakes, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any hardware you use. Take note of maximum weight thresholds for hooks and consider the picture’s size. Using wall studs to support your hardware is recommended, especially for heavier pictures.

Consult professional picture hanging services

If you prefer a hands-off approach or are concerned about damaging your walls and pictures, the best solution is to hire professional experts to assist you with your picture installation. Professional Picture Hanging offers reliable and fast picture hanging services across Australia. We offer an array of picture hanging services across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Newcastle, from simple picture hanging to large-scale art installations. Contact us if you need picture hanging systems or picture hanging or framing services and solutions, and we’ll help you make the most of your plasterboard walls and display your favourite photos and artworks.


So, is it possible to hang pictures on plasterboard walls? Yes — absolutely! While plasterboard walls aren’t as sturdy as brick and wood walls, you can reap the same benefits by taking advantage of wall studs, brass hooks, plasterboard hooks, claws, toggle hooks, and other hardware specifically suited to hanging pictures on plaster walls. With the appropriate hardware, techniques, and patience, you can transform your plasterboard walls into a gallery-worthy display. 

When in doubt, get help. If you’ve got a friend or family member around, ask them to help you. But it’s always best to consult professional services if you’re unsure how to hang pictures on your plasterboard wall. Additionally, if you have other walls made of different materials, check out our guide to hanging pictures on different wall materials. There’s a solution for every wall, and we can help you with it.