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How To Hang A Picture On A Brick Wall

How to hang a picture on a brick wall is easy if you have the right hardware. And you can even do it without drilling any holes. Adhesive hooks and mounting tape are both great ways to hang light weight pictures on brick. If you you have heavier picture frames try brick hooks. They can hold around 30 pounds, are super easy to use and won’t damage the brick. For large, heavy picture frames, you’ll have to drill mounting hooks into the brick. Brick is definitely in style. Whether painted or exposed, it adds warmth and character to any space. And brick’s beauty is accentuated even more with the right pictures and frames.

While exposed brick is a beautiful look, is it ruined by hanging pictures? No it isn’t. Hanging frames on brick is easy to do and looks fantastic. Brick makes a wonderful backdrop for just the right picture and frame. Whether your brick is around a fireplace, covering an entire wall, red, or painted, the right pictures can add even more charm and character to the room.

But before you pick a method and start hanging pictures, make sure you know their weight and dimensions first. Some methods are better than others depending on what your pictures weigh and how big they are. Measure and mark where you want the pictures to go before you start hanging. Working on brick walls can be more permanent than wood and drywall if you’re drilling holes.

When your ready, purchase the hooks you’ll need, layout the design and hang your photos. Hanging pictures on a brick wall isn’t that hard to do once you know how. Good Luck.

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Picture hangers for brick side by side. Hardwall Hangers, Adhesive Hooks, Masonry Anchors Adhesive Tape & Brick Clips.

The Best Way To Hang Pictures On A Brick Wall

Once you’ve picked out the perfect spot to hang your picture, it’s time to choose the right mounting hardware.

There are three main types of hardware you can use to hang a picture on brick. Adhesive hooks, hard wall hangers, and masonry hooks.

Each of these methods works great for hanging a picture on brick, but they’re designed to do it in different ways. And they each have their own pros and cons which we’ll discuss later on.

In order to determine which mounting method is best you should ask yourself a few important questions.

  • Are you allowed to drill something permanently into the brick wall?
  • How long will the photo be hung. Do you want a permanent mount or something temporary?
  • What does your picture weigh?
  • How big is your picture?
  • What’s your budget?

It’s very important to determine which mounting method is best for your particular situation. For example, if your mounting fine art that weighs a lot, I would recommend a permanent mount that can handle the weight. But if you’re hanging a picture temporarily, don’t have permission to drill into the brick or  the picture is light then a removable mount is a better choice.

Tools

Most methods to hang pictures on a brick wall involve some tools. The method you choose will dictate the tools you’ll need. I’m going to list them all here but keep in mind, you probably won’t need all of them.

  • Level: You’ll need a small level to make sure the picture is hung correctly. This also helps when installing multiple clips for a large or heavy picture frame.
  • Hammer: A good hammer is used to install hardwall hangers or hanging nails.
  • Chalk or Pencil: You’ll need these when doing your layout and marking hanger locations.
  • Tape Measure: Another tool that’s used to layout the pictures and hangers.
  • Power Drill: A power drill is required to drill holes into brick and mortar. And don;t forget the bits. I recommend a power drill with a hammer function. It makes drilling into masonry much easier.
  • Screw Driver: I use the power drill to drill holes but a hand screwdriver to insert mounting screws.

Brick Hook Clips

One of the best ways to hang picture frames on a brick wall without drilling are brick hook clips. They’re very easy to use and can hold a fair amount of weight. Brick clips are rated to support different weights up to 30 pounds, but if you need to hang something heavier, use two or more hangers.

Brick hook clips are super easy to install.

  • The top end of the clip is serrated like a claw and bites down onto the brick.
  • The bottom is a spring that hooks onto the bottom of the brick and holds the clip tight.
  • The middle has a small hook used to support a picture or other objects.

Typically, brick hook clips are made of steel that’s rust proof, so they’re good for inside and outside use.

Brick clips are designed to grip bricks where they stick out from the mortar. They’re also designed for different sized bricks. If you’re mortar is thick and sits even with,or sticks out from, the face of the brick, like a German Schmear, brick clips won’t work.

Adhesive Hooks & Mounting Tape

Adhesive hooks and mounting tape are the best ways to hang something on a brick wall without drilling. They’re very easy to install and removable so they won’t damage the brick. But they’re also the weakest option.

Check the label to see how much weight your hooks or tape can handle and weigh your picture. If you hang a frame that’s too heavy for the mount you can rip it right off the wall. This won’t damage the brick but it could break your frame. Adhesive hooks and mounting tape are generally strong enough for a picture up to around 7 pounds.

Adhesive hooks and mounting tape are both fantastic ways to hang a picture on brick because they don’t require drilling any holes. Instead, they have an adhesive backing which sticks firmly to the wall. If you want a solution that’s not permanent and won’t damage the brick then these are what you should use.

Pro Tip: If you need more support then use more adhesive hooks or tape. 2 or more hooks can work together to support more weight. The same is true for the mounting tape. Using more adhesive mounts spreads the weight of the picture among them. For example, a 20lb picture would be too heavy for your average adhesive hook but 3 could probably handle it because each hook would be holding less than 7 pounds.

How To Install Adhesive Hooks On A Brick Wall

Using adhesive hooks to hang a picture on a brick wall isn’t that hard. But there are a few steps you should take in order to make sure the hooks attach firmly to the brick.

Clean the Brick

If you want a really firm hold, you should clean the area where the hook is going before sticking it to the wall. I like to use a cleaner like alcohol but any mild generic household cleaner will do. Even warm soap and water is typically enough. Put a little cleaner on a paper towel or cloth and wipe the area.

The glue on an adhesive hook sticks much better to a clean surface. If there’s dust or dirt on the wall then you won’t get a good hold.

You don’t have to scrub hard unless the brick is very dirty. In most cases a cleaning is just to remove dust, dirt and maybe some soot if your brick is above a fireplace.

Make sure the area is dry before you attach the hook.

Mark the Spot

I like to use a pencil to mark exactly where I want the hook. Make sure the mark is level because once the hook sticks you can’t adjust it later.

It’s better to take your time, be precise and avoid mistakes.

When working with brick you’ll have mortar lines to deal with. Make sure the hook falls in the center of a brick and not over the mortar. If the adhesive sits half on brick and half on mortar the hold won’t be as strong.

Stick It To The Wall

The adhesive anchor will have a plastic cover that protects the glue. Remove the plastic covering to expose the adhesive. Make sure not to touch the adhesive because the oils from your finger can weaken the glue. Carefully press the anchor it to the wall for about 30 seconds.

Make sure to carefully line up the hook in exactly the place you want it and press firmly but not too hard. Use just enough pressure to keep it in place.

Let The Adhesive Dry

Wait for at least 30 – 60 minutes before you hang anything on the hook. It takes some time for the glue to dry and completely grip to the wall. Once enough time has past go ahead and hang your picture.

Make sure not to hang anything too heavy. If your picture is heavier than the hook can support then it may rip right off the wall. If that happens then get stronger hooks or use more of them. It’s fine to use 2 or more hooks to hang a heavy picture.

Summary

  1. Clean the area with an alcohol wipe or other mild cleaner.
  2. Wait for the area to dry.
  3. Mark the area where the hook goes with a pencil.
  4. Remove the hooks plastic backing.
  5. Hold the adhesive on the wall for about 30 seconds with firm pressure.
  6. Wait at least 30 – 60 minutes before hanging your picture to ensure the adhesive has fully adhered to the wall.

Hard Wall Hangers

Hardwall hangers are designed to work on concrete, brick, block or other masonry walls. They’re a medium strength hanger capable of holding around 25 pounds, or 11 kg. That’s more than double the strength of an adhesive hanger.

Hanging pictures on brick with a hardwall hanger is quick and easy. They feature sturdy pins that anchor the base into the wall.

You can use multiple hardwall hangers to hold pictures weighing over the limit.

How To Install Hardwall Hangers On A Brick Wall

Hardwall hangers are a great way to hang picture frames on a brick wall. They’re are only a few steps, and unlike adhesive hangers, you don’t have to clean the wall first.

Depending on how your brick mortar is done, you may be able to install the hanger on top of the mortar joint. When you’re laying out the picture location and where the hanger will sit, take a close look at the mortar. If it’s flush with the brick face, you’ll be able to use it to secure the hanger. But if it’s sticking out from the face, or sunken in, attach the hanger to the brick and not the mortar.

Mark the Spot

Mark the exact spot where you’d like to install the hanger. Whenever you work with brick it’s important to be accurate. Hardwall hangers are more permanent so there won’t be a chance to adjust the its position later. Take your time and make sure the hook is in the right spot before you install it.

Installing the Hangers

Place the hanger on the marked spot. Hold it still with your free hand while you use the other one to nail the four pins into the wall.

Only hammer the pins in about half way at first. Before hammering them all the way in, stop and check whether or not the hook maintains its position and if it’s still in the right spot. After confirming that it’s where you want it, continue hammering the pins.

If the hook isn’t in the right spot then you’ll have to back it out and adjust. This can be a problem because you can’t put two holes right next to each other so take your time and make sure the hook is in the perfect place before nailing.

Take your time and hammer the pins firmly but not too hard. It’s not like driving a nail. Going slowly will help keep the hook in the right place until all the pins are secured. It’ll also help prevent accidents and maybe save a finger or two.

Hang The Picture

Hang your picture frame and make sure it’s straight. Just like with adhesive hooks, make sure not to hang a picture that’s too heavy for the hardwall hanger. If you overload them you could rip the hooks right out of the wall.

Summary

  1. Mark the spot where you’re installing the hanger.
  2. Hold the hanger on the mark and carefully start hammering in the pins
  3. Step back and confirm that its in the right spot when the pins are about half way in. If not then stop and adjust.
  4. Hammer the pins completely into the concrete into the wall.
  5. Hang your photo.

Masonry Anchors

A masonry anchor is the strongest and most permanent method of hanging a picture on a brick wall. Some can hold over 10 times the weight of a hardwall hanger and over 30 times the weight of adhesives.

Masonry anchors come in a wide variety of styles, sizes and materials. Each designed for a different purpose. Buy the one you need for the appropriate amount of weight you intend to hold.

All masonry anchors require drilling a pilot hole into the brick wall before you secure the anchor so you’ll need a masonry drill and some bits.

Because of how complex the process is to install a masonry anchor, they’re the most expensive, labor intensive and skilled way to hang a picture on a brick wall. But they’re also the most secure and permanent. Once you drill that hole into the brick, there’s no way to undo it. However, drill holes into the mortar joint can be repaired.

Use The Right Tools

Masonry anchors require drilling a pilot hole into the brick wall which requires some special tools. You can use any drill to do it if you have the right bit but I recommend a hammer drill. A hammer drill doesn’t just spin like a regular drill. It also move back and forth as it spins and hammers the drill bit in. The hammering and spinning work together to drill into brick and mortar much better than a regular drill that only spins.

When you have a hammer drill and a new bit, drilling into brick and mortar is easy and typically takes under 30 seconds.

Take your time going through brick and mortar and occasionally back out the bit and let it cool. Heat that’s produced inside the hole from friction can burn out a bit. You can sometimes see a bit get red hot and black from drilling for too long.

Bits

When you buy your masonry anchor, the package will tell you how deep the hole needs to be and how wide. Buy the right size bit length and diameter to make the appropriate size hole.

Mark & Drill The Hole

Mark the spot where you want the hole before you start drilling. A masonry anchor is permanent so it’s location has to be accurate. There’s no adjusting things later.

When you drill into masonry take your time and press hard. The bit and drill will do most of the work but you still have to apply pressure.

A hammer drill needs pressure in order for it’s hammering action to work. This makes drilling into brick and mortar joints a lot easier.

Make sure to drill the hole in straight and not at an angle. This will ensure the anchor head sits flush against the wall.

Pro Tip: To ensure I don’t drill too deep, I take a piece of tape or a black marker and mark the depth on the drill bit. When my mark is flush with the brick face I know I’m in far enough. This is important because if the hole is too shallow the anchor won’t go in far enough and will stick out of the wall. If you drill in too far the anchor can get pushed in too deep while hammering. You want the anchor at just the right depth to be all the way in and flush with the wall.

Placing the Anchor In the Hole

Once the hole is drilled, secure your anchor. Most masonry anchors designed for pictures require a plastic piece to be hammered into the hole and then a screw. These steps are self explanatory and very easy to do. Just hammer in the plastic gently and then install in the screw.

Don’t hammer the plastic in too hard or too deep. It should end up flush with the wall.

If you have a hard time tapping in the anchor then you may have drilled the hole too narrow or not deep enough. Adjust the hole size as needed. But don’t make the hole too deep or too wide or it won’t hold the anchor.

Installing the Screw

This is the easiest part. Simply screw in the screw. For this task, you can use a screwdriver or a screw gun. It works fine either way but I prefer to do it by hand. You want to stop the screw before it’s flush with the wall so some is sticking out. I feel I have more control by hand then with a power tool.

A little space between the screw head and wall allows you to adjust the picture wire a bit.

Summary

  1. Mark the spot where you want to hang your picture frame.
  2. Place the drill bit over the mark and drill into the wall. Make sure to drill in straight.
  3. Tap your anchor into the hole until flush with the wall.
  4. Secure the screw into the anchor with a little space left over.
  5. Hang your photo.

Hanging Pictures On A Brick Wall

When you’re hanging pictures on a brick wall, it’s important to understand a little bit about brick.

All bricks are not created equal. Some are very dense and smooth and some are more rustic. This effects how the adhesive or anchor will work with the brick. Inspect the brick carefully before choosing the appropriate hanger.

Bricks come in different sizes. This makes a big difference when shopping for brick hooks. Make sure to buy the brick hook that’s sized correctly for your brick.

Don’t hammer directly into a brick. This can easily crack it. If you’re using a hammer and nail to hang your picture, hammer into the mortar. Bricks can’t really be repaired, rather, a damaged is replaced. This involves removing the damaged brick and installing a new one. If you can’t find a brick that matches the others exactly right, it’ll stick out. But mortar is easy to replace.

Drill slowly into the brick. It’s possible to crack a brick if you’re drilling by the edge. Try to drill in the center of the brick if possible.

If the surface of the bricks are uneven or have deep pores, an adhesive probably won’t stick. Adhesives require a dense flat surface to work properly. In these cases use a nail, anchor or clip.

Tips

When deciding on which anchor to use, you should consider not only the weight of the picture but also how long you want the photo to be there. If you want it there temporarily, use adhesive hooks or tape. They’re fast, cheap and easy to install and come off when you want them to with no permanent hole. If the photo will be there for a long time, or is heavy, use masonry anchors or hard wall hangers.

The weight of your photo matters when picking the right hardware as each style bears different weights. If your photo is light (less than 8 lbs) you can use any type of hardware (adhesive, masonry anchors, or hard wall hooks), but if its really heavy (50 lbs or more) you should use masonry anchors. For photos with weight in the middle (8-30 lbs) use a hardwall anchor.

Your photos’ length and height are not that important. The main factor effecting which hook to use is weight. The hook doesn’t care what size frame you have as long as it doesn’t exceed its weight limit.

The last factor to consider when purchasing hardware is your budget. Adhesive hooks are the cheapest, averaging about $5.00 for a pack of two. Next comes hardwall hangers, which are around $8.00. Although hardwall hangers do require you also own a hammer which I assume most people have. If not you can buy a cheap one for under $20 bucks.

The most expensive option are masonry hooks. These cost around $15.00 for a set which includes 4 anchors. But you need a drill to install them and bits. Even a cheap hammer drill costs over $50 plus another $10 for 2 bits.

Prepare for Dust or chips. Move fragile items away from your workspace or cover them with plastic sheeting or cloth. Drilling or hammering into brick and mortar will create dust of chips.

  Adhesive Hooks Hardwall Hangers Masonry Anchors Brick Hooks
Permanent Damage No Yes Yes No
Weight 7.5 lbs. 25 lbs. 50 lbs. + 30 lbs.
Skill Easy Medium Hard Easy
Cost (2022)
$5.00 $8.00 $25.00 + Drill $10.00
Tools None Hammer Power Drill None

Can I Hang A Picture On A Brick Wall?

Yes, hanging photos on a brick wall is a great way to make a house feel more like a home. But if your walls are made of brick it’s harder to do.

If you own the house then making permanent holes is up to you. However, if you rent then your landlord probably won’t want you drilling a bunch of permanent holes in the brick.

If you’re a renter and want to hang a photo or two on a brick wall, I recommend you stick with adhesive hooks or mounting tape.

Adhesive hooks and tape are not permanent and can hold your typical photo that weighs under 8 pounds. But the great thing is that you can use multiple hooks to hang a single picture. If your picture weighs over the 8 pound limit, use more hooks.

With brick walls, you’ve got not only the brick to think about but also the mortar joint. before you start hanging anything, inspect the wall.

  • If the bricks are flat and dense, adhesive hooks, tape and anchors all work better.
  • If the bricks are old and brittle, adhesives may not stick.
  • In some cases the brick is in bad shape but the mortar is strong. In these cases, hang your picture from the mortar instead.
  • Many brick walls are over or around a fireplace. Keep this in mind when hanging pictures because heat may loosen the adhesive’s bond.

Where To Hang Your Picture

The first step in hanging your picture is choosing the right location. This is a little off topic because where you hang it on the concrete wall doesn’t effect how you hang it. But since some methods are permanent it makes the location extra important, so I thought I’d include a few tips to help you out.

Deciding exactly where to hang your photo can be stressful under normal circumstances, but when the picture may be permanent it’s even more so. Luckily our interior designers have some great advice for you.

When hanging just one photo or a grouping, place it or them in an area that’s a focal point. You could just hang pictures in random places but the best designers choose spots that have purpose. Pictures will draw attention so keep that in mind when picking your spots.

To create the best experience, place the center of your photo at eye level, which is about 57 inches from the ground. When hanging multiple photos, place the center of the collage at eye level as well. Pictures that are too high or two low look strange.

If you want to test out the places then print out pictures of your pictures and tape them to the wall. Adjust as needed. Planning is extra important when your working with anything permanent.

Consider the layout of your room and your furniture. The spots you hang your photos today may look great, but if you change the furniture how will they look later. If you have to move the pictures then you could end up with ugly holes in your walls unless you’ve used all adhesive hooks.

How To Hang A Picture On A Brick Wall Without Drilling Using Just A Nail

You can easily hang a picture, or more, on a brick wall without drilling using just a nail. Brick walls are different than plaster or concrete walls because they have mortar joints between the bricks. Mortar is a strong cement based product that includes sand which makes it sturdy, crack resistant and coarse. It’s also easy to repair if you mess up.

Find a nail that’s strong enough to support the weight of your picture frame but not too big. It also has to be strong enough to bang through the mortar without bending. For reference, a 10 penny nail is too big, a trim nail is too small.

Nail at the bottom edge of a mortar joint so that the nail touches some brick. This will help prevent cracks in the mortar.

Also, get a nail that’s long enough to penetrate into the brick but not too long that it goes through the wall.

  • Tools: All you need is a hammer and nails to hang the picture. But you’ll also need a tape measure and some chalk or a pencil to layout the spot.
  • Layout The Frame: Position your frame on the brick wall, mark its hanging spot with chalk or a pencil, and then mark where the hook is. This is where the nail goes. make sure the hook placement is at the bottom of a mortar joint.
  • Drive In The Nail: Tap the nail with the hammer with medium pressure. Increase pressure as needed. it’s not like driving a nail into wood. You want to go slow. Don’t use really hard whacks because you’ll risk cracking the mortar. What you’re doing is chipping through the mortar with the nail.
  • Hang & Adjust: Once the nail is in place, hang your picture and adjust.

Summary: How To Hang A Picture On A Brick Wall

How to hang a picture on a brick wall is easy if you have the right hardware. And you can even do it without drilling any holes. Adhesive hooks and mounting tape are both great ways to hang light weight pictures on brick. If you you have heavier picture frames try brick hooks. They can hold around 30 pounds, are super easy to use and won’t damage the brick. For large, heavy picture frames, you’ll have to drill mounting hooks into the brick. Brick is definitely in style. Whether painted or exposed, it adds warmth and character to any space. And brick’s beauty is accentuated even more with the right pictures and frames.

While exposed brick is a beautiful look, is it ruined by hanging pictures? No it isn’t. Hanging frames on brick is easy to do and looks fantastic. Brick makes a wonderful backdrop for just the right picture and frame. Whether your brick is around a fireplace, covering an entire wall, red, or painted, the right pictures can add even more charm and character to the room.

But before you pick a method and start hanging pictures, make sure you know their weight and dimensions first. Some methods are better than others depending on what your pictures weigh and how big they are. Measure and mark where you want the pictures to go before you start hanging. Working on brick walls can be more permanent than wood and drywall if you’re drilling holes.

When your ready, purchase the hooks you’ll need, layout the design and hang your photos. Hanging pictures on a brick wall isn’t that hard to do once you know how. Good Luck.

If you have any questions or comments about hanging pictures on a brick wall, email any time.

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