How to Use Drywall Anchors

July 21st, 2010 by

Drywall anchors are sometimes necessary to assist in stabilizing a hanging picture, painting or other item. Properly using these anchors, however, is tricky and improper use can result in damage to your wallboard or the anchor breaking. Follow the tips below to ensure that your décor is hung properly and safely.

Purchase the Proper Size

Drywall anchors come in a variety of sizes and materials. Which size you need depends on the size of the screw you are using. Since the purpose of a drywall anchor is to stabilize a screw, it must be at least one size bigger than the screw. Of course, as the size of screw you need to use depends and will change based on the size and weight of the item you are hanging, the size of the wall anchor will also change.

Drywall anchors are also constructed from different materials. Plastic and metal anchors are the most common. They each work well and are intended for the same purpose of stabilizing items hanging in unsupported drywall, but metal anchors are often sturdier and better to use with extremely heavy items.

The best way to determine which size and material drywall anchor you need is to ask the professional at the hardware store. However, if you are unable to receive assistance with your choice, remember to purchase anchors a size larger than the screw and, just to be safe, ones made out of metal. Fortunately, drywall anchors, especially plastic ones, tend to be cheap and returnable, so when in doubt do not hesitate to purchase more than one size.

Don’t Forget the Drill

While you might be tempted to screw the anchor directly into the wall, doing so may ruin its stability. It is therefore necessary for you to first drill a hole the same size or slightly larger for the anchor. If you do not already have a drill, your local home improvement store will offer several that are fairly inexpensive and easy to use. It is worth spending the extra money for a drill as the item will be usable well into the future and is required to properly install a drywall anchor.

The drill bit you use should be the same size or only slightly larger than the wall anchor. The wall anchor container and the drill bits for your drill will all be clearly marked with the same measurements, making it easy for you to determine which one to use. When in doubt, use a smaller drill bit as you can always make a hole larger but not smaller. Also, do not be afraid to ask for advice from the experts selling you the drill and anchors.

Drill, Anchor, Screw

To properly install the wall anchor, you must first drill the hole. Next, insert the wall anchor, which should fit tightly and not wiggle inside the drilled hole. The final step is for you to insert the screw into the anchor, leaving it sticking away from the wall so that it may catch the hook or wire on the back of the painting or picture. Do not fully insert the screw as doing so will break the back of the anchor, destroying its stability. Note that nails are not to be used with wall anchors.

After these three steps you are then ready to hang your photos. While seemingly a lot of work, after a few times you will be able to repeat this process quite quickly, making decorating a breeze.

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