Recently, I moved into a new flat. It has meant that I’ve got a pile of picture frames waiting to be put somewhere on the wall. This weekend, I started resolving this. Here’s a few points I have learned from this experience.
When I lived in rented flats, I would just hammer in picture hooks to secure frames to the wall. However, I now live in a new build which has many stud walls.
Choose the right frame
A lot of my textile work is textured and sticks out more than a piece of photo paper. As a result, I’ve had to source box frames. These are better as they won’t squash your work and will hopefully allow your piece to breathe a bit further away from the perspex/glass.
Secure your piece
I went to a picture framing day course to find out how to make frames, but had to accept that it wasn’t something I could do for a while (you need a lot of materials and tools, and I live in a small flat)! However, I did learn that you should use gummed hinging tape. It’s less likely to destroy your piece should you need to remove it from the frame at a later date. I have been using regular double sided tape but this may end up showing its age in the future and will be harder to remove.
Choose the right wall plug for your wall
This can be a bit of trial and error if you are a newbie like me. I have found that self drill nylon plasterboard wall fixings have worked for the walls in my home, as regular wall plugs just fell into the wall cavity and would not have held a frame.
Tap the wall
Tapping the wall can help you figure out what type of wall you are going to drill into. A masonry wall will sound much more solid than a hollow interior one.
Try a detector to check for pipes and cables in the wall
Detectors can help identify where you shouldn’t drill, but they are not fool proof and it depends how well the cables or pipes have been marked out with metal tape by the company which built your home. As a general rule, most new properties have the heating pipe travelling up the wall to the ceiling in the middle of where the radiator is. Electrical plug sockets typically go downwards. However, beware of radiators which have a window above them, as the pipe will go one side of the frame. Unfortunately, for my dad and I, we learned this the hard way while putting up a curtain pole! A neighbour apparently went through the TV cable while drilling too.
You may be able to use a hand drill
While a masonry electric drill was required for some exterior walls, I found that a hand drill did the job elsewhere (unless I hit a stud). A hand drill provides much more control and when you’re drilling through a hollow interior wall, it’s easier to prevent you drilling too far!