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How to Hang a Picture on a Brick Wall without Drilling

If you have a brick wall and want to hang a picture, you can try a few methods. This article will show you how to do it without drilling.

The solution is to use a wall hanger, a picture frame-hanging rail, or steel or masonry nails that can be lodged into brick walls. If you prefer safer methods so as not to deface the wall, you can use a wall clip or adhesive hook instead. This article applies equally to pictures, mirrors, or other decorative elements you want to hang to a brick wall without the hassle of drilling and inserting screws into wall plugs and the risk of damaging the wall.

Make a Quick Selection

If you’re in a hurry to know which solution suits you best before reading about it in more detail, choose it below.

  • You have a brick in the right place that sticks out slightly, and its edges can be smoothed.

→ Use a brick wall clip. See Method 1.

  • You have a lightweight picture that you want to hang quickly and temporarily.

→ Use an adhesive hook. See Method 2.

  • You have a brick in the right place that is soft enough to have a nail hammered into it without breaking.

→ Use a brick wall hanger. See Method 3.

  • You have lots of pictures, and you want to change them frequently.

→ Use a picture frame-hanging rail. See Method 4.

  • You have a heavy picture and need to ensure a strong grip.

→ Use steel or masonry nails. See Method 5.

Wall-Friendly Methods to Hang a Picture on a Brick Wall without Drilling

These wall-friendly methods are easy to apply and will not deface or damage the brick.

Method 1: Using a Brick Wall Clip

Brick wall clips, clamps, or fasteners can grip bricks that stick out. They have one saw-toothed edge and metal tabs at either end.

brick wall clip

Note: A wall clip can only be used on bricks that stick out, have a certain height, and have relatively smooth edges.

When buying a wall clip, look for one that will fit your brick’s height. Secondly, look for the correct rating according to the weight it will hold. They can hold up to 30 pounds (~13.6 kg), but if you need to hang a heavier object, you can always use multiple clips.

These clips are only good if the brick that sticks out slightly is in the right place for where you want to position the picture. It must have relatively smooth edges, and the mortar on it must not get in the way of the clip. If the position is okay, you may have to smoothen its edges and strip some of the mortar to create a depressed seam or ledge for the clip to hold.

Method 2: Using an Adhesive Hook

A picture-hanging adhesive hook or hanger relies on double-sided tape to work.

Simpler and cheaper picture hanging strips are also available, which are a little thicker than the tape itself. Still, we would not recommend them for anything other than lightweight, unframed pictures.

picture hanging adhesive hooks

picture hanging strips

Note: An adhesive hook is only suitable for lightweight pictures because the adhesive’s grip can loosen over time. If the artwork is important, place something soft below it if it falls.

The brick’s surface must be as smooth as possible. Otherwise, the adhesive will not last long. If necessary, sand or file the brick first to allow the hook to stick securely. Painted brick is usually easier to work with.

Peel off the thin sheet covering the tape on the hook’s back and stick it exactly where you want. It should adhere to the brick. Peel the same off the other end when you are ready to fix the back of the picture into place.

Suppose the provided adhesive label is not strong enough to hold the picture or it does not last long. In that case, you can either try a stronger industrial double-sided tape and/or use multiple hooks or one of the other more secure wall-holing methods below.

Wall-Holing Methods to Hang a Picture on a Brick Wall without Drilling

Some methods to hang a picture on a brick wall are invasive, such as when drilling a hole, but they might still be more convenient for you. Moreover, they provide a much stronger grasp than the earlier methods described.

Method 3: Using a Brick Wall Hanger

Brick wall hangers have clips with holes in them and come with nails that you have to hammer into the wall.

brick wall picture hanger with a nail inside

Note: A wall picture hanger can only be used if the brick you have earmarked is soft enough to have the nails hammered into it.

Normally, internal brick walls are soft enough to have nails hammered into them because they tend to be less porous (they are usually heated to a higher temperature) than those used outdoors. As long as this condition is met, this method is safe because the holes made by the nails in these brick wall hangers are not usually noticeable.

Method 4: Using a Picture Frame-hanging Rail

A picture frame-hanging rail is a type of molding that fits along a wall horizontally (or vertically from the floor to the ceiling).

Its top edge sticks out, providing a crevice to hold special clips with hooks. The wire on the back of your picture is then attached to these hooks. You may have seen them in museums. (1)

picture frame-hanging rail setup for multiple pictures

Note: A picture rail may be costlier than the other methods and take more time to fit.

A picture rail makes it easy to change your pictures or their position by simply sliding them along. It is traditionally wooden. Metallic picture rails are also available for a more modern look.

A picture rail is usually installed approximately 1 ft to 2 ft below the ceiling, but if your ceiling is low, it can also be fitted flush against the ceiling or under the crown molding. If you have a high ceiling, you can run a picture rail level with the top trim of your doors and windows instead.

To install a picture rail, use nails to fasten it to the wall (see the next Method 5). Use a balance to ensure it is level. Once that’s done, you will not need to make any more holes to hang more pictures, and you can hang as many as you need along the entire length of the rail.

nailing a picture rail to a wall

leveling a picture rail molding

Method 5: Using Steel or Masonry Nails

If you cannot obtain a brick wall clip, hook, or hanger, you can simply use a steel or masonry nail to attach either one picture or install a long picture rail. See our article ‘Can You Hammer a Nail into Concrete?’ in the X issue of Tools Week.

Steel nails, also known as concrete and masonry nails (fluted or cut) are specially designed for brick and concrete walls. They can provide a strong grip for the heaviest of paintings if embedded properly. (2)

spiraled steel nails

fluted masonry nails

cut masonry nails

Note: A picture rail may be costlier than the other methods and take more time to fit.

First, mark the spot with a pencil, position the nail straight, and hit gently at first before striking harder, preferably with a mash hammer.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) museums – https://artsandculture.google.com/story/the-oldest-museums-around-the-world/RgURWUHwa_fKSA?hl=en
(2) paintings – https://www.timeout.com/newyork/art/top-famous-paintings-in-art-history-ranked

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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