Get the Picture?

My mom and grandmother are coming to the Little House this weekend… which is kinda a big deal. Not only are they flying over a thousand miles from Indiana to be here, but they’re also the women behind every creative bone in my body. They are the consummate homemakers: they cook, can, clean, decorate, sew, paint, garden…. you name it, they’ve mastered it. So there’s just a tad bit of pressure to make sure that the Little House is in tip-top shape. It’s also a great excuse to get a few things done around the house that we’ve been meaning to do for ages.

Like hang our bedroom art. Earlier this fall I painted a large canvas and two coral watercolors to hang in our redecorated bedroom. Since then, they’ve been leaning against the wall on top of our dressers. We’ve intended to hang them for ages, but the impending visit finally kicked us into gear last night. Before we could even start thinking about placement, spacing, or hanging the art we had to consider how to hang it. The Little House was built in 1940 and has textured plaster walls. With drywall, hanging is as simple as finding a stud (isn’t that every girls goal?) and hanging. Plaster, on the other hand, is a whole nother  process entirely.

Art

Unless you want your art to rip giant holes in your wall as it comes crashing to the ground, you almost must use some sort of hanger or anchor when dealing with plaster (especially old and crumbly plaster). For this job, Kevin and I used 20lb picture hangers. Each hanger is two pieces: a nail which goes into the wall at a downward angle (I’ll spare you the engineer-y reason why this is better) and the hanger itself. They’re fairly inexpensive and work much better than a drywall screw in plaster. Trust me. We know from experience.

Plaster Wall Picture Hangers

Once we’d figured outthe hangers we were able to start spacing the art on the walls. This was a simple as holding up the art and deciding if it needed to go up or down, left or right. Once we’d decided where we wanted the first frame to hang, we marked the top of it with a tiny pencil dot.

Hanging Art on Plaster Walls

We then measured the distance from the top of the frame to where the picture wire would lay, measured that distance down from our original dot, and hammered the brass hanger into place.

Plaster Wall Picture hangers

Once the first frame was hung and level, we measured the distance to where we wanted the second picture to hang (from the edge of the first frame, the distance was half the width of the frame + the gap between them). Then we installed the second hanger, hung the art, leveled it, and then stood back to admire our work (while ignoring both the dog’s chew marks on the dresser and the funky white balance we had going on here).

Plaster Wall Picture hangers

Hanging Pictures on Plaster Walls

Hanging Art on Plaster Walls

We also hung the canvas I painted on the opposite wall using the same method. I’m still  not a huge fan of it, but taking Christine @ Casa de Christine’s advice and rotating it, I like it a little better.

Hanging art on Plaster walls with hangers

The dressers are in no way styled at all. I’m hoping to get some accessory shopping done with my mom and grandma while they’re there so that we can finally call the bedroom done. We’re so close we can taste it.

Have you hung anything on plaster walls before? Do your pets insist on eating newly painted furniture? Any suggestions for styling our dressers?

6 comments

    • littlehousebigheart says:

      I grew up in another 1940 plaster home, so I’ve never really known my misfortune. Okay, that’s not true. Plaster sucks. But we’re in no way prepared to tear all ours out, so we’ll learn to live with it.

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