DIY – How to Hang a Painting on Your Fireplace

When I moved into my house, I bought a painting to hang on my fireplace.  But I had no clue how to anchor it into the brick (the painting is at least 50 pounds… so it needed to be installed correctly).  My painting ended up collecting dust as it leaned against the wall for about 8 months.  A few weeks ago I decided to do something about it.  I took some measurements so I knew exactly where I wanted to hang it.  I made my way to the home improvement store for advice and tools, and forged ahead.  The journey was way more complicated than I anticipated.  So I thought I’d share what I learned, just in case anyone else is faced with a similar decorating dilemma.

Photos taken with iPhone.  

Advice from Lowes:   

  1. Buy a drill
  2. Buy a masonry drill bit
  3. Use masonry anchors
  4. Don’t drill into the mortar!

My Results:  A 15 minute panic attack (one’s first experience with a power tool should not be drilling into brick… start with drywall); one tiny scratch on top of the brick, a dead drill bit, and foggy sunglasses (it’s all I had for protective eye wear).

Advice from Home Depot

  1. Buy a better masonry drill bit
  2. Buy better masonry anchors
  3. Don’t drill into the  mortar!

My Results:  One very small hole after 20 minutes of drilling, a dead drill bit, and a 15 minute temper tantrum.

how to hang a painting on a brick fireplace

My Advice – How to Really Get it Done:

  1. DON’T spend money and time on two sets of masonry drill bits and anchors that don’t work.
  2. Break the rules!  Drill into the mortar!
  3. Hammer drywall anchors into the mortar holes for support  (yes, I meant to say drywall anchors)
  4. Screw masonry anchors into the drywall anchors  (yes, I meant to say this too)
  5. Hang painting
  6. Say a prayer
  7. OR, skip steps 1 – 6 and hire a handyman
My Results:  It’s been about a month and the thing hasn’t moved.  Sometimes doing things wrong is so much easier with better results, than doing things right.

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