I Hung a Picture!

Note: As the picture is as alive as it was when I got it, it is hung and not hanged.  Only criminals are hanged.

For quite some time I’ve had a beautiful print that was given to me by my future mother-in-law.  I love the work.  It has sails in it.  It has been, for over a year, sitting on the ground.  Which is an awful place for a good painting.  When I first got it I knew I’d be moving soon.  In my next place I was worried about putting a hole in the wall.  But this apartment, where I am for the next 13 months.  This apartment has potential.

Of course, before I hammered a hole in the wall I did what I always do before I hammer a hole in the wall, I called my dad.  I remember the conversation going something like this, “Hey, Dad, I’m want to hang a picture.  What should I do?”

“Have you hammered a hole in the wall?”

“I have not.”

“I’d start by hammering a hole in the wall.”

He may have also said something about measuring from the ceiling and finding a stud to hammer into, but I mostly just caught the part about putting a hole in a wall.  Now, my lease allows for limited numbers of holes in walls.  I believe it uses the term “reasonable.”  I’m assuming reasonable is 2 or so per square foot, but fortunately for my landlords this particular painting has only two anchor points.

Unfortunately, for my landlords, I don’t know what I’m doing.  Oh sure I can swing a hammer, but no guarantees I’ll hit something with it.  Unfortunately for my landlord, I have a very strong hammer swinging arm.  Fortunately for my landlord, I don’t have a hammer.  Instead I’ll be using what my brother calls a “whacker-stick.”  It’s a half sized model of a hammer.  I also have about a fist-full of finishing nails that I’ve held onto since freshmen year of college.  I’m not sure where they came from, but it is odd I didn’t find use for them in college.

Examining the wall, I found that their were already a few patches where the previous tenants had hammered some holes.  I assumed these were over the studs, and from my extremely scientific method of “looking at things.”  I also tried that thing where I slam my hand into the wall and listen for a hallow sound or the absence thereof.  I couldn’t do it.  I’m also not good at buying watermelons.  This is just for your information.

So I draw a couple of “x“s on the wall and hammered finishing nails into them.  It worked brilliantly for a while.  Almost 35 seconds in fact.

Painting Crooked


I don’t know if you can see it in the picture but one of the nails ripped out of the wall.  See, I made a little mistake.  I assumed the last person to hammer a hole in the wall knew what they were doing.  They did not.  Which would explain why there are numerous sets of patches on the wall.

New plan, I’m going to forget about finding a stud (insert comment about me being the only stud you need) and use wall anchors.  Except I’ve never used a wall anchor.  I also don’t have a drill.  My dad suggested hammering a nail into the wall to poke a hole for the anchor.  This plan went poorly.  The anchor was just too big for the hole.  There was no way to drive the plastic anchor into the wall without bending the anchor.

So I headed to the hardware store and talked to a helpful older man.  I think he worked there, but I’m not 100% sure.

“Have you hammered any holes in the wall?” he asked.

“I have. Several in fact.”

“Well you can try another kind of anchor or a monkey hook.”

A monkey hook, as it turns out, is a long C-shaped piece of metal with a hook on the end.  You drive the C into the wall until it pushes into the back of the wall.  Here is their really awful website.  Anyway, it worked out pretty well.

Painting StraightIt looks a bit crooked but that is because the camera was held crooked.  The level on top indicates that the painting is perfectly straight.

I consider that a win.  Maybe I’ll finish unpacking next.

PS. There is an old saying “Measure twice and cut once.”  I ended up hammering an extra hole in the wall.  Not that I didn’t measure twice.  I did.  I probably measured 10 times.  None of that matters if you hammer the wrong place.

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