How To Hang Old, Old, Wooden Things

Art on wood by Martin Welch. Click here to view more!

Art on wood by Martin Welch. Click here to view more!

As Ron Burgundy of Anchorman mistakenly noted some years ago, “diversity” is not, in fact, an old, old wooden ship. While we all know what diversity is (and if you don’t for god’s sake, please click here,) what we don’t know is how to hang up artwork done on old wood, dried out wood, or simply wood that we’re fearful of cracking. Many times, the coolest artwork done on old wood is not equipped with any hardware, hangers, or any way to get it up on the wall. This is confusing to us laypersons—and not being familiar with the world of hanging hardware, we often end up behaving like cave dwellers… the nails and hammer come out, the grunting begins, aaaaaaand oula, both art and wall are ruined.

How do we avoid this? Is there some new, magical machine that can assist us through the process? Something, perhaps, not unlike one might find in a sci-fi novel, but for hanging old wooden things on the wall? No. There is not. But what there is are pros who have been hanging all kinds of whacky business on walls for years. So we asked them what they would do—and we got answers! Take that, life!

So here’s what the pros say you should do if you have a wall hanging made entirely of wood that you want to hang on the wall, given that it doesn’t have any wall hanging hardware:

Make a hole in the back of the wood: this sounds really scary—this has been your fear all along—you’ve avoided it at all costs because you don’t want to crack the wood. Relax: there are ways!

First, remember that you never want to drill more than 1/4 of an inch past the surface of back of the wood. This should be ample room to use one of our Sexy Metal Hooks so that it will hold the item in place securely.

When you drill the hole(s), never drill any closer than a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch from the edge of the piece. So, for example, if you were making double keyholes or if your piece of wood is just not very wide, avoid the edges: this is where the wood has aged the most, is the most brittle, and where cracking due to drilling or the use of screws is most likely to occur.

When you finally muster the nerve to begin drilling, do so AT AN ANGLE—WE CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH! Why, you ask? Physics. We think. Geometry? Whatever, some form of science. Anyway, when you drill the hole (gently please!) at a 45-degree angle. In this way, when you hang your wooden item on the wall using a Sexy Metal Hook, it will create resistance between the hung item and the wall, hence creating a safer and more reliable connection.

Still have questions? Feel free to post them here or ask us about hanging hardware on Facebook by clicking here or on Twitter by clicking here!