Shelf Repair

Q: Can I reattach the shelf that has pulled out of drywall?


I recently installed a shelf on drywall using those bullet-shaped plastic drywall anchors. But they pulled out when I put some weight on the shelf. Can I reattach the shelf in the same location?

—  Bradley Glenn, New York City


Norm Abram replies: Yes, you can. First, fill the holes with joint compound or spackling. Then, if you can't find a stud to fasten the shelf to, use metal toggle anchors, which can hold up to 85 pounds apiece. Each one has a built-in toggle that pivots and pulls tight against the back of the drywall. Just make sure each anchor is placed at least 2 inches from the filled holes.


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