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In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shares tips and techniques for safely hangings framed objects on walls.

How to hang a heavy mirror

  1. To hang mirror on a plaster wall, use a toggle bolt outfitted with a picture-hanging hook.
  2. Drill hole through plaster large enough to accept the toggle bolt.
  3. Thread machine screw through toggle bolt nut, then pinch flat the wings on the toggle and push it through the hole in the wall.
  4. Tighten the screw with a screwdriver until toggle bolt contacts the back of the wall.
  5. For drywall, start by weighing the mirror to ensure you don't exceed the capacity of the hanging hardware.
  6. Mark a short line on the wall to represent the top edge of the mirror.
  7. Take a 12-inch-long piece of 1x2 and mark a centerline at 6 inches.
  8. Pull the 1x2 tightly under the hanging wire on the back of the mirror.
  9. Measure down from the top of the mirror to the top of the 1x2.
  10. Take the measurement from the previous step and measure down from the short line marked on the wall. Draw a second line to represent the position of the hanging wire.
  11. Align the center mark on the 1x2 with the second line. Use a torpedo level to align the 1x2 perfectly level.
  12. Draw short pencil lines along the upper right- and left-hand corners of the 1x2.
  13. Tap in a hanging hook on each corner mark.
  14. Hang the mirror on the two hooks.