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How to hang frames on brick

by Framebridge Editorial
October 09, 2023
4 min read
Via @petitemarienyc featuring The Stack
Via @petitemarienyc

Whether painted or exposed, brick adds warmth and character to any space. But while beautiful, brick walls can make it intimidating to hang art. Don’t let that stop you! We’re here to tell you that it’s actually pretty easy. Whether you want to hang frames above a brick fireplace, on an interior brick chimney, or on a large brick wall, follow these steps to get hanging in no time.

Mercer Slim, clean black gallery frame against brick from @gabdolceamore
A gallery wall via Zoe Feldman @zoefeldmandesign and Stacy Goldberg @stacyzaringoldberg featuring Mercer Slim, Chelsea, Bali, Newport, and Providence.
How to hang a frame on a brick wall (without a drill)

1. Gather your tools

If you want to avoid the drill, we recommend a hammer and nails. Because of brick’s uneven surface, adhesive strips and fasteners are not our first choice. If you’re working with painted brick with a smoother surface, you may be able to use adhesive strips for lightweight art. Pro tip: Have a piece of chalk on hand to mark unpainted brick.

2. Position your frame

Just like you would on any other wall, hold up your frame on the brick wall and mark your ideal hanging spot with chalk. Use a buddy: One person can do the positioning, the other can make sure that it’s centered.

3. Nail into your spot

If possible, we recommend nailing into the mortar instead of the brick face itself. This material, while stronger than the brickface, is easier for a nail to enter. Slowly hammer your nail into your desired spot. Be patient, and don’t hit too hard—juse firm but controlled strokes. If it seems like a regular nail isn’t strong enough, consider a specialty brick hook (or follow our drilling instructions, below).

4. Hang, adjust, and admire

Hang your frames on their nails, adjust them to your liking (remember: a level is your friend!), and then stand back and admire your work.

How To hang a gallery wall on a brick wall

If you’re creating your own gallery wall, you’ll want to follow steps 1 to 4 from above. But our expertly curated, pre-designed gallery walls make it even easier! Each one comes with a life-size hanging guide and hardware so your design can be on your brick wall in about 10 minutes. 

If you’re using our life-sized hanging guide, you can skip step 2 and instead tape the template on your brick surface to get a feel for where your frames will hang. Play around with it a bit to see if the x’s that mark your nail spots line up with the mortar, as opposed to the brick face itself. When you’ve found the right wall space, tape the hanging guide into place on all four sides. 

If you’d like more help with your hanging guide, check out these tips

How to hang frames on a brick wall (with A drill)

1. Gather your tools 

If a hammer and nail won’t do the job, and you know your way around a drill (or know someone who does), here’s what you need: a power drill and masonry bit (that corresponds to the size of your wall anchor), wall anchors, flush-mount picture hooks or screws, a screwdriver, and chalk.

2. Prepare for Dust

Drilling into brick can get a little messy. It’s a good idea to move fragile items away from your workspace, or at the least, cover them with plastic sheeting or a cloth. Goggles are also a good idea!

3. Mark your spot

With the help of a friend or family member, choose and mark the spot where the screw will rest on the hanging hardware (wire, saw-tooth hanger, etc.). Ensure that this spot is on the mortar, then mark it with chalk.

4. Start drilling

Attach a masonry bit (one that’s the correct size for the wall anchor you’ll use) to your drill. Drill into the mortar, not the brick (to avoid cracking any brickface). You want to drill approximately one inch deep–deep enough to accommodate a wall anchor, but shallow enough to avoid any damage to wires or pipes that may be behind the brick.

5. Attach your anchor and hook or screw

Gently tap the wall anchor into the one-inch deep hole you’ve drilled in the mortar. Then screw a hook or screw into the embedded wall anchor. 

5. Hang, adjust, and admire

Hang your frame on the hook or screw, adjust it to your liking (remember: a level is your friend!), and then stand back and admire your work.