Tips & Tricks to Hang Art on a Brick Wall

Exposed bricks are a popular interior design choice that conveys a sense of sophistication, warmth, and rugged coolness. Exposed brick can give your space the feel of a converted warehouse in the city, an avant-garde art gallery, or simply provide utilitarian purposes around fixtures like a fireplace. However, hanging wall art on brick walls can be a difficult and frustrating experience, so let’s take a look at some of the methods you can use. 

Now, the most reliable method, but also the most destructive and difficult method, is to drill holes into the mortar. After doing so, you can simply hammer in a wall anchor and from there, screw in a mount that will hold almost anything. However, if you’re reading this article, you’re likely looking for a simple, less messy method that doesn’t require power tools to get the job done.

Luckily, some common strategies for this work almost as well and can bear a significant amount of weight. Let’s take a look at some of the tips and tricks that will allow you to hang pieces on a brick wall without having to put holes in them. 

Method #1: Brick hook clips

These clips have jagged, serrated teeth that clip together tightly and are designed to be placed on the brick where it sticks out from the mortar, gripping it like a jaw. They are usually rated for up to about 30 pounds, but if you have a heavier or more valuable piece, you can simply combine the clips until they can hold a sufficient amount of weight together. 

Brick hook clips are an excellent first choice to try hanging art on a brick wall, although you should be absolutely sure that they can handle the amount of weight you will be putting on them first. Also, they require the brick to stick out from the mortar, so always make sure that you have at least ⅛ inch of exposed brick to clamp onto before buying them.

Method #2: Adhesive hooks and mounting tape

This method can only be used with smaller pieces, up to about 7 pounds per hook, although multiple hooks can be combined to hold larger pieces. Adhesive hooks are quite simple to use and are very cheap. 

To use them, first start by cleaning the brick and letting it dry completely. Then, remove the backing from the adhesive part of the hook, and press it very firmly into the brick for about a minute. Let it dry for an hour to fully set, and test it out to see how it holds your piece. 

Mounting tape is tape with adhesive on both sides. You can find specialized mounting tape for brick and simply stick your pieces to the wall, although it has the same downsides as adhesive hooks, such as not being able to hold much weight and the possibility of losing effectiveness over time. 

Method #3: Picture rails

Before interior walls switched over to the drywall we use today, they were made out of much harder material like plaster. This material couldn’t be nailed into as easily, as it was very hard and would crack. The common solution was to install picture rails, which stick out about two inches, are firmly mounted, and allow you to quickly and easily change out your art pieces. 

Picture rails are usually installed about one to two feet below the ceiling, although this can vary based on personal preference. Although you will almost certainly have to drill into either the bricks or the mortar to install it, it will last a long time, requires only a few holes, and is a very secure and flexible choice. 

Tips to Remember

  • Drilling or nailing into mortar is easier than brick. If you are drilling into brick using specialized tools, go slowly to avoid cracking.
  • If you are drilling into brick, prepare for a lot of dust - wear proper PPE and cover things you don’t want to get dirty. 
  • Consider the weight of the artwork and how long it will be in that spot before choosing how to hang it.

Hanging artwork on a brick wall isn’t quite as simple as on other materials, but it can certainly be done. If you own the house, drilling holes and mounting or going with the picture rail are the two most dependable and reliable options. However, for renters or those hanging smaller pieces, brick hook clips and adhesive hooks are also excellent choices. 

Don’t forget the most important step - choosing artwork that you love to look at, that represents you, and that you will be thrilled to see every day. Brick is a beautiful and bold interior design choice that has many benefits, so take the steps today to hang your art and you will have a room that you love. 

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