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Putting up picture rail

(8 Posts)
Tandemitis Thu 09-Jul-15 23:47:20

I need to put up a new picture rail - previous owners put up some sort of rubbishy door frame as picture rail so we've taken that off and are replacing it. We have lath and plaster walls which area bit dodgy (stair gate fell out of the wall, coat hooks fell off the wall - the rawlplugs were the right ones but the wall just couldn't hold them.

Should I persevere with screwing the rails in or can I use No More Nails? Also is it possible to cut them nearly enough without a mitre?

PigletJohn Fri 10-Jul-15 00:10:23

find where the studs are in the wall. If you look carefully, and feel with your fingertips, you will probably be able to detect where the column of nails holding the laths is (there may be a column of dirt spots or pimples) and also the clumsy filling where the previous nail holes were filled after the original pic rail was ripped off.

Hold the picture rail against the wall and mark on the rail where the centre of the studs is (in an old house they may not be perfectly straight and vertical.

Or you can use a special tool to find the studs. You drill a hole through the plaster and insert the tool, pushing it sideways until it hits a stud, then withdrawing it and measuring and marking. I can sell you this special tool for £100 plus p&p, or you can make your own by straightening out a wire coathanger.

Drill and countersink the rail using your pencil marks.

Fix mark through the hole for the first end one, then screw it lightly into position and verify that it is perfectly level using your longest spirit level, then drill the one at the other end; then mark all the others through their holes and drill and screw them.

Since you are fixing into the wooden studs you do not need plasplugs, and you will (probably) not pull the plaster off the wall. 35mm screws should be adequate. The studs will probably be at about 600mm intervals.

Tandemitis Fri 10-Jul-15 23:49:25

Thanks. So not No More Nails then?! grin

wowfudge Sat 11-Jul-15 00:02:54

I have put a picture rail up using No More Nails. The important thing is to ensure it is straight, at the correct height and to mitre the corners. You can't tell it's glued on. I was lucky that someone has previously marked up where a picture rail or border would go - that's the trickiest bit.

PigletJohn Sat 11-Jul-15 00:06:17

Old L&P will fall off at the slightest excuse You can use glues on plastered brickwork, or even plasterboard, providing you only hang a calendar on it. If you hang your ormolu mirror on it, it will fall down.

Tandemitis Sat 11-Jul-15 10:25:19

We won't be hanging anything from the rail - pictures will go on the walls below or they'd look a bit daft because of the height (above stairs - which is another reason I'm trying to make it as simple as possible because it's very hard to reach). Ideally I'd get a joiner to do it but I don't really want to spend £80 or so getting someone to put up pictures rails that cost us £15!

PigletJohn Sat 11-Jul-15 17:45:34

perhaps not, but IMO if you put a towel rail one the wall, one day somebody is sure to hang a towel on it; and if you put a picture rail up, one day somebody will put a mirror or a mahogany-framed oil painting on it, so I would certainly go for screws.

sleepyhead Sat 11-Jul-15 17:51:54

Just as a fyi, ds1 has a neodymium magnet that we bought from Amazon to do an experiment extracting iron from breakfast cereal (no, really confused ).

Turns out it's really useful for locating studs in plaster walls as if you pass it slowly over the wall it sticks to the nails.

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