Hanging heavy pictures/paintings on your concrete walls

A common problem for residents of apartment buildings is that of hanging pictures or paintings of moderate weight when the wall backing is concrete.

The best solution to this issue is accomplished with four items that should run you about $10. Let’s list them off.


1) Lead wood screw anchors. An anchor with a 5/16″ diameter and an anchor size of 10-14 X 1 works well for most applications.

2) Wood screws. To fit within the anchor you’ll be inserting into the wall, grab a couple of 5/16″ roundhead or flat (countersunk) wood screws that your painting or picture will be hanging off of.

3) Tungsten carbide masonry drill bit. It’ll take a specially hardened carbide tip on the drill bit you’ll be using to drill into that concrete wall. Keep in mind there’s no need to buy a full set of tungsten carbide drill bits – any decent hardware store should sell you the single 5/16″ drill bit you need to do the job.

4) Hammer drill. Okay, this is not going to keep you under $10, but it’s something you A) should have anyways, B) can borrow for a short period of time from a friend, or C) can rent for real cheap for a few hours from the hardware store.


1) Insert the 5/16″ tungsten carbide masonry drill bit into your hammer drill, tighten appropriately. Select “hammer” mode on your hammer drill. It might be a smart idea to lay down a garbage bag or some sort of catch sheet below your work area, as drilling into concrete tends to expel a lot of dust (pulverized concrete).

2) Drill into your concrete wall a little at a time. Pull your drill away from the wall and test the depth of the hole by inserting your 5/16″ lead wood screw anchor into the new hole to see if it’s deep enough. Drill to desired depth.

3) Insert 5/16″ lead wood screw anchor into the wall, which may require using a hammer to get the anchor nice and flush with your wall.

4) Screw the 5/16″ wood screw into the newly seated anchor – but obviously, not all the way as you’re going to want the screw sticking out some to hang the picture off of.

5) Hang picture on wall.

I’ve included photos of the relevant pieces of equipment to allow you to recognize them on sight at the hardware store.

Lead wood screw anchorWood screwTungsten carbide masonry bit


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