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In a previous reno, drywall was installed over a wall made of a material I can't drill into.

I want to hang some shelves. There's about 1/2" space between the drywall and the previous wall material - not enough to get a toggle bolt in.

If I had a metal plate about 1/2 inch by two or three inches with a place to screw in a bolt in the middle, then I think I could cut a slot in the drywall, insert the plate, rotate 90 degrees, and replace the removed piece of drywall. This would have the same effect as a toggle bolt. I'd repeat for each place I'd normally put a toggle bolt.

However, I don't know where I'd find the parts to do this. Also, maybe there's also a better alternative. Any advice is appreciated.

  • You need a better drill. That's only partly a joke -- the easiest way is to get a hammer drill (into concrete?) and install threaded nuts in that outer wall. – Carl Witthoft Oct 22 at 17:29
  • That would be ideal, but I don't know what kind of mess I'd be getting into drilling through drywall into a surface behind it that I can't even see. I went to the downstairs neighbour to see the wall, and it looks sort of like painted stucco. They tried to hang a picture on it by drilling a hole, and the substance crumbled around the screw they put in. – user13971 Oct 22 at 17:44
  • Is there a top or bottom plate of wood under the drywall or firring strips the drywall is screwed to? Those could act as "studs" so you could mount longer stringers to then hang shelves from. – JPhi1618 Oct 22 at 17:46
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    @JPhi1618 There might be wood under there. To do that, would I cut a large piece of drywall out to install the stringers and then replace it? – user13971 Oct 22 at 18:02

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