I purchased some coat hooks about a year ago and have only just around to installing them (decorating takes time haha). They are hung with keyhole slots on the back of them:

coat hook

The problem I have is, I put a screw in the wall and hung the hook and got it attached fine. But if I put a heavy coat on the hook, and then lift the coat off, the coat can catch on the hook and lift the whole hook off the wall (such is the design of the keyhole slot).

Does anyone have any idea on how to prevent this from happening? I tried to put the screw in very close to the wall so it pulled on the metal plate as i pulled it down but it just bent the metal plate. I am currently using a countersunk screw, maybe there is a different screw head that would help with this situation?

  • Was the hook sold as a coat hook or is it a hook you are using for coats? Maybe a picture or mirror hook.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 13:01
  • first adjust the screw for tightest fit ... then fill the keyhole with silicone caulk just before hanging on screw
    – jsotola
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 18:34
  • A pan-head would hold it more firmly, but I'd go for the glue/silicone/caulk too.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 19:39

5 Answers 5


I like @Eugene's suggestion of adding a screw between the ears to hold it down but if you don't like the look of that try using a larger screw as follows:

enter image description here

File away a little metal on both sides of the keyhole, where I drew the yellow circle. Do not file the area where the red lines are. Find a screw where the head is smaller than the large circle at the bottom, but larger than the filed away yellow circle, and where the shank is just a tiny bit larger than the narrow gap where the red lines are. You'll have to force the shank up through the narrow part by twisting the bracket and pushing down hard. Once you've done that, it should not come off just by removing a coat from it. The narrow part between the red lines will prevent it from slipping out.

  • Even if you manage this precision strategy (more difficult than it sounds without machining tools), it won't keep the hook from swinging to the side, etc. A solid tack at the bottom (poster putty) is a much better fix.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 13:49
  • @isherwood I agree that putty or a command strip is the best solution and has the added benefit of preventing side to side motion. However I don't think my solution would be difficult at all; remove the bracket from the piece and run it along a round file. Obviously if you have machine tools you could just make a better mount. :)
    – jay613
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 15:58

With the way they are held to a wall, there is little to do to tighten or use another type of screw to keep the hook from rising.

The catch seems to embedded enough into the hook so there is a good flat surface against the wall.

Suggest to use double sided tape or silicone caulk or type of glue to hold the hook onto the wall with the screw to hold the weight.

Your problem seems like the coats catches the hook and raise it off of the screw, so glue or tape should hold the hook down enough to remove only the coat.

  • yes exactly. I did try and use some command strips to also gold it there but they were too thick and pushed the hook away from the wall too much. I like the idea of double sided tape/glue (i was very close to using super glue so this is a bit better). Thanks
    – noShowP
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 10:19
  • Super glue would make it almost permanent(damage the wall/paint when taken off). Silicone should come off with a little work, double sided tape a little more work.
    – crip659
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 10:36
  • Double-sided tape won't work unless it's of the foam type (like CommandTM). Thin tape won't have the conformity or resilience to do the job. I'd use poster putty. I use it for all my hangings as a safety measure.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 13:46

Maybe you are supposed to put a decorative hat on the decorative hook and never take it off :)

Otherwise you could try mounting it as normal and adding another screw or dowel into the wall right in that V notch. That should prevent vertical movement. Some decorative screw cover might be required depending on how visible it is.

  • 1
    Just like how cheap restaurants hang pictures: with eight drywall screws you can still see, 'glazing' it in place. OP just needs one. You either get decorative or functional, or buy new cat shaped coat hooks with a more realistic mounting scheme. +1
    – Mazura
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 2:13
  • I like the idea of the decorative hat haha. yeah screwing above it is a no no as my wife would not like the look of that. Also there are about 5 different animal hooks with different shapes so each would require different extra screws in different places.
    – noShowP
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 10:14
  • This would be needlessly ugly and damage the wall further.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 13:54

Tighten the screw more before putting the hook on.

Also a blob of poster hanging putty at the bottom of the back of the hook could help.

  • Getting these right is pretty much entirely a matter of making the screw tight enough. Too tight and it won't go, too loose and it falls off, just right and it goes with some pressure, but not enough to break the thing, and stays put.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 0:42
  • Ive tried tightening the screw to the point where it is as close to the wall as it gets but it just bends the metal plate in the back of the hook when pulling the hook down onto the screw
    – noShowP
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 10:15
  • Poster putty is the ticket. It tends to harden slightly over time, making it strong enough. I do this all the time with framed photos, etc.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 13:48

You say you're using a "countersunk" screw. I'm not 100% certain, but I believe you mean something like this:

drywall screw image
All image courtesy of lowes.com. Click all images to embiggen.

This happens to be a drywall screw, but the key is the head shape which is usually referred to as a "bugle" head screw.

Try using a "pan head" screw instead, like this:

Pan head screw

The flat inside of the head will allow you to get the screw tighter to the wall which should help hold the hook more snugly. You'll need to make several attempts at mounting the hook, taking it off, tightening the screw a 1/4 turn or so, remounting, and testing. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

You'll want to get the screw tightened to the wall as much as possible while still leaving just enough room to get the coat hook mounted. Any extra play will allow the hook to slide off, but when it's just tight enough, the friction of the flat head of the screw against the metal plate (plus whatever parts of the hook itself touching the wall) should be enough to resist the hook sliding up when you pull the coat off.

  • This is a temporary fix. Eventually the metal will deform or wear, or the wall texture will, degrading the tenuous hold.
    – isherwood
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 13:47

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