I have a wall that has a herringbone pattern done in MDF on top of drywall. The MDF is secured with brad nails into the studs and Liquid Nails.

What is my best option for hanging a large picture frame on the wall (frame has a wire across the back for hanging)? I originally thought a couple regular picture hangers like this would work, but they're difficult to nail in due to the small size (maybe I need bigger ones?), and they started to tear out through the MDF. Are there better options?

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    Use longer nails and find studs. For the angle will need about an inch and half to touch studs from the back(wall side) of the hanger, so about 1.5 inches plus the width of the hanger plus an inch to 1.5 inches in the stud. Assuming 1/2 inch drywall plus 1/2 inch MDF and the rest is guessing.
    – crip659
    Jan 13 at 23:41
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    Predrill the mdf — it’s a pain to hand nail through it. Jan 14 at 0:58

1 Answer 1


If you're going to predrill through the MDF. other kinds of hooks also become possible, such as those which thread through and then press against the back of the wall to stabilize themselves.

But finding a stud would be stronger. Or, for heavier things, bridging two studs and hanging from the bridge.

Or, for a real gallery feel (and gallery flexibility) you can investigate picture rail systems with adjustable wires that hook into rails or special molding near the ceiling, with hooks that clip to them so you can hang pictures from above but position them just about anywhere in the wall.

  • So it sounds like your recommendation is toggle bolts of some kind with hooks? It isn't going to be a ton of weight. I was looking for somebody to tell me that nailing through the MDF wasn't the right approach, so the pre-drilling advice is helpful. Thanks Jan 14 at 1:18
  • I was thinking more of what I've seen called monkey hooks; a websearch on that phrase will find them.
    – keshlam
    Jan 14 at 4:33

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