I was in the process if hanging curtains and when I was putting the drywall mounts into the wall the drywall was extremely hard and just crumbled. Once the drywall mount hit a certain depth it just stopped. I know there is not a stud in the wall at this spot, i checked with a stud finder.

I don't think the wall is plaster. I even took a light switch off and looked behind it to confirm. Maybe I'm wrong though.

Am I dealing with plaster... can the drywall harden or become brittle over time?

If it is plaster is there a good way to mount these curtains in the plaster.

  • @ChrisF Probably identified your material. Plasterboard is usually thin, hard and goes up in sheets akin to drywall. Drywall tends to go more powdery as it deteriorates (gypsum sandwiched between paper ... as the paper looses structure, the drywall does too).
    – Stephen
    Oct 31, 2011 at 12:51
  • 1
    When was your house built? That's usually the easiest way to figure out what your walls are likely made out of.
    – DA01
    Oct 31, 2011 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


If you're hanging curtains I'm going to assume that you are drilling above the window. In that case you've probably hit the lintel.

This will be either a piece of concrete or wood (depending on the construction of the house) designed to spread the load of the wall above the window around the window.

If it's concrete you'll need to use regular rawlplugs in the holes.

If it's wood you can just drill a pilot hole and screw directly into that through the plasterboard.


There was a period where there were 2'x5' drywall with plaster over them. The plaster is hard and seems to crumble a bit. Also at least in my house the thickness is near 3/4".

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