How to Find a Wall Stud Without a Stud Finder

The plaster or drywall surfaces of the walls in your home can support a lot of weight. To hang shelves or artwork, you want to attach mounting hardware to wall studs. These are the support beams behind the wall’s surface. Normally, you could use a stud finder to locate them. If you don’t have one, Handyman Connection® of Chattanooga can teach you some low-tech alternatives.

Look for Outlets and Nails

The baseboard is usually nailed to the wall studs, so looking for the nails is the simplest method. You can do this by sight, or you can run a strong magnet over your walls. Be sure to look for electrical switches and outlets as they are usually attached to the sides of wall studs. They are also generally mounted on the sides of studs higher up the wall.

Use a Flashlight on the Wall

If you can’t find nails purely by sight, use a strong flashlight. Shine it at a steep angle against the wall. Look for a column of dimples and bumps which are the irregularities caused by nails. It’s almost certain there’s a stud under them.

Find Other Wall Studs

Once you’ve found one stud, you can approximate the location of the others. Look 16 inches from the first stud for another one. If you don’t find any, try looking 24 inches from the first stud instead. You can also try hitting the wall with your knuckles and listening for a solid sound. A solid rather than hollow sound signals the presence of a stud.

Nail and Hanger

Wherever you feel there’s a stud, drive a small nail into the wall. If it doesn’t hit wood under the plaster or drywall, pull it out and insert a wire hanger in its place. Twist the hanger. If it hits wood, you’ve found the stud.

Handyman Connection of Chattanooga

Count on Handyman Connection of Chattanooga for your general home maintenance needs. We can find the right places in your home to hang your shelves and artwork. Call (423) 709-8005 for a free consultation and estimate.

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