How to Hang a Wood Display Case

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Wooden display case hung from wall mounted brackets
Wooden display case hung from wall mounted brackets (Image: magnificent shelf image by terex from Fotolia.com)

Hanging pictures is relatively easy and requires no more planning than picking appropriate pictures and creating an eye-catching arrangement for them. However, when hanging heavy picture frames or wooden display cases, you will need to prepare to avoid breaking any collectibles or frames as well as damaging the wall covering. Although the project is initially challenging, careful planning and proper tools will alleviate many problems. Without using the correct approach, this enterprise could be exceedingly more challenging and the arrangement could eventually damage your home as well as your belongings.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Screws
  • Hanging brackets
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Hollow-wall anchors
  • Toggle screws

Hanging the Display Case

Locate studs behind the wallboard with an electric or magnetic stud finder. An electric stud finder senses the changes in density behind the wallboard. A magnetic stud finder also senses metal nails used to secure studs to the wall.

Use the stud finder, approach the stud from both sides and mark the edges of the stud. Measure to find the center of the stud. Mark the center for reference.

Attach metal hanging brackets onto the back of the wooden case if necessary. For best results, keep the brackets at distances that correspond with the studs you marked previously.

Measure the distance between the brackets. Mark corresponding measurements lightly on the wall, with at least one bracket on center with a stud. You will use a specialized hollow-wall anchor for any ends not on the stud.

Use a level to keep your guidelines straight on the wall. Drill through the wallboard and into the stud with a bit the same diameter as your hanging screw.

Use hollow-wall anchors to provide a durable hanger for brackets that do not contact with wall studs. Drill a hole into the wall and push in the anchor. Use a hammer to make it flush with the wallboard. Tighten the bolt with a screwdriver. The anchors flare out and grip the wallboard. Reverse the screws slightly to provide enough edge to hang the brackets and case. These work for lighter weight cases.

Use toggle bolts for very heavy cases where brackets do not meet a stud. Use a drill bit the same width as the bolt. Fold the toggle arms and push the entire bolt into the wall. Once through, the toggles will open and grip the backside of the wall. Tighten the bolts but leave enough room to hang the brackets on.

Lift the display case and mount the attached brackets onto the supporting screws. Check for levelness and sturdiness then decorate as desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Magnetic sensors can accidentally identify wiring or other fasteners. After finding a suspected stud, test again 16 inches to find consecutive studs.
  • Ask a sales associate for the right screw and bracket set to support your display case. You will need to know its weight and possibly its dimensions.
  • For lightweight cases, you may prefer to screw a 2 by 4 into two studs and hang the case from the cross beam. This is very sturdy and offsets the downward force from the display case.
  • Ask a friend help you move heavy items to prevent personal injury.

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