curtain rod in plaster (pics)

mikendMarch 11, 2009

This is a minor problem (compared to other things posted on here), but I do need some help! The plaster anchors that I used for our curtain rod in the living room are starting to slip out of the plaster. There is a fine crack above it, so I assume this is resulting from expansion/contraction due to weather changes (we have these in other places in the house and I have repaired them with caulk).

My thought on how to repair this is to fill the holes with joint compound and reattach the hardware, and then I was going to use a rectangular "mending brace" with one end screwed into a stud, and the other acting as cross suppport. I would paint the metal brace, and most of it would not be visible anyways (because the curtain would cover it).

My 2 questions ... is this a crazy idea ? and if not, where are the studs relative to these windows ? I know that the window frames are attached to the studs, but where are the studs relative to the window or relative to the molding ?


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FWIW, I'd just try to find the studs and attach your rod hardware where there is a stud. Then patch the plaster. The hangers might not end up perfectly symmetrical, but you wouldn't have any "mending braces" on your wall. Sometimes, it is hard to find a stud with plaster and lathe - and the studs in old houses aren't always spaced a uniform distance apart. One way to locate a stud is to measure from a known stud (or a corner) 16 inches to the center of the next stud (works on new walls). Or look at baseboards for nail holes - they may be attached to studs. Another way is to use a very small drill bit and drill a series of consecutive holes in a line, low on the wall, until you reach a stud - then try the 16 inch measuring technique to find the next one. Or drill a very small hole and poke a wire in and feel both directions for a stud. Of course, you have to go back and patch and paint the little holes!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 2:11PM
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Thanks kimitchy. I found what looks like a covered nail hole in the base board, so I will probably try to use that. I may be able to poke a wire into the hole that is already there since I think it is close to the stud. I suspect that the fine crack may actually be next to the stud, so I may already be there, but just didnt use deep enough screws. So hopefully problem solved- I'll find out this weekend!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 7:20PM
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Or use molly anchors.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:51PM
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I might consider molly anchors too. I guess I need to see where the stud is. If it is close by, I'll use that. My worry about molly anchors and toggle anchors is that if the fail, they could rip out a bigger hole in plaster- but I am probably worrying too much since the curtains and rods are not that heavy!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 8:58AM
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The problem with curtain rod anchoring is that the rods stick out from the wall and place a significant withdrawal load on the anchor.

Plastic sleeve anchors in plaster cannot get a good grip (like they can in masonry) since the plaster tends to crumble under the loading as the anchor expands.

Molly anchors go all the way through and expand behind the plaster to spread the load out over a larger area.

It can be a chore to find long enough molly anchors if the plaster is 3 coat and thick.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 4:31PM
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Thanks for all of the help! There was actually a stud directly behind the hardware. I filled the holes with vinyl spackling, put in new anchors while the spackling was wet (I hope this holds), painted, drilled a pilot hole when everything was dried, and used much longer screws. So hopefully this works. If the other ones pop out of the plaster, I will use molly anchors if there is not a stud behind them.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 8:12AM
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