Going to hang a non electric chandelier, about 20 lbs. How do I find a stud in the ceiling, can I use a stud finder? Or any other suggestions? Thanx
Yup, but if the ceiling has popcorn on it, the stud finder may have trouble---as well as dislodging the stuff.
Also, if there is an insulated attic above the ceiling, insulation is subject to falling through the hole.
An alternate way to mount the chandelier is to straighten a wire coat hanger and push it through the ceiling where you want to hang it. Locate the wire in the attic and procede. If the location is between two rafters, add a couple of boards between the two on each side of the hole and hang away.
Of course an electronic or magnetic stud finder should work fine. If it's a smooth ceiling, you can also get a flashlight with a strong beam, and stand on a chair and scan the light across the ceiling (flashlight parallel to the ceiling). Holding it in this fashion allows you to see the most minor imperfections, such as a slight dimple where a sheetrock fastener went in, or a nail popping slightly. The rafters should be spaced on 24" (or less commonly 16") centers, so, once you find one using this technique, you can measure over to where the next one is (presuming you've figured out which way the rafters run). The coat hanger technique is a good one, but it only works if you've got access to the ceiling from the attic in this location. You can use masking tape to put marks on so you don't have to markup you ceiling.