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What's up with keyholes?

hanging a sign keyholes

What are keyholes and why are they important for hanging signs?

Example of the back of a single sided sign


Keyholes are small, elongated holes that are commonly found on the back of signs or plaques. They are designed to make hanging a sign easier and more secure. By using keyholes, you can ensure that your sign stays in place and doesn't shift or fall off the wall.

Step 1: Determine the placement of your sign

Before you start hanging your sign, you need to decide where you want it to be displayed. Take into consideration the height, visibility, and any other factors that may affect the placement of your sign.

Step 2: Gather the necessary tools

To hang a sign with keyholes, you will need the following tools:

  • Drill
  • #12-14 exterior screws
  • Wall anchors (if necessary)
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • pencil

Step 3: Mark the position of the keyholes

Measure the distance between the keyholes you choose to use. We recommend using at least 2 keyholes. Also, measure the distance from the top of the keyholes and the top of the sign. Use a pencil to mark the location of the keyholes on the wall. Make sure the marks are level and spaced properly.

Step 4: Drill pilot holes

Using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the screws you will be using, drill pilot holes at the marked locations. This will make it easier to insert the screws and prevent the siding from splitting. Leave the screws about a 1/2" away from the wall. You will snug them up later.

Step 5: Insert wall anchors (if necessary)

If you are hanging the sign on a drywall or a hollow wall, it is recommended to use wall anchors to provide extra support. Insert the wall anchors into the pilot holes.

Step 6: Attach the sign to the wall

Align the keyholes on the back of the sign with the screws you installed. Insert the screws through the keyholes and pull down on the sign until it is securely attached to the wall. Use a level to ensure that the sign is straight.

Step 7: Double-check the stability

Once the sign is hung, give it a gentle tug to make sure it is securely attached to the wall.  Now snug up the screws and make the sign so it slides down with a little bit of friction.

Step 8: Enjoy your beautifully hung sign!

Now that your sign is securely hung on the wall, step back and admire your handiwork. Your sign is ready to be seen and appreciated by all.

A Word about Masonary

Tapcon masonary screws

You may want to hang your sign on brick, stone, block wall, etc. When you hang a sign on masonary materials, it's the same process that's laid out above, but the screws you use will be different. The best screws to use are called "Tapcon" screws. You can find these at any hardware store. Because you will be drilling into a hard material, you will need a special drill bit called a masonary bit. If you buy the Tapcons in a package, many times the correct bit is included. If you need help selecting the correct bit, I'm sure the friendly sales associate will help (go to the little hardware store down at the corner! Those guys know everything!). Generally, you can use 1 1/4" or 1 3/4" long Tapcons, depending on your specific installation location. While it is possible to drill into masonary with a regular drill, it can be much easier with a hammer drill. You can rent these, or borrow one from your neighbor if you don't have one. Sometimes, your cordless drill will have a hammer setting that you may not have ever used, so check that first.  Good luck. It's really not too much more difficult to hang a sign on a masonary surface if you have the right tools and screws!

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