How to Hang Cabinets on Plaster Walls without Studs

How to Hang Cabinets on Plaster Walls without Studs?

You want to install some cabinets in your home, but you have a plaster wall, and the studs don’t exist. Most people would give up at this point, but you do not. You’re determined to get the cabinets installed without breaking the walls.

Plaster walls are made out of two layers. First comes the lath, made up of strips, then comes the plaster itself. In contrast, studs provide support for weighty objects such as cabinets and fixtures. But how to hang cabinets on plaster walls without studs?

In this post, we’ll give you some methods that don’t require studs in order to install your cabinets. So, get your tools ready, and let’s get started.

Methods for How to Hang Cabinets on Plaster Walls without Studs

When it comes to hanging cabinets, the process can be a bit more complicated when you’re working with plaster walls since you can’t simply screw it into a stud. However, there are a few methods you can use to ensure your cabinets stay securely in place.

Methods for How to Hang Cabinets on Plaster Walls without Studs

Method 01. Drywall Anchors

If you’re looking for a way to secure your cabinets to plaster walls without the need for studs, drywall anchors are the perfect solution. Here’s a quick guide on how to install them:

#1. Drill a pilot hole into the wall at each point where you’ll be attaching an anchor. The size of the pilot hole will depend on the size of the anchor, so be sure to consult the instructions that come with your chosen product.

#2. Insert the anchor into the pilot hole and tighten it in place using a screwdriver or drill. Be careful not to overtighten it, since this could damage the anchor or cause it to pull out of the wall.

#3. Hang your wall cabinet on the drywall anchors using screws that are long enough to penetrate both the anchor and the wall material.

With these simple steps, you can easily install drywall anchors to securely hang your cabinets without using studs.

2. Molly Bolts

Molly bolts are one of the most secure ways to fasten plaster cabinets to walls without the use of studs. To install them, start by drilling a pilot hole through the cabinet and into the plaster. Next, insert the molly bolt into the hole and use a screwdriver or drill to drive it until it the flush with the cabinet surface.

Finally, use a hammer to tap the sleeve of the bolt until it is fully expanded and firmly anchored in place. With that, your cabinets should be securely attached to the wall and ready for use.

3. Toggle Bolts

You can easily install toggle bolts to support even the heaviest cabinets or floating shelves. First, mark the desired location for the toggle bolt with a pencil. Next, use a drill to create a pilot hole that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the bolt. Once the hole is drilled, insert the toggle bolt and screw it into place.

When screwing in the toggle bolt, be sure not to overtighten it, as this can damage the plaster. Finally, snap off the wings of the toggle bolt, and your cabinet should be securely mounted to the wall.

4. Cabinet Mounting Rail

First, you will need to purchase cabinet mounting rails. These can be found at most hardware stores. Next, mark the location of the rails on the plaster wall using a pencil or chalk. Make sure that the marks are level and evenly spaced.

After that, you will need to drill pilot holes in order to attach the screws. Finally, screw the rails into place. This method is not always foolproof, but it can provide a secure way to install kitchen cabinets on plaster walls without having to use metal studs.

5. Corner Braces

While corner braces are typically used to reinforce the corners of cabinets, they can also be used to secure cabinets to plaster walls. The first step is to find the center point of the wall and mark it with a pencil.

Next, measure and mark the position of the cabinet on either side of the center point. Once the locations have been marked, use a drill to create pilot holes for the screws.

Be sure to use a drill bit that is smaller than the screws so that the plaster will not crack when the screws are inserted. Once you’ve inserted the screws, tighten them until the brackets are securely in place.

6. Large Picture Hangers

The first step is to determine the location of the hangers. It’s important to choose a spot that is strong enough to support the weight of the cabinet, as well as any additional weight that may be added, such as dishes or other items. Once the location has been chosen, use a ruler or measuring tape to mark the placement of the screws.

For added stability, it’s recommended to use two screws per hanger. Drill pilot holes into the marks using a drill bit a little smaller than the screw diameter. Next, insert the screws into the pilot holes and tightened them until they are snug. Finally, hang the cabinet on the screws and enjoy your new storage space.

7. Epoxy with Masonry Anchors

Epoxy anchors are ideal for this type of installation because they create a strong bond with the plaster and can support a lot of weight. To install epoxy anchors, start by drilling a hole in the plaster slightly smaller in size than the anchor.

Next, insert the epoxy and anchor it into the hole, and apply a generous amount of epoxy around it. Use a putty knife to spread the epoxy evenly, then squeeze the anchor into place. Allow the epoxy anchors to cure for at least 24 hours before hanging the cabinets.

Additional Tips and Advice

If you’re hanging cabinets without studs on a plaster wall, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure you’re using the right type of screw. Drywall screws are specifically designed for this type of job, and they’ll grip the plaster more effectively than other types of screws.

Second, don’t overtighten the screws, as we already mentioned above. Just snug them up, so they’re secure. Third, use wall anchors if possible. This will help distribute the weight of the cabinets more evenly and prevent the screws from pulling out over time.

Finally, be prepared for a bit of patching and sanding afterward. Plaster can be tricky to work with, so it’s not unusual to have a few small cracks or chips after the job is done. With a little patience and attention to detail, though, you can put upper cabinets up on plaster walls without any problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a few questions that we get asked quite often about mounting cabinets on plaster walls. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

1. How Do You Find a Stud in a Plaster Wall??

One way to do this is to use a stud finder. Stud finders are devices that use magnets to detect the nails or screws that are used to hold studs in place. Simply run the stud finder along with the wall unit until it beeps or lights up, indicating that a wall stud has been found. Another way to find studs is by tapping on the wall and listening for a solid sound.

2. How Much Weight Can Plaster Walls Hold without a Stud?

Neither plaster nor drywall are inherently weak and can support a good amount of weight without a stud. A screw driven into a stud in plaster or drywall can hold 80-100 pounds. Anchored screws or other fasteners set into the wall where there is no stud can hold up to 20 pounds. It’s always best to err on the side of caution, though, and use a stud whenever possible.

3. Can I Use Drywall Anchors On Plaster Walls?

While it is possible to attach drywall anchors to plaster walls, it is not recommended. Plaster is a much harder material than drywall, and as a result, the anchors are less likely to bite into the plaster and provide a secure hold.

In addition, plaster is more likely to crack under the weight of the anchor, which could cause serious damage to your walls. If you must use a drywall anchor on plaster, be sure to use a larger size than you would on drywall, and be very careful not to overtighten the screws.


Hanging cabinets on plaster walls without studs is definitely possible, but it’s important to choose the right method for your particular situation, as we mention in this article. Remember to use drywall screws, wall anchors, and epoxy anchors if possible; you may need to patch and sand afterward.

If you’re unsure which method to use or need help with the installation process, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for assistance. We hope this article has been helpful, and we wish you the best of luck with your project.

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