How to Hang Decorative Items on Hardie Board

Hardie board, also known as cement board or fiber cement siding, has become immensely popular in home construction and design thanks to its durability, resistance to the elements, and aesthetic versatility.

But for the creative homeowner looking to express their style by hanging decorative items, it’s crucial to navigate the peculiarities of this material with care and precision. Luckily, with the right approach and understanding, you can transform your Hardie board-clad space into a canvas that beautifully showcases your vision.

How to Hang Decorative Items on Hardie Board

Let’s dive into the intricacies of hanging decorative items on this resilient surface and ensure your home design dreams are not hampered by concrete hurdles. In this blog post on how to hang decorative items on hardie board we’ll cover everything you need to know about hanging decor on a Hardie board, from selecting the right hardware to avoiding common mistakes.

What is Hardie Board?

Hardie board is a composite material made of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, creating a robust, weather-resistant siding option. It mimics the appearance of natural wood without its inherent vulnerabilities, such as rot and insect damage.

It’s a staple choice for exterior applications, particularly in regions with harsh climatic conditions. You can even use it for interior walls and ceilings, fireproofing, or as a base for tile installation. It is also a popular choice for accent walls, adding texture and character to any space.

Why You Should Care About Hanging on Hardie Board?

Your urge to decorate and beautify your exterior living space should be aligned with the integrity of the surfaces you’re dealing with. A lack of understanding when hanging on the Hardie board can lead to a domino effect of issues, from cosmetic damage to structural weaknesses.

Understanding When Hanging on the Hardie Board

It’s essential to get it right so that your creativity can thrive without damaging the surface and its performance. The good news is that it isn’t too complicated once you know which factors to consider.

The Purpose of Precision in Hanging Decor on Harie Board

By crafting a plan rooted in the strengths and sensitivities of Hardie board, your decorations will not only adorn your home with elegance but also stand the test of time against the elements.

Precision is paramount when you are hanging on this substrate, so choose the right tools and techniques and be mindful of proper weight distribution. But first, let’s look at the different types of Hardie boards and their specificities. You must understand which type of Hardie board you’re dealing with before commencing your hanging project.

9 Easy Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Hang Decorative Items on Hardie Board

Step 1: Prepare Your Tools

Given below is an exhaustive list of tools that you’ll need to execute a successful hanging job:

Drill Bits:

  • Masonry drill bit
  • Screwdriver tip

Power Drill:

A power drill is essential when working with the Hardie board. It’ll make the job of drilling holes much more manageable and precise. Cordless is preferable as it allows for more freedom of movement.

Power Drill is Essential When Working


Screws are the primary fastener to use when hanging items on the Hardie board. Some common options include:

  • Steel sheet metal screws
  • Stainless steel trim-head screws
  • Pressure-treated deck screws

It’s best to avoid using galvanized screws as they have a tendency to corrode when in contact with the cement in the Hardie board.


For heavier decorative items, such as large artwork or hanging planters, you may need to use anchors for added stability. Popular options include:

  • Plastic screw anchors
  • Expansion anchor bolts
  • Winged plastic anchors


A level is crucial to ensure your decorative items are straight and properly aligned. Opt for a longer level (around 24 inches) to accommodate larger items.

Measuring Tape:

Accurate measurements are key when hanging decorative items. A measuring tape is an essential tool in any DIY project.

Step 2: Identify the Appropriate Hanging Location

Before you start drilling into your Hardie board, consider the location and weight of your decorative item. Heavy items require sturdier hanging spots, such as wall studs or beams, while lighter items can be hung on the Hardie board itself.

Start Drilling Into Your Hardie Board

You can use a stud finder to locate the studs behind your Hardie board. The ideal distance between screws is 16 inches. Although the Hardie board is strong, it’s always wise to distribute the weight of your decorations across multiple screws for added support. You should also ensure that the hanging spot is clear of any electrical wires or pipes.

Step 3: Measure and Mark the Hanging Points

Using a measuring tape, measure and mark the exact spot where you want to hang your decorative item. Use a pencil or chalk to make the marks visible. Ensure the marks are level and evenly spaced for a polished end result.

You can also consider using a laser level for more precise markings. It’s always a good idea to double-check your measurements before moving on to the next step. But don’t worry, mistakes can happen, and Hardie board is forgiving. You can easily patch up any unwanted holes with a cement-based patching compound. The key is to be precise and patient.

Step 4: Drill Pilot Holes

Using a masonry drill bit, drill pilot holes into the marked spots on your Hardie board. Pilot holes are essential as they help prevent the Hardie board from cracking or chipping when you insert the screws. It also helps guide the screws in straight, ensuring a secure fit.

You’ll need to switch to a screwdriver tip for your drill when inserting screws into the Hardie board, as they can easily strip with too much torque. However, for anchors, you’ll need to use a separate drill bit matching the size of the anchor. The anchors should fit snugly into the drilled hole.

Step 5: Insert the Anchors (If Needed)

For heavier decorative items, insert your chosen anchors into the pilot holes. Make sure they are flush with the Hardie board surface. You may need to tap them gently with a hammer to ensure they are firmly in place. But be careful not to damage the Hardie board.

Insert Your Chosen Anchors Into the Pilot Holes

The anchors will provide extra support for your decorative items and prevent them from pulling out of the Hardie board. You can skip this step if you’re hanging lighter items directly on the Hardie board. The screws will be enough to hold them in place. It’s important to note that Hardie board does not have the same flexibility as wood, so make sure your anchors are secure before hanging heavier items.

Step 6: Attach the Screws

Using your power drill, attach the screws to the pilot holes or anchors. Make sure they are flush with the surface, but avoid over-tightening, as it can cause the Hardie board to crack.

If you are attaching decorative items with hangers, such as picture frames or mirrors, make sure the screws are securely in place and not protruding out of the back. It’s always a good idea to test the strength of your screws by gently pulling on them before hanging your decorative items. You can also use washers for added support if needed. The key is to ensure the screws are tightly in place for a secure hold.

Step 7: Hang Your Decorative Items

With the screws securely in place, it’s time to hang your decorative items. Whether it’s a wreath, artwork, or outdoor lights, make sure they are properly aligned and straight. Use your level as a guide to ensure everything is perfectly balanced.

But don’t worry if it’s not 100% perfect. A slight angle can add character and personality to your decorations. If you’re hanging multiple items in a cluster, use your level to align the overall arrangement rather than each individual item. The key is to have fun and be creative!

Step 8: Double-check for Stability

Once all your decorative items are hung, give them a gentle tug to make sure they are secure. If you feel any looseness or wobbling, tighten the screws or add additional support as needed. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to hanging items on the Hardie board.

With the right tools and techniques, your decorations will be securely hung and add a beautiful touch to your home’s exterior.

Decorations Will Be Securely Hung

You can now sit back, relax, and admire your handiwork!  Overall, hanging decorative items on the Hardie board may seem intimidating at first, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a simple and enjoyable DIY project.

Step 9: Maintenance and Care

As with any exterior material, proper maintenance is key to preserving the integrity of your Hardie board. While it is resistant to rot and insects, it is not indestructible. It’s important to regularly inspect your Hardie board for any signs of damage or wear.

Cracks or chips can occur over time, especially in extreme weather conditions. These should be repaired immediately to prevent further damage. It’s also important to keep your Hardie board clean by regularly washing it with a mild soap and water solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals or power washers, as they can cause damage to the surface of the board. 

Following these maintenance tips on how to hang decorative items on hardie board will ensure your Hardie board remains in top condition for years to come, providing a durable and aesthetically pleasing exterior for your home. With proper installation and care, your decorative items can continue to add charm and personality to your home’s exterior for many seasons. Happy decorating! 

Tips for Delicate Decor

For lighter items, the process is relatively simple and often accomplished with the trusty exterior-grade screw. Still, when working with delicate decor, such as glass or ceramic pieces, it’s crucial to take extra precautions. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a Rubber Washer Between the Screw and Your Decorative Item to Cushion It From Potential Damage.
  • Choose a Shorter Screw for Lighter Items to Avoid the Risk of Over-tightening and Cracking the Delicate Material.
  • Consider Using Adhesive Hooks or Hang Strips for a No-drill, Damage-free Option. These Are Especially Useful for Seasonal Decorations That May Be Switched Out Frequently. 
  • If Hanging Multiple Pieces in a Cluster, Securely Tie Them Together with Wire or Fishing Line to Keep Everything in Place. This Will Also Help Distribute the Weight Evenly Across All Items.
Using Adhesive Hooks or Hang Strips

With these tips in mind, you can confidently hang delicate items on your Hardie board without worrying about damaging them. A little extra care and attention will go a long way in preserving your decorative pieces and keeping them securely in place.

Do You Need to Call in a Professional?

If you’re not comfortable with DIY projects or have heavier decorative items that require special installation techniques, it’s always best to call in a professional. A contractor or handyman will have the necessary tools and expertise to safely hang your decorative items on Hardie board without damaging it. They can also advise you on the best placement and techniques for hanging your specific items. While it may cost a bit more, it will ensure a secure and professional finish for your home’s exterior decorations. 

Ultimately, the decision to DIY or hire a professional will depend on your comfort level and the complexity of the project. But with the right preparation and approach, hanging decorative items on the Hardie board can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for any homeowner.

How Much Could It Cost to Install Hardie Board?

The cost of installing the Hardie board will vary depending on the size and complexity of the project, as well as your location. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between  $9-$12 per square foot for installation. This includes the cost of materials and labor. If you’re hiring a professional, it’s always best to get multiple quotes and compare prices before making a decision.

You can also save money by opting for DIY installation if you have the necessary tools and skills. However, keep in mind that improper installation can lead to costly repairs down the road, so it’s important to weigh your options carefully.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Hang Heavy Items on the Hardie Board?

A: Yes, the Hardie board is strong enough to support heavy items when installed properly. It’s important to use the correct screws and techniques for heavier items to ensure they are securely hung.

Hardie Board is Strong Enough to Support

You may also need to use additional support, such as anchors or braces, depending on the weight and size of the item. The key is to distribute the weight evenly and use proper installation methods.

Q: Can I Paint Hardie Board?

A: Yes, Hardie board can be painted to match your home’s exterior or to add a pop of color. It’s important to use high-quality exterior paint and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application. It’s also recommended to use a color that is similar to the original board color, as painting can affect the board’s warranty.

Q: Can I Install Hardie Board Over the Existing Siding?

A: While it is possible, it is not recommended to install Hardie board over existing siding. This can create moisture issues and compromise the integrity of the board. It’s best to remove old siding before installing Hardie board for a proper and long-lasting finish.

Q: Can I Use Regular Screws to Hang Decorative Items on Hardie Board?

A: No, regular screws may not provide enough grip or support for hanging items on the Hardie board. It’s important to use exterior-grade screws that are designed specifically for this purpose, such as those with a corrosion-resistant coating or self-tapping ability. This will ensure your decorative items stay securely in place.

Q: Do I Need to Seal Hardie Board?

A: No, the Hardie board is already pre-sealed during the manufacturing process. It’s important to avoid puncturing or damaging the surface when installing decorative items, as this can compromise the seal and lead to moisture issues. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help preserve the seal and keep your board looking like new.


Hanging decorative items on the Hardie board is a simple and rewarding DIY project that can add charm and character to your home’s exterior. With the right tools and techniques, even delicate decor can be securely hung without damaging the board. Regular maintenance and care will also ensure that your Hardie board remains in top condition for years to come.

Whether you choose to DIY or hire a professional, always prioritize safety and proper installation techniques to achieve the best results. With these tips in mind on how to hang decorative items on hardie board, you can confidently hang your favorite decorations on a Hardie board and enjoy a beautiful exterior for your home. So go ahead and add those finishing touches to make your house truly feel like a home!

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