Curtain hardware problem

Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

I have been attempting to install simple curtain hardware @ my daughters older house. The plaster above the windows will not hold the screws nor plastic anchors for the screws. Too many years of someone doing the same. Plus I keep hitting spots where I must be hitting metal or something about a tiny fraction into the plaster. Looking for a solution I thought maybe to put up a strip of wood & secure @ spots that will take an anchor/screw. Those places that will take hardware are out of range of the places where the hardware is to go. Anyone have an opinion or advice? Any of you have such a problem you solved? The wood putty did not work either.

Missouri City, TX

The metal may be the corner that is used with drywall and covered with "mud" to smooth out the transition. Your are already ahead of most, by using screws instead of the nails that usually come with window hardware.

You may be able to drill a small hole it it and use an appropriate size machine screw instead of a wood screw. You may also be able to find the framing 2x lumber that should be around the opening. That will require longer screws, but will hold anything.

Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

Bubba, I am not understanding the last paragraph. drill a small hole in the plaster? what
"able to find the framing 2x lumber that should " sentence mean? talk real slow and use little words like nail, hammer, etc. I am special. thank you for helping me.

Missouri City, TX

The window was framed with 2x4 or 2x6 boards behind all the sheetrock of plaster (depending on the age of the house). There will be a vertical board on each side of the opening (doubled if the window is wider than the distance between the studs that are in the wall) and there will (should be) a doubled set of them above and below the opening. This framing is what the carpenters used to attach the window to the wall. Once that was complete, plaster lath or sheetrock was applied to the wall.

The plaster laths or sheetrock was nailed into the studs and window support framing.

Where a 90 degree angle occurs for the inset of the window (sides and top of the window) the plasterer will nail a metal corner support that will run the length of the opening. Over this will be applied the joint compound to make a smooth looking wall and neat corner. UNLESS there is a wood trim around the window. The wood would have covered the "unfinished" edge of the wall.

Normally there will be a windowsill at the bottom.

My point was that there should be some "good wood" (framing) behind the edge of the window, on all sides, top and bottom.

Most mounting fasteners supply such short nails that they can only penetrate the sheetrock or plaster, so they never get to the wood.

After a couple of remodeling projects - done of course with new hardware, the hammered upper corners of the window frame plaster are now powder, perhaps patched with more joint compound. It looks good, but won't take a nail without crumbling.

If you get very close to the edge, you will hit the metal corner, if you go a little too wide, you may miss the stud.

So I suggested drilling a small hole to determine what is available to attach the new hardware. If you do hit metal, it will tear up the threads of some wood screws, but you should find wood just a 1/2 inch deeper - through the sheetrock or plaster. Machine screws have a constant diameter (not tapered), and might work in the metal without hitting the wood.

Depending on the weight of the curtains, that might work for shears, but I would want to go a little deeper with a larger bit through just the metal, so that I could use a longer wood screw into the framing. Especially if I were hanging drapes or blackout curtains that are much heavier.

I hope that helps and doesn't add to the confusion.

Vancouver, WA(Zone 8a)

thank you, thank you. I get it!! I will copy that and take it with me.

Missouri City, TX

Send some pictures when you get it done.

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