How to hang stuff on walls without nails

15 Nail-Free Ways to Display Art Without Any Holes

Invest in Savvy Furniture

If you're really dedicated to the cause, you need this grid-like piece of furniture (which we spotted on flickr) that you can position behind your sofa or bed and use clips to hang prints on.

Image via Flickr user Jean L

how to hang stuff on walls without nails
How to hang stuff on the walls without nails?
My new place doesn't like us putting holes in the walls with nails. How do I hang up framed art that has some substantial weight?

I've previously tried 3M double-sided tape, which either doesn't stick well at all, or gets stuck so well that there's residue on the walls when it peels off, and various types of putty, which are fine for unframed posters, but really can't reliably hold up framed things.

Is my best bet really just to use tiny nails, and then paint over the holes when I'm done? Because I'd really like to avoid that. Suggestions?

posted by raspberry jam and clothes iron to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite Picture rail?
posted by katrielalex at 3:15 AM on June 12, 2013 How to hang a picture without hammer and nails

How To Hang Artwork Without Nails?

How can I hang a heavy frame without making holes in the walls?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:29 AM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

OOK Professional Picture Hangers. Leave very tiny pinpricks and hold heavy framed pieces easily.
posted by apparently at 3:29 AM on June 12, 2013 Is there a gap (even a really tiny one) between the ceiling and the wall or the moulding at the top of the wall? If so, you may be able to get one of the hooks designed for picture rails into the gap (and hang your artwork on a long wire) or hammer a nail into that gap in such a way that it's not noticeable.

In rented houses I have also hammered small nails into the moudling over doors/windows, and strung a high-tension fine wire between the nails across a section of wall. And then hung the artwork from that.
posted by girlgenius at 3:31 AM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Command strips and hooks sick much better than tape and remove cleanly. You can use multiples to support more weight.
posted by payoto at 3:31 AM on June 12, 2013 When I'm dithering about where to put a picture, I'll put it for a while in a book stand - this might work for a few of your smaller, heavier pieces.
posted by humph at 3:38 AM on June 12, 2013 apparently: yeah, I've definitely used those before. They're sort of a last resort if I have to make holes, I suppose.
posted by raspberry jam and clothes iron at 3:44 AM on June 12, 2013 Seconding payoto on the Command Strips and hooks. I've hung quite a few pieces of art on my plaster walls with great success. They also make velcro type strips, specifically for artwork.
posted by sarajane at 4:41 AM on June 12, 2013 Follow the directions for the wait time on the Command strips before putting the art on the wall-- works better!
posted by vitabellosi at 4:46 AM on June 12, 2013 [2 favorites] My experience with the Command strips has not been great. I followed all the directions (washed wall with alcohol, let dry, followed the wait time, etc.) and still had two pictures come crashing down--broken glass, messed up frames and a dent in my wood floor.

I'm back to regular hooks and nails--my experience has been that you don't need to paint, just use a tiny amount of patching material (as long as your walls are white or off-white). Wash any extra off from around the hole before it dries. It is practically invisible. I've never had a problem with a landlord.
posted by agatha_magatha at 6:06 AM on June 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

Every lease I've ever had has specified not to put holes in the walls and I have never followed this rule and never gotten into trouble. My current landlords have this in the lease but when pressed they acknowledged that it was unrealistic and to just avoid putting holes in the wooden molding. The plaster can be patched and most holes (esp OOK ones) you can just paint over.
posted by chelseagirl at 6:17 AM on June 12, 2013 [4 favorites] If you have a little extra space you can put a free-standing easel along a wall or in a room corner. In museums galleries they usually build extra walls or dividers to hang art. These can also be free standing but will take up some extra space. If you are handy you could prettify an exhibition divider or find an awesome divider that clamps between ceiling and floor. The right divider could be used to hang art. Bogen also makes autopoles which can be used for displaying art.
posted by JJ86 at 6:18 AM on June 12, 2013 I've had several pictures fall off the wall after using command strips. They mostly work but sometimes they don't.
posted by srboisvert at 6:19 AM on June 12, 2013 You can't normally use nails or even blu-tack in rented places here (and with the rental market being mental in London, if you go through an agency they will charge you money for any 'defect' they can when you move out, and indeed for actually moving out) we've gone with Command Strips and they seem to be working fine so far.
posted by mippy at 7:58 AM on June 12, 2013 3m command strips for heavier ones. hercules hook or monkey hook can be good if you have drywall.
posted by radsqd at 12:36 PM on June 12, 2013 Hercules Hooks look cheesy but they work surprisingly well, and leave a very small hole.
posted by xedrik at 8:58 PM on June 12, 2013 This thread is closed to new comments.

How to Hang Pictures Without Nails

How to Hang Pictures Without Nails

Co-authored by wikiHow Staff | Video Team Tested

Updated: March 29, 2019

Explore this Article Using Picture Hanging Strips Using Adhesive Hooks or Nails Using Press-in Hooks Using Tape or Reusable Adhesive Hanging a Picture String Show 2 more... Show less... Article Summary Video Questions & Answers References

This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 9 references. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article meets our high standards.

The wikiHow Video Team also followed the article's instructions and validated that they work. Learn more...

Hanging pictures is a great way to decorate and personalize a space. But there are many places where you may want to hang a picture but can’t use nails, perhaps because you don’t want to leave large holes in the wall, can’t drill or hammer through the wall, or will be changing your pictures or their arrangement frequently. This is when it comes in handy to know how to hang pictures without nails, which you can do with tacks, various adhesive products, and other ingenious solutions. There are several methods to choose from, and you can decide what will work best for you depending on your supplies and circumstances.


Method 1 Using Picture Hanging Strips

1 Remove hanging hardware. Adhesive picture hanging strips need flat surfaces to work properly, so remove any protruding hanging hardware that has been installed on the back of the picture.[1] This includes nails, screws, wires, keyhole or sawtooth fasteners, or anything else that could make the back surface of the picture uneven.
  • Adhesive picture hanging strips (as well as adhesive nails and hooks) can be found in office supply stores, craft stores, hardware stores, and online.
2 Clean your surfaces. Adhesive picture hanging strips require a clean surface to stick properly, so wipe down your picture and the wall where you’re going to hang it with a clean cloth and isopropyl alcohol.[2]
  • Allow the surfaces to dry before applying the strips.
3 Apply the strips. For each set of strips, press the two different sides together. One set at a time, remove one liner and press the adhesive to the back of the picture. Continue pressing for 30 seconds. Repeat until the required strips have been applied.
  • One set of strips will hold up to three pounds (1.36 kg), and most 8x10-inch (20x28 cm) pictures. If you only need a single set of strips, position it at the top center of the picture.
  • Two sets of strips will hold up to six pounds (2.7 kg), and most 11x17-inch (28x44 cm) pictures. Position one set of strips at each top corner of the picture.
  • Four sets of strips will hold up to twelve pounds (5.4 kg), and most 18x24-inch (46x61 cm) pictures. Position one set of strips at each top corner of the picture; position another set on each side of the picture, two-thirds of the way down from the top.[3]
4 Affix the picture to the wall. First, remove the liner on the outside of the strips to reveal the adhesive. Then, press the picture against the wall. Slowly separate the strips on the picture from those on the wall by gently pulling on the bottom corners of the picture and lifting. With your fingers, press the strips against the wall for 30 seconds.[4] Image titled Hang Pictures Without Nails Step 5 5 Wait one hour. This allows all the adhesive on the strips to set and dry. When the hour is up, replace the picture back onto the wall by lining up the strips.

Method 2 Using Adhesive Hooks or Nails

1 Clean your wall. Like picture hanging strips, adhesive hooks and nails require clean surfaces, so wipe down the wall with a clean cloth and isopropyl alcohol, then let it dry.
  • Adhesive hooks or nails have adhesive backings that stick to walls, so that you can mount pictures using the hanging hardware attached to the picture. Depending on the hardware on your picture, make sure you purchase the appropriate adhesive hanging equipment.
2 Prepare the adhesive. Remove the liner from the adhesive strip and affix it to the hook or nail.
  • Some adhesive hooks come with the adhesive already affixed to the back. Skip this step and move on to the next if that’s the case with the adhesive hook you have.
3 Affix the adhesive hook or nail to the wall. First, remove the liner from the back of the adhesive that’s attached to your hook or nail. In the place where you want your picture hung, firmly press the adhesive hook or nail against the wall for 30 seconds.[5] 4 Wait an hour for the adhesive to dry. When the hour is up, hang your pictures normally based on the hanging hardware installed.
  • Make sure you know the weight of your picture before you purchase adhesive nails, as they generally only hold between five and eight pounds (2.26 and 3.6 kg), while smaller hooks may only hold one or two pounds (0.45 or 0.9 kg).
  • To hang a picture that’s heavier than what your adhesive nails or hooks are rated for, use more than one. Ensure the weight gets distributed evenly by using a level during installation.

Method 3 Using Press-in Hooks

Image titled Hang Pictures Without Nails Step 10 1 Choose your hooks. There are several brands that make hooks that are designed to be inserted into drywall without hammers, nails, or any other tools. These include Hercules Hooks, Super Hooks, Monkey Hooks, and Gorilla Hooks.[6] They are made of different materials and rated to hold varying weights, but each one does require making a small hole in the wall. According to the manufacturers:
  • A Hercules Hook can hold as much as 150 pounds (68 kg).
  • A Super Hook can hold up to 80 pounds (36.28 kg).
  • A Monkey Hook can hold up to 35 pounds (15.87 kg).
  • A Gorilla Hook can hold as much as 50 pounds (22.67 kg).
2 Install your hooks. Push the long, curved (not kinked), tapered end of the hook through your drywall. Once you’ve pushed it most of the way in, position it so the small hook on the outside will be facing upright (so that you can hang things from it). Set it in place by pushing it in the rest of the way.[7] 3 Hang your picture. Most press-in hooks come in packs of four or more. To hang heavier pictures using two hooks, measure the width of the picture and divide it into thirds. Place one hook at the one-third mark, and a second hook at the two-thirds mark. For even heavier pictures that require three hooks, measure the picture and divide it into quarters. Place one hook at the one-quarter mark, one hook in the center (two-quarters), and one hook at the three-quarter mark.

Method 4 Using Tape or Reusable Adhesive

Image titled Hang Pictures Without Nails Step 13 1 Select your adhesive. Double-sided tape will work to affix lightweight pictures to walls, though it’s not necessarily designed for that job and may strip paint when it comes off. Reusable adhesive, also known as sticky tack or poster tack, is designed to affix lightweight pictures to walls, but it can get gummy over time and be difficult to remove.
  • Reusable adhesives and tapes are strong enough to hold loose pictures or posters (not in a frame), but are not designed to hold much more than one pound (0.45 kg).
  • Single-sided tape can be converted into makeshift double-sided tape by taking a strip of tape, making it into a loop with the adhesive side out, and fastening the ends of the tape together to close the loop.
2 Prepare the wall. Adhesives will work best with clean surfaces, so wipe down your wall with a clean cloth and isopropyl alcohol. While waiting for that to dry, wipe down the back of your poster or picture with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Wash your hands before handling reusable adhesive to prevent transferring dirt or oil onto it.
3 Prepare your picture. Lay your picture face down on a flat surface. Press small balls of reusable adhesive or small squares of double-sided tape to the corners of your picture (on the back of the picture). If you’re hanging a larger picture, frame the back outside edge with adhesive or tape. 4 Mount your picture. Once you’ve got your tape or adhesive in place, pick up the picture, line it up on the wall, and press it against the wall to affix the adhesive or tape to the wall.

Method 5 Hanging a Picture String

Image titled Hang Pictures Without Nails Step 17 1 Find existing wall fixtures. Look for hooks, screws, vents, or knobs that are already in place and that could bear a few extra pounds. Note that this method will be most appropriate for lightweight pictures that aren’t in frames.
  • Look for wall features that are out of the way and that could have a string run between them without posing a strangulation risk.
Image titled Hang Pictures Without Nails Step 18 2 Tie on your string. Cut a length of string, twine, or wire that’s long enough to span the distance between the two wall fixtures, plus some extra for tying knots. Tie each end of the string to a separate wall fixture. You can either pull the string taut or leave it slightly loose and droopy.
  • A taut string will look more rigid and uniform, while a droopy string will look more relaxed and artistic. The choice between the two is a matter of aesthetic preference.
  • Wire will be harder to tie than string or twine (it will be easier to wrap it tightly around your fixture than tie it), will provide an industrial look, and will allow pictures to slide around for quick re-positioning. Wire is thin and strong, but doesn't lend itself to the droopy look.
  • Twine and string will be easy to tie, can be left droopy or pulled taut, and will provide a more rustic look.Twine will be thicker than wire or string, but stronger than string. String will be thinner than twine, but not as strong.
Image titled Hang Pictures Without Nails Step 19 3 Hang your pictures. Use clothespins or clips to affix your pictures to the string.[8] If your string begins to sag more than it's supposed to or the knots won't stay tied, you may have too much weight. Either use stronger twine or wire, or tie a second string to different fixtures for a second row of pictures.
  • To distribute weight and pictures evenly, place your first picture in the center of the string using your eye or a tape measure. Using the first picture as the center point that separates two halves, divide those halves in half again, and place one picture at each center point. Continue dividing your spaces in half and using the center points as picture locations until all your pictures are hung.

Community Q&A

Search Add New Question
  • Question We are in a very old building with walls made of gypsum tile. Is there a way to hang art on walls without resorting to suspending it on wire from pix molding? Community Answer Depending on how heavy the pictures are, you may be able to use the 3M Command strips. You might want to double them, hanging two side by side for added support. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 0 Helpful 8
  • Question How does one remove a command strip? Does it leave a mark? Community Answer They do not work on textured walls. When I removed the strip, the paint came right off. They may be fine for flat paint, but don't use them for textured walls. I'm glad I tried one behind a door where the damage doesn't show. Now when I repaint, it shouldn't be noticeable. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 3 Helpful 15
  • Question Why do I need to clean the wall? Community Answer Dirt and dust can affect the adherence of the hook or tape. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 3 Helpful 13
  • Question Will any of these damage the wall or paint? Community Answer Yes. Despite their advertising, these do not come off textured walls without removing the paint. Don't waste your money. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 2 Helpful 8
  • Question Can I hang a thin, 9x12 canvas on my wall without a frame? Can I use some kind of glue or tape? Community Answer Yes. Follow the instructions in the article for the tape application. If the tape won't hold the canvas for anything but shorter periods, then use glue through the fabric and onto the tape. The tape should hold the canvas long enough for the glue to cure. Or, you can very slightly use thumb tacks barely through the tape to ensure the glue's cure time. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 1 Helpful 5
  • Question Can I use Command Strips on bathroom tiles to hang a mirror? Community Answer Yes, they work on every surface known to man -- just don't exceed their maximum weight as stated on the package. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 3 Helpful 8
  • Question Can I use Super Glue for frame hanging? Community Answer No. The glue will eventually become dry after years of hanging, and fall off. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 8 Helpful 13
  • Question I am renting and would like to hang some larger pictures on the walls without damaging the gyprock walls. What can I do? Community Answer Size doesn't matter, weight does. Foam tape or Command Adhesive Strips (many choices) used in pairs (or more) may very likely fit the bill. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 5 Helpful 6
  • Question Can I use hot glue to hang up light wood letters? Community Answer Yes, but if/when you remove them, you will have to repair the paint or wall. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 2 Helpful 3
  • Question How do push in hooks work? Decor42 Community Answer Not very well. Try the Command Strips (heavy duty). Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 7 Helpful 3
Show more answers Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit
  • Already answered
  • Not a question
  • Bad question
  • Other

wikiHow Video: How to Hang Pictures Without Nails


Article SummaryX

To hang pictures without nails, remove any protruding hardware from the picture frame first. This will allow the picture to be flush with the wall once you place adhesive strips on the back of it. If you don't want to place any adhesives on your picture, you can use adhesive hooks on your walls instead. Then you can simply hang your pictures off of this simple hardware. To learn other ways you can hang pictures without nails, like using tape or string, keep reading!

Did this summary help you?YesNo


  • A corkboard that’s already in place or propped up against a wall or furniture can be used to display pictures.
  • Thumbtacks can be used to hang loose pictures, posters, or very lightweight framed pictures with wire hangers, as long as you can put small holes in the wall.
  • Framed or loose pictures can be displayed by being propped up against mantles, bookshelves, furniture, or other objects, or placed in standing frames.


^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Videos provided by Home Staging by Tori Toth

Made Recently

Loading... Did you try these steps?
Upload a picture for other readers to see. Upload error Awesome picture! Tell us more about it? Click here to share your story. How to Hang Pictures Without Destroying Your Walls
Illustration for article titled How to Hang Pictures Without Destroying Your Walls

Whether you rent or own, you probably want to put some art on the walls and spice up your space. You also probably want to do this without damaging the walls trying to hang the same photo five times or having it fall down over and over again. Here's how to hang your art and posters the right way the first time without wrecking your walls in the process.

How you should hang art on the way depends largely on how heavy and large the poster or frame you want to put up actually is. Still, the key to hanging photos without killing your walls starts with planning, long before you put the first nail in the wall or drill the first hole. Photo by David Hunter.


Illustration for article titled How to Hang Pictures Without Destroying Your Walls

Plan Ahead

Pick your space. If you don't already know where you want to hang your art or posters, now's the time to start looking and making sure that the space you want your art to hang is large enough to accommodate it. Also, make sure you're not cramming so many frames, photos, and posters in such a small space that you can't manage them or space them evenly. Photo by Robert Taylor.


Hang at eye-level. One design tip that will help you maximize the use of your wall space without losing sight of your art is to always hang your art at eye-level where you'll be able to see them without having to crane your neck up or look down your nose to see what you're hanging on the wall. If you don't want to eyeball what "eye level" is, run a tape measure from the floor to the ceiling, and have someone else mark on the measure where your eyes naturally rest when you're standing a foot or two away from the wall.

Get a stud finder. While you may not need to hang light posters in acrylic or plastic frames or photographs from a stud, if you do have an expensive piece in a heavy frame, you should know where the studs behind your walls are. Even if you don't need your studs for your artwork, take a stud finder and mark-perhaps at the top of your wall where it meets the ceiling-where the studs are with a pencil. Then you'll never need to worry again.


Mount the Hardware

Measure first. Make sure you mark off any places you need to hammer nails or drill holes for brackets before you try to hang the piece. Use a straight-edge, ruler, or level to make sure the sides are level before you actually hold the art up to the wall. Mark the center line (the halfway point between the bottom and the top of the art, which should also rest at eye-level,) the edges, and all the sides. When you're finished, putting the art up should be like fitting a puzzle piece into a slot. Making sure you take the time to mark where the art will go first and that it's level and spaced well from other pieces will save you from mounting a piece only to take it down and have to re-mount it somewhere else later.


Illustration for article titled How to Hang Pictures Without Destroying Your Walls

Use the right tools. Picture hanging kits, easily available at most hardware and department stores, often have all the materials you need to hang most common frames on your walls. Light pieces like photos, movie posters, and other art will likely require just a nail, or a nail and a bracket or picture hanger (most light frames have a bracket on the back already.) Photo by Kevin Williamson.


If you're facing something over 25lbs however, this is where you'll be happy you marked the studs. Depending on how heavy the art is you may consider using a plastic wall anchor in the drywall, or solidly mounting the art in the stud using a mounting bracket. Don't use drywall screws in wood, and don't use wood screws in drywall – go to your local hardware store and find the type of picture hanger for the size and weight you're dealing with. Using the wrong mounting brackets or tools will inevitably lead you to waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of your art crashing to the floor.

Use blank paper for dummy art. There's no need to try and hold your art or frame up to the wall while simultaneously marking or drilling holes in it. Put the art on the floor, and lay notebook or construction paper around the edges, then tape the paper together so you have a large sheet that's the same size as the piece you want to hang. Then use the sheet, now the same height and width as the art, as a guide that you can tape to the wall to mark your holes or even drill your holes through the hanging paper without worrying if you're in the right spot.


Illustration for article titled How to Hang Pictures Without Destroying Your Walls

Mount the Art

Once you've measured, centered, and mounted your hardware, placing the art on the wall should be a simple task, and you shouldn't have to spend too much time tilting the art to make sure it's level. You can save the paint on your walls from scuffs and scratches though by adding small adhesive bits of felt to the corners or bottom of the frame where it's in direct contact with the wall. If you don't have anything like that, a bit of post-it note or masking tape will work too: anything to keep the frame from scraping against the wall directly. Photo by Horia Varlan.


Bonus Tip: Use Disposable Hooks

3M's Command line of plastic and metal hooks also work well to hang light pieces of art and posters from drywall or concrete, without the need for drills or nails. Apartment dwellers in rental units, college students, or anyone else who's technically prohibited from hammering or drilling will find them especially useful. The adhesive strips that come with Command hooks go on easily, cure quickly, and remove without damaging the walls (in most cases,) which is a huge benefit if you like to change out the art on your walls frequently, or just don't want to risk drilling or hammering nails into them.


The trouble with these kinds of disposable hooks, Velcro strips, and other mounting strips is that they're generally rated for very light objects. If you have small, light plastic or acrylic frames with photos or printed posters in them, they'll work well. If you have a solid wood frame or oversized pieces of art, they may hold for a few days, but your art will come clattering down unless you use three or four hooks to hold it up.

Hanging a picture shouldn't have to be so hard that you're worried about damaging your walls in the process. With a little preparation, you can do it right the first time and hang your artwork easily, without ending up with multiple nail-holes in your wall that you subsequently have to patch up or cover with the art you hung.


What are some of your best art and photo-hanging tips? How do you decorate your walls without wrecking them? Share your tips in the comments below.

Crash Course is a twice-weekly series of guides to life skills everyone should know but you may have been afraid to ask. Do you have an everyday problem you wish someone had taught you to solve? Let us know at


You can reach Alan Henry, the author of this post, at, or better yet, follow him on Twitter.


Did you like the video? Like or tell your friends!
Add a comment
Related videos:
How to Hang Things on Plaster Walls Co-authored by Jeff Huynh Updated: May 2, 2019 Explore this Article Starting
Hanging a picture has never been easier! We offer a complete range of hanging systems which enable you to hang
If you live in an older home, the walls are plaster, rather than drywall. And chances are that these walls
January 24, 2019Pictures and artwork are a wonderful way to put your own unique stamp on your home decor. But
How to Hang Pictures Without Nails Co-authored by wikiHow Staff | Video Team Tested Updated: March 29, 2019 Explore this
Hanging a picture has never been easier! We offer a complete range of hanging systems which enable you to hang
Hanging a picture has never been easier! We offer a complete range of hanging systems which enable you to hang
Here's an idea perfect for small spaces. it will spruce up boring white walls and your room
How to Hang Pictures Without Nails Co-authored by wikiHow Staff | Video Team Tested Updated: March 29, 2019 Explore this
We'll be moving into a rental with the " no nails in walls rules!" I feel like I'm going
How to Hang a Mirror on a Wall Without Nails Co-authored by Peter Salerno Updated: June 7, 2019 Explore
Whether you're living in a rented house and your landlord won't let you drill into the walls, or
It can be a pain to cover up nail holes after moving your picture gallery. Even worse, if you are
You need to prepare the tools:Refill StripsClothespins(4 or 8)scissorsStep 1:Cut the Refill Strips with our scissors
January 24, 2019Pictures and artwork are a wonderful way to put your own unique stamp on your home decor. But
select background