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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 cant use nails, perhaps because you dont want to leave large holes in the wall, cant 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.

Steps

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 youre 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 thats 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 thats 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 thats 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 youve 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 its 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 youre hanging a larger picture, frame the back outside edge with adhesive or tape. 4 Mount your picture. Once youve 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 arent 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 thats 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 9 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 I'm not allowed to use blue tack or like things that is gonna leave a mark on my wall but then I don't want to use things like frames for little pics of me and my friends. Anyone know what to do? Community Answer Use a color photo copy machine and place everyone on the same page. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 34 Helpful 9
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wikiHow Video: How to Hang Pictures Without Nails

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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!

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Tips

  • A corkboard thats 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.

References

^ http://www.housetweaking.com/2013/03/01/easy-frame-hanging-no-nails-or-tape-measure-required/ ^ http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/658807O/commandtm-instructions.pdf ^ http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/658807O/commandtm-instructions.pdf ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ9RZt0_qMk ^ http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/658816O/commandtm-instructions.pdf ^ http://doesitreallywork.org/picture-hanger-reviews/ ^ http://doesitreallywork.org/super-hook-review/ ^ http://freshnestblog.com/how-to-make-a-picture-clothesline/ Videos provided by Home Staging by Tori Toth

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