Best way to hang paintings without nails

24.06.2019
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 tips+crashcourse@lifehacker.com.

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

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best way to hang paintings without nails
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 7
  • 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 13
  • 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 12
  • 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 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 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 5
  • Question How do push in hooks work? Decor42 Community Answer Not very well. Try the Command Strips (heavy duty). Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 6 Helpful 3
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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!

Did this summary help you?YesNo

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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15 Nail-Free Ways to Display Art Without Any Holes

Invest in Savvy Furniture

If you're really dedicated to the cause, you need thisgrid-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 viaFlickr user Jean L

5 Easy Ways How to Hang Artwork Without Using Nails
how to hang artwork without nails "To Make You Smile" (2015), Michael Milkin

To Make You Smile (2015), Michael Milkin

Collecting art is a lot of fun, but hanging it when you get home is a little more complicated.

After all, hanging your newly acquired masterpiece isnt always an option for some homeownerswhether youre renting or just really, really bad at home improvement. Youll find yourself with a hammer in hand, looking at your pristine walls, and wondering Is there any way I can hang artwork WITHOUT using nails?

Fortunately, there are options available. If youre worried about your walls, here are five easy ways you can hang artwork in your home without using nails.

How to Hang Artwork Without Using Nails

1. Use adhesive hooks and strips


There are a wide variety of adhesive hooks and strips available that have the capacity to hold the weight of a framed picture. Well, some framed pictures. If youre hanging a 10-foot by 10-foot Renaissance masterpiece, you might not want to use the same sticky hooks you use for holiday stockings.

But, if you want to hang a light-weight painting, you should be able to find an adhesive solution to meet your needs.

Just be sure that you check the weight rating for any adhesive product you use, and dont be afraid to use multiple hooks or strips. However, until youre a little more confident with your framing adhesives, maybe dont hang your first test directly over your bed or collection of rare porcelain figures.

2. Hang artwork from your molding

how to hang artwork without using nails Image courtesy of Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest

If you live in an older house or apartment, you might be lucky enough to have that great picture rail molding along the tops of your walls. If you do, dont be afraid to use it.

You just have to purchase special, inexpensive hooks that fit over the rail and then adjust lengths of framing wire to get the picture hanging exactly where you want it.

Is it simple? No, but it will keep your walls pristine, its a great way to hang artwork without using nails, and, when done correctly, looks fantastic.

3. Make good use of your mantel

Artwork by Tim Yanke. how to hang artwork without nails

Artwork by Tim Yanke.

Fireplace mantels are often cluttered with family photos and knick-knacks but they can also become an amazing showcase for dramatic works of art.

The theory is simplejust place your framed artwork on the mantel, lean it back, and enjoy. That said, if you regularly use your fireplace, you will definitely want to make sure the temperature above the mantel wont damage the artwork.

According to Luis Navarro, the Plant Manager for Park West Florida, monitoring a rooms temperature and humidity are essential when it comes to protecting a work of art. Keep the temperature within normal ranges and try to keep the humidity around 55 percent.

4. Bookshelves arent just for books

how to hang art without using nails Image courtesy of Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest

This option works best for smaller framed works. If youre trying to protect your walls, you can kick your books off your bookshelves and use that shelving unit as a dramatic, multi-level showcase for your smaller works of art.

Many stores offer bookshelves that come with a variety of adjustable shelf options, which will give you many different display configurations to choose from.

5. Dont be afraid to pull out an easel

hang artwork without using nails Park West Gallery art auction

An onboard art auction being conducted.

If you collected artwork at a Park West Gallery art auction, your first introduction to that work may have been viewing it on an easel next to the auctioneer.

This may sound crazy, but why not replicate that experience at home?

It may not be practical to have easels cluttering up your living room, but, if there is one special artwork you just love and want it to be a centerpiece in your house, placing it on an easel might be an unusual, but effective way to display it.

If you want to know more about the exciting world of art collecting, you can join Park West Gallerys community of enthusiastic art collectors by contacting a gallery consultant or cruising alongside Park West on more than 100 cruise ships worldwide.

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