How to hang stuff on the walls without nails?
June 12, 2013 3:13 AM   Subscribe

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

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

Best answer: 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]

Best answer: 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

Response by poster: 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

Best answer: 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]

Best answer: 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]

Best answer: 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

Best answer: 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

Best answer: 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

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