A sticky situation
April 21, 2015 7:10 PM   Subscribe

Blue/white-tac issues. How do I keep my shiz on the walls instead of on the floor? My posters/notices keep falling off my walls. None are particularly heavy paper or strange glossy finishes. Surfaces I want the paper posters to adhere to are either wooden doors or normal painted walls. 75% stay up for months without issue - others fall down on a weekly basis.

I've tried various brands of blu(e)/white-tac(k). None seem superior and all have the same issues. Have tried large blobs in the corners, multiple small blobs at regular intervals around the edges and everything in between. Posters stuck to wooden surfaces smear and slide down over time, ones stuck to wallpaint gradually peel off.

Is there a special product/technique I'm ignorant of? Please share your glue-fu with me so my life isn't spent picking up and re-sticking posters.
posted by turkeyphant to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If the tack is staying on the poster, but not on the wall/door, I'd prep the wall or door surface better and see if that helps. I'd probably just give some good swipes of rubbing alcohol (careful with paint, it can take some latex paint off with rubbing) and stick the tack onto the prepped surface.
posted by quince at 7:20 PM on April 21, 2015

Response by poster: quince - Not to threadsit but I'd say that the majority of the time the tack is staying on the wall more than the posters. Adding more doesn't seem to help.
posted by turkeyphant at 7:25 PM on April 21, 2015

I love 3M Command picture hanging strips, though if you're hanging bare paper posters, they are going to make them stick out a bit at the corners, which you might not like.

Read the instructions on the back and follow them all. The bit about the waiting an hour before you hang any weight on the strips? They totally mean that bit.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:33 PM on April 21, 2015 [8 favorites]

How committed are you to blu-tac? I've always had exactly the problems you describe when using it, plus it tends to leave marks on the walls.

I prefer to use liberal applications of double-sided tape for this sort of thing. It's much stickier, and it lays flatter too. A few bucks gets you more than you're ever likely to need.

If you're concerned about it messing up your posters later, get the temporary kind rather than the permanent as it will be less likely to tear paper with it when you eventually take it off. You'll need to use more of it though, as it's not quite so tenacious as the kind that's meant for permanent attachment. Alternatively, you can just neutralize it with a layer of single-sided tape.

I have had great success with this strategy over the years. I will also reiterate what quince said above, namely that de-greasing the wall with a bit of rubbing alcohol will make a big difference on that side of the equation. You can't do that to paper of course, but hopefully the backs of your posters aren't greasy anyway.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 9:04 PM on April 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by Room 641-A at 9:48 PM on April 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

Blutac is the goddamn worst. I had all the same issues, plus it seemed to leave greasy stains everywhere.

When I did a lot of posters in my dorm room days, I actually used packing tape on the corners of my posters instead of blutac. One layer goes straight on the poster to provide a place to stick a loop of more packing tape that goes against the wall as well. You could also use double-sided tape instead of the loop of packing tape if you wanted it to lie flatter. The layer of tape on the poster itself prevents any ripping issues when you want to take it down, and it's not noticeable from the front.
posted by Ragini at 12:26 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

try toothpaste. it will hold stuff up for a long time, and wash off when you don't want it there anymore. Just don't use the fancily-coloured stuff because that can stain.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:08 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

I am a teacher. I like folded over painters tape (in loops). There is also something called Teacher Tape that is expensive but that lots of my colleagues love.
posted by rossination at 8:39 AM on April 22, 2015

Response by poster: To report back, I was loving the jail-chic toothpaste solution until some posters fell down while I was out of town taking large chunks of paint with them. Masking tape has issues and sugru is far too expensive.

Back to the drawing board...
posted by turkeyphant at 1:35 PM on July 25, 2015

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