Mounting tape that actually works?
October 22, 2020 2:26 PM   Subscribe

I've had very bad luck sticking LED lights on various surfaces. I've tried both mounting squares that come with the lights and separately purchased double-sided mounting tape but the longest that they stay on is a week. The lights are really lightweight (cheapo plastic pucks several inches in diameter) so the weight shouldn't be an issue. The surfaces I tried are smooth inside walls of a cabinet and the underside of a steel shelf; completely clean and dry so incorrect application shouldn't an issue either. I do need the tape to be removable - I don't mind using a goo remover to remove traces of adhesive but I don't want to permanently damage furniture. Thanks for your help!
posted by cyberian to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
My usual fallback in cases like this are one of the many 3M Command adhesive products, just make sure you can reach the "removal pull tab" once the items are installed or getting them off again will be problematic (if you put a small patch of Command in the middle of your puck, you will not be able to reach it once installed, and will thus not be able to remove it).
posted by aramaic at 2:31 PM on October 22, 2020 [5 favorites]

This works well for me:
posted by SNACKeR at 2:32 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Gorilla tape is amazing, it literally held part of my bumper together for months.
posted by emjaybee at 2:36 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have a command strip hook in my bathroom right now, mounted on a tile with an uneven surface, a tile that gets REAL steamy, holding up a very heavy hair dryer. The Command products just work really well. If you haven't tried the adhesive strips from specifically that brand, give that a try.

Also--I had the same brand of adhesive strip in a few places in the apartment I lived in for more than 8 years, stuck directly to the 100 year old walls that had cracks and peeling places all over it. Every single one of them came off clean.
posted by phunniemee at 2:48 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

GHB tape is super strong and can be removed with a hair dryer.
posted by jonathanhughes at 2:49 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

I use the Command picture hangers, the ones that are mated hook and loop strips.

It's weird that the stuff that came with them isn't staying, though. I find that stuff almost too tenacious - I've got one inside a spice cabinet I cannot get the back plate unstuck from the cabinet.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:15 PM on October 22, 2020

nthing the branded command hooks or stick and remove 'velcro'

I'm usually a non brand person but only the 3m command stuff has worked for me on old, irregular walls, tiles etc
posted by sedimentary_deer at 3:37 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: 3M VHB (for Very High Bond) is the industrial, expensive, user-unfriendly big brother that 3m command strips dream about. It's harder to remove but it IS removable, in my experience. The neat thing is that it's real thick, and that means you can press stuff together to get a good bond, whereas 3m command strips are thinner and don't do well sometimes when things are rigid and flush.
posted by sleeping bear at 4:01 PM on October 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My professional theater production source seconds sleeping bear in recommending 3M VHB.
posted by tiamat at 4:57 PM on October 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

I ran into this in my apartment.
My issue was that a few decades of cooking and smoking had left enough residue on the walls that the strips would not adhere.

Surface prep with acetone followed by alcohol fixed the issue.

Good luck!
posted by pdoege at 5:58 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have an obsession with the Velcro style command hooks. Very strong and you can hide the pull tabs since they’re Velcro.
posted by Crystalinne at 6:36 PM on October 22, 2020

Best answer: You want 3m VHB tape, you can remove the tape later with a hairdryer. If the items are large enough that it's difficult to get at the tape, use a long sharp knife to cut through the middle of the tape and remove the items.

"double sided tape" that isn't a good quality brand is basically useless unless you are sticking together construction paper or something equally light.

Clean both things you are sticking together with rubbing alcohol before you apply the tape, if you have cleaned them with a spray cleaner or something there could be a residue that's keeping the tape from sticking.
posted by yohko at 7:06 PM on October 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

Another vote for the velcro-style Command strips here. I've even used them where they are absolutely not meant to go, and they've worked just fine. (Outside my house. It was all I had on hand to hang a doorbell button, so I used it, out of "I need a usable doorbell today, multiple deliveries coming" desperation, figuring when it inevitably fell off due to the wind and rain and etc, I'd just restick it with something better or drill a couple holes and screw. It's been five and a half years and counting, and it's not budged.)
posted by sailoreagle at 7:35 AM on October 23, 2020

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