How to stick pictures on the wall without using nails

Try not to hang blank pictures on the wall. People will think you're pretentious and hate you
Try not to hang blank pictures on the wall. People will think you’re pretentious and hate you

3 simple ways to hang heavy pictures on walls without leaving big holes in your wall, losing your deposit on rented accommodation… or smashing your beautiful place to smithereens for the sake of a bit of home improvement.

Modern life is simple. We no longer hunt down wild animals with our bare hands to eat, or fight off moody giraffes at poo-infested water holes to drink water. Everything just sort of works, on tap.

That’s why there’s something quite satisfying about taking a hammer and nail – or better still an electric drill – and pummeling hell’s fury at a wall to hang a picture. It channels into something quite innate – the desire to bash stuff.

Let’s take away that simple pleasure too.

The problem is – and it is a genuine problem – if you live in rented accommodation you may find that your landlord is pretty strict about what you can and can’t do to their precious walls.

Leave it peppered with nails, holes or chipped plaster and they’ll seize the opportunity to gnaw away at your deposit and leave you heavily out of pocket. Some landlords will insist that you don’t put any holes in the walls in the first place.

Sadly that doesn’t make for a particularly homely home. I have friends who’ve lived in the same place for more than 4 years and have never put up a framed picture, photograph or painting for fear of causing a fuss and losing their deposit. Walking into their home is a bit like visiting a hospital waiting room.

Thankfully technology has an answer and now there are a few simple ways to stick as many pictures on your walls as you want without reaching for a hammer.

3 simple ways to hang pictures on walls without using hammers, nails or drills

1. Harness the power of Velcro with these picture-hanging strips

Cheap and cheerful but extremely effective, these picture hanging strips from 3M are great if you’re hanging picture frames or canvas print that aren’t heavier than granite.

All you have to do is match up the 2 sides and remove the backing tape so that you can attach one end to the wall and the other to the picture.

Make sure clean the wall your attaching it to first (they recommend using a dab of alcohol) as this will help it stick and reduce the risk of paint flaking off when if you come to remove it in the future.

I wouldn’t recommend using this on wallpaper as unless its extremely thick stuff (e.g. vinyl) or your not worried about damaging it, as there’s a risk of it ripping on removal.

With the standard packs you get 8 medium strips which will hold anything up to 1kg in weight and 4 small strips which will hold anything up to 450g in weight.

You can get hold of them here

2. Try using good old poster putty for lighter items

Sophie insisted I include this – and with good reason. If you’re simply hanging posters or very light pictures there’s really no need to shoot down mosquitoes with a rocket launcher here. Poster putty can work extremely well on smaller jobs.

This stuff’s a little stronger than your standard blu tack but it does come from the USA so may take a little longer to arrive:

You can buy this here

Bear in mind that putty can sometimes leave a slight mark on the wall on removal. Try using another piece of putty and rubbing it over the old piece in a circular motion to gather up all the bits if it won’t remove cleanly.

3. Use a Takker if you need brute strength

Genius device this. You simply draw a target on the wall and push a button and that’s it. It’s efficient and low impact and works extremely well. The Takker allows you to hang considerably heavier items and will cope with a weight of up to 10kg on plasterboard and wood.

The one downside is that it will leave a slight hole, but one that’s only 1mm thick. The major benefit of this device is that it doesn’t require hammering nails or drilling, it’s extremely neat and yet still takes impressively heavy loads.

You can pick up one of these here

Top tip if you want to make absolutely sure you get your rent deposit back:

If you live in rented accommodation and want to be doubly, nay triply sure that when you use these (or any other hanging devices) that no mark or discolouration is left on the wall afterwards (e.g. from paint flaking) then try the following…

Buy a small ‘sample’ paint pot that matches the colour of your wall. You can usually pick these up in most DIY stores for a couple of pounds. If you do need to use it, apply it to the wall using a small artist-size paint brush – rather than a heavy duty decorating brush.

Do that and you’ve covered every base.


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