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How to Hang Things Without Damaging the Wall

Updated: March 2021

Hanging wall décor is key to bringing personality to your living space. Here are some tips on how to do that without damaging the wall itself.

Woman with blonde hair and a striped blue t-shirt hanging a picture on the wall.

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Prep Your Wall

Bob Vila recommends first cleaning the wall gently with a sponge and water to help avoid harming the existing paint. If dirt is hard to remove, you can also make a cleaning solution by adding 1 cup ammonia, ½ cup vinegar and a ¼ cup baking soda to a warm gallon of water. Pour it into a spray bottle and continue to gently scrub.

Use Nail Alternatives

To keep your walls in good shape, stay away from nails altogether, recommends House Beautiful. This is especially important if you live in a rental. Other options include:

Tape

Decorative tape can pull double duty as an accent to your décor, says House Beautiful. Tape can even function as a frame alternative, adds Paper Smart. Cutting patterns can liven up the space while providing a functional way to showcase photos or art.

Adhesive Strips

Rubber bumpers with adhesive backing can be used to secure framed photos and artwork to the wall, according to Popular Mechanics. Place a bumper onto each corner of the frame's back, then affix the frame to the wall. Not only is this a great alternative to nails, but allows airflow behind the frame, curbing the collection of dust.

Poster Putty/Tack

The Art of Education University says putty adheres quite well to numerous surfaces, including walls. Putty is mostly for hanging posters, but you can get creative and use it for small, framed objects, as well.

Adhesive Hooks

According to SFGATE's Home Guides, adhesive hooks work a lot like poster putty but are stronger, since they can also hold framed pictures. Apply a stick-on strip to the wall and to the back of the hook. Line them up and stick them together. Then all that's left to do is hang your chosen décor onto the hook.

Hook-and-Loop Tape (Velcro)

According to Home Décor Bliss, hook-and-loop picture hanging strips are perfect if you plan on swapping photos and reconfiguring them from time to time. They also offer a strong and secure bond with a variety of surfaces.

Use Your Furniture

Take some artistic license in a big way. Use furniture and shelving you already have, encourages House Beautiful. Lean artwork against your wall on a dresser or pepper in small items among your books on bookshelves. Tall pieces can be showcased from the ground up.

Is your wall art covered?

Renters and homeowners insurance can help cover belongings at and away from home. But always check your policy. Coverage comes with limits that you can adjust.

Make sure to create a home inventory of all your belongings, including wall décor. That way you can be confident you have the right amount of coverage.

Additionally, expensive art may exceed standard coverage limits. Luckily, renters, homeowners and condo policies offer scheduled personal property coverage. It increases limits for specific high-value belongings and covers a greater number of risks. Talk to your insurance company for more details.

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