Knowing how to hang pictures without nails will save you from unnecessarily damaging walls. It also makes your life significantly easier.
No more trying to find a wall stud. No more getting a special bit to drill a hole in a concrete or brick wall. No more watching your plaster walls flake and powderize in front of your eyes.
With this list of nail-free picture hanging ideas, your walls will remain blemish-free and beautiful, no matter how many pictures you display.
1. Command Hooks
The easiest and fastest solution that is also similar to using a traditional picture hook or nail is command hooks. These are plastic and adhesive hooks (check out these available at Home Depot) that you adhere to the wall and hang the picture on.
They work best on smooth surfaces so that the sticky tape can make full contact with the wall. You’ll also need to check their maximum weight limit. These hooks come in different sizes and strengths, so get one that’s strong enough to hold well above your picture’s weight.
Also, pay attention to the size of the hook. Some are bulky, making it difficult to hook a small picture frame to look over it.
2. Command Strips
The second most popular solution for hanging pictures without nails is to use command picture hanging strips. Each strip comes with a paper cover on each side of the strip. You’ll peel one side off and adhere the strip to your picture frame. Then peel off the other paper backing and press the frame to the wall.
The adhesive strip will grip the wall and the picture frame, holding the picture on the wall. Using these special mounting strips is better than using painter’s tape or another type of adhesive tape because they help prevent damage to the wall.
Use Binder Clips
If you like the idea of using command strips but don’t want the strips to adhere to your picture frames, then use binder clips. Place the command strip on the binder clip and then adhere it to the wall.
Use the binder clip to grab onto the loop or hanging wire on the back of the picture frame. This is a nice solution if you want to create a gallery wall. You can easily move the pictures around on the binder clips without having to unstick and restick the command strips.
3. Velcro Strips
While command hooks and strips are great for lighter-weight pictures, they have their limits. If you have a heavy picture that you want to hang, you will want to up the holding power to hook and loop strips.
Velcro brand is known for making high-quality Velcro strips that are perfect for hanging pictures. To use, peel off the backing and here the strip to your picture frame. Then peel off the other backing and press the frame to the wall so that the other side adheres.
The Velcro will hold the picture in place to the wall. If you decide to move your pictures around, you can easily pull the picture frame off the wall and move it to another set of strips located elsewhere.
Should you decide to remove the picture completely, you can easily and cleanly pull the strip off the wall.
4. Suction Cup Hooks
If you don’t trust adhesive or are afraid it will leave behind a residue, then you have an alternative. Suction cup hooks like these available at Amazon are great for hanging lightweight pictures. You press them against the wall, removing the air underneath. The suction cup grips the wall, and you can hang a picture from the attached hook.
This method works best on smooth walls. Textured walls can create gaps in the suction cup’s contact with the wall. This lets micro amounts of air back under the suction cup. Eventually, too much air enters, and the suction cup fails.
5. Use a Shelf and Lean
You can place your frames on the shelf if you already have shelves instead of hanging pictures. You could stick with just one or two as a focal point with other decor. You could also try layering them.
Choose several pictures of different sizes and shapes. Start by placing the largest of frames on the shelf first. Then place the next largest and work your way through them as they get progressively smaller. The goal is to layer the pictures without completely blocking the ones in the back.
6. Set Up an Easel
Set up a picture display easel like this REALlWAY 63″ Folding Easel Stand that you can place the picture on. This is ideal for giving use to a dead corner. It also makes it easy to move the picture around as you rearrange your furniture and decor.
The easel provides extra support, and there’s no risk of the picture falling when your nail-less hanging method fails. Try to match the style of the easel to the style of the picture frame and the rest of your decor.
A simple black modern frame looks best on an equally simple black or wood easel. An ornate gold gilded frame with a lot of detailing will look best on an easel that’s equally detailed and ornate.
7. Hang From the Mantle
If your home has a fireplace, it likely also has a mantle. This is like a built-in shelf that’s just waiting for picture displays. Of course, you can place pictures on the mantel. However, you can also hang pictures from it.
Use stocking hooks that are weighted to stay in place and are strong enough to hold a significant amount of weight. Then use picture hanging wire or ribbon to suspend multiple pictures from the hook in front of the fireplace.
Keep in mind that this approach is best for unused fireplaces. You’ll want to remove the pictures if you plan to have a fire.
8. Picture Rail Molding
Modern homes aren’t typically built with picture rails. However, if you are lucky enough to live in a home that has them, then you have a built-in solution for hanging pictures without the use of nails. All you need are some hooks and picture wire.
You’ll need two equal lengths of wire with a hook attached at each end. One set of hooks will hook over the picture rail, and the other will hook on the picture frame’s hanging loops.
You can hang as many pictures as you like from the rail. Adjust their height on the wall by changing the wire length.
9. Shower Curtain Rod
If your wall has an alcove or place where it’s indented, then you have the perfect place for adding your own picture rail. Use a shower curtain rod as a picture hanger. Adjust the tension rod to have a secure hold. Then use picture wire, twine, or ribbon to hang your wall art.
10. Use Nail Alternatives
If you are ok with making one or two holes, there are a few nail alternatives. These methods can minimize holes while maximizing the number of pictures you can hang. They can also be a simpler display method if you frequently move around or change out your pictures.
Hang a Display Board
Instead of hanging art and pictures directly on the wall, you can hang a single board. Then hang art from the board. This makes it easier to move the pictures around on the board. You only make two holes in the wall, but you can hang several pictures on it. This method works best when you have several small frames that you want to hang.
Press in hooks will create a hole for every picture you hang. They work like a wall anchor that you hand push into the wall and hang your picture from the attached hook. They are different from nails because you don’t need a hammer to push them in. In addition, the hole they make is much smaller than a nail. Because of their small size, these hooks are best for small or lightweight frames.
Hang a Cork Wall
If you want to create a gallery wall, mounting a board may not be feasible. Instead, try covering your wall with cork. It comes in sheets that are varying thicknesses. Use removable adhesive to adhere the cork to the wall. Then hang your artwork from the cork. The cork gets full of holes, but you can easily remove it when needed to reveal the damage-free wall underneath.