As an expat we are perpetually renting and one of my challenges is to decorate with the least amount of damage to fix up when I leave, so I can get my security deposit back. In the past I’ve used 3M command strips, but recently I found an even better alternative.
The problem with 3M and similar products is that if the wall paint is matte, then temporary hooks and tapes might not be very secure. I’ve had stuff fall and break. Full disclosure: This is still a risk even with this method using painters tape I am sharing with you, but I personally find it a better alternative.
Hang clocks without drilling
You will need:
- Painters tape like this, this or this.
- Mounting hooks with correct weight load capacity
- Clock weigh your clock to make sure that your hook can handle it
1. Know where you want to hang your clock. You may want to mark it with a pencil. I just eyeballed it. Make sure the wall is free of dirt and dust.
2. Place painters tape down the centre of where you want to stick the hook. The longer your tape, the more secure it is because it sticks to a bigger surface area, but you also need to make sure that it cannot be seen when you hang the clock. Press painters tape well to eliminate air bubbles or points of weak adhesion.
3. Secure hook on the painters tape, making sure to follow the instructions and weight load capacity of the brand you are using. I liked 3M Command Strips but I find that Tesa, which is made in Germany, is easier to use. You need to press it down for only 5 seconds – much shorter than 3M’s 30 seconds. Since this clock is light, I am using a hook with a maximum of 1Kg weight capacity.
4. And as easy as that my clock is on the wall, without any difficult drilling or hammering. When I need to remove it, the painters tape should come off without any damage to the wall as long I remove it gently and carefully.
I’ve used painters tape for hanging clocks in our bathrooms, when using this high moisture resistance tape didn’t work. I have to confess that I am not sure how the high humidity of the bathroom will affect the painters tape. Humidity can weaken the bonds over time so it is possible that it will fall. This is why I use these cheap but nice clocks for bathrooms, so if they fall or get damaged by humidity I don’t feel too bad. They are very light and do not have glass that can break.
Hang art and signs without damaging your walls
This technique can also be applied on other wall hanging lightweight items around the home, like hanging art, pictures or assembling photowalls or gallery walls. I recently hung up a lovely sign on my black and white bedroom photowall below. (This is how the entire photo wall looks) The only difference is I used Tesa Hook and Loop Tape (i.e. velcro) because I felt it was going to be stronger and hold the wooden sign more securely.
What I used:
- Teflon Coated Scissors – don’t use normal scissors when cutting sticky tapes coz it will damage the scissors
- Heavy Duty Duct Tape to stick to the item I am hanging so I have a smooth surface to stick the velcro to
- Tesa Velcro Tape (if you are in Europe) or Velcro any other high quality velcro tape
- High quality painters tape like 3M Blue or Frog Tape (in Europe I love Tesa Painters tape)
To adhere the hook tape to the wall I used the painters tape. To adhere the loop tape to the wooden sign, I used very strong duct tape. Be careful not to interchange these two and always put the hook tape on the wall, while the loop tape should always go on the item you are mounting to the wall.
Attach hook and loop tapes. Press the hook and loop tapes firmly following instructions of the brand you are using.
Make sure to press out any air bubbles and check that all the tapes are firmly attached. When you are satisfied with the alignment, push the item you are hanging to the wall firmly. Always follow package instructions because different brands have different instructions and timing.
There you go! My sign is up and I didn’t have to hire anyone to help me or put holes in my walls. My walls are cement and brick so drilling is very hard. I avoid it whenever I can. I hope you found this tip helpful and it has inspired you to do something nice on your walls.
This technique was adapted from The First Apartment Book by Kyle Schuneman, which is one of my go to books, when I am decorating our apartments because it is a wealth of inspiration and ideas for fabulous decorating on a budget for renters. For more practical yet fabulous decorating tips and tricks for renters read this.
MARCH 2016 UPDATE: Here is an even EASIER and SIMPLER way to hang things without damaging your walls: UHU Patafix Putty. It carries up to three kilograms! I know right?!?
APRIL 202O UPDATE: The UHU Patafix Putty is affected by the heat and humidity in the tropics so I never use it with breakable items because sometimes it will stretch and the items will fall.
Where to Buy
Philippines: Scotch, 3M and Velcro in True Value or Ace Hardware
Indonesia: 3M and Velcro in Ace Hardware
Germany: Scotch, Frogtape and Tesa in Bauhaus
Online: Amazon, Walmart and 3M
Ivy Romualdez Jovellana says
This is surely helpful. 😀 Will give it a try.
What happens if you have wallpaper instead?
Hi Lhia, There is a greater possibility that the tape will not adhere well or as long because of the wall paper texture and this may lead to the item you are hanging to fall and the wall paper to be damaged.
Freakin’ stoked to have found this!! We are renting our first home as a couple and I was sad that I couldn’t hang things on the walls.. now i can! And it’s so cool to get info about where to get these in PH!! Aargh lifesaver. Thank you Diplowife!!
Congratulation to you and your partner Bea. I’m so happy I could help a fellow renter. We all deserve to have a space that is truly our own for the duration of our stay anyway right? Best of luck and enjoy decorating your new home!
Anthena Sales says
Thanks! That is such an innovative idea.
Uhm… you are a genius. I’m so happy I found this!!