No Nails, No Problem: How to Hang Pictures Without Nails


It can be a pain to cover up nail holes after moving your picture gallery. Even worse, if you are renting you can lose your security deposit if the landlord has to patch up too many holes. The best way to combat the nail problem is hanging pictures without nails. Not using nails is much simpler and you can change the pictures without having to worry about spackling, sanding, and repainting.

So just what is the best way to hang pictures on the wall without using nails? There are few different ways that are simple, easy, and affordable.

Jump to: Picture Rail System | Adhesives | Removable Hooks

Preparation: Hanging Pictures Without Damaging Wall

There are a few different ways you can hang pictures without putting holes in the wall.

The first step to creating your gallery is finding the right space. Look around the room and find an area that is large enough to hang your pictures and artwork without having them too crowded together. The posters, frames, and/or art should be evenly spaced apart so the area doesn’t look cluttered.

The gallery area should be at eye level, as this is the most comfortable way to look at your artwork and pictures. Your neck is going to get sore if you have to stare up and you won’t notice the pictures if you have to bend down. To measure eye level, run a tape measure from the floor to the ceiling. Notice where your eyes naturally gaze while standing about a foot away from the wall. Once you have measured this, make a mark on the tape measure.

Prepping the Area and Frames

Now that you have found where you want your gallery to be, it is time to prep the area and the frames. This is an important step because if the area is not properly cleaned and prepared, the frames and artwork will not stay on the wall. You do not want all your work to go to waste because you have skipped this simple step – so don’t skip it!

Clean the surface of the wall with isopropyl alcohol and a clean cloth. Allow the area to completely dry before attempting to put anything on it. Do the same thing on the back of the picture frame, artwork, or poster.

The next step is to prepare the frame by removing the hanging hardware. When you are hanging artwork without nails, the frame usually needs to be flush against the wall. In addition, the hanging hardware can get in the way of the hanging systems, so it is best to just remove it completely.

Prepping the Area and Frames

Option 1: Picture Rail System

Picture hanging systems are another simple way to hang pictures without using nails. When using a system like STAS, you will need to keep the hanging hardware on your frames so they can hang on the hook. The system uses rails, cables, and hooks to hang your artwork. The rail attaches flush against the wall or ceiling and comes in a white or aluminum color to match your interior décor.

Once the rail is in place, attach the cord to the rail so and slide it to the place where you want your picture hung. The steel cable cords can handle much more weight than the adhesive way of hanging pictures. The cords are available in white or black, so they can blend in or stand out against the wall.

After the cord is attached, you will need a hook to hang the picture on. The hooks come in various sizes and hold either eight pounds, 33 pounds, or 44 pounds. Once the pictures are hung on the system, they can be slid across the wall until you find the perfect spot.

Want to know more? Watch our step-by-step instructional videos here.

stas picture hanging system

Option 2: Adhesives

Adhesives are one way to hang pictures without nails. These come in sets where one side attaches to the picture frame and the other side sticks to the wall. They stay together by the Velcro in the middle. One set of strips will hold one 8×10 inch frame or three pounds. Two sets of strips will hold one 11×17 inch frame or up to six pounds. Four sets of strips will hold an 18×24 inch frame or up to twelve pounds. Make sure you have the appropriate strips for your frame otherwise it will fall off the wall.

The strips should be attached to each corner of the frame. If you are only using one set, put on the top of the frame. When using two sets of strips, one each should be placed on each corner at the top. If you are using four sets of strips, place one set on all four corners of the frame.

Now it is time to put the strips on the wall. Put the frame and strips on the wall. Peel the frame off the strips that are attached to the wall so the frame comes free but the strips stay on the wall. Press the strips on the wall firmly and wait one hour before hanging the frame back up. This ensures the strips attach securely to the wall.


Option 3: Removable Hooks

Removable hooks are perfect for hanging pictures without nails. Depending on which of the following method you use, you may need to use the hanging hardware that comes with the frame.

The first method will use the hardware that comes with the frame. The hooks work similar to the adhesive, as they stick to the wall. Make sure to thoroughly clean the wall with isopropyl alcohol and a clean cloth before working with the area. Once it is dry, place the hook on the wall and let it sit for an hour before you hang your picture.

For this next method, you will use a photo, poster, or another piece of artwork that is not in a frame as well as removable hooks. Figure out how many pictures you want to hang and how evenly you want them spaced apart. From there, determine where on the wall you want your adhesive hooks hung. Make sure to they are level as you will be hanging string on them. After leaving the hooks set for an hour, tie string to both of the hooks – this is where the pictures will be hung. Use clothespins to clips artwork, pictures, or posters to the string. Make sure your hooks are strong enough for the gallery you want to hang.

Removable Hooks


There are a variety of ways of hanging pictures without nails so you can protect your walls. This is perfect if you rent or want to move around your gallery regularly to change up the look. Use adhesives, the STAS system, or hooks to hang your pictures without having to put any holes in your wall. Since there are a few different methods, you can find the one that works for you and your home.

how to hang pictures without nails
Juan Gil

The author Juan Gil

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