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How to Hang Pictures Without Nails

Hand holding a nail to a rustic wall with one hand while holding a hammer in the other.
Hand holding a nail to a rustic wall with one hand while holding a hammer in the other.

When it comes to renting, there are a lot of restrictions you have to meet in order to get your damage deposit back. One of those restrictions is to not use nails in the walls. But without nails, how can you hang pictures? Even picture hangers use nails, so this is a tough situation to solve.

To learn how to hang pictures without using any nails, including those in picture hangers, just continue to read our article. It will provide you with the options you can choose from that will meet your rental restrictions.

How to Hang Art Without Nails

Pile of assorted nails isolated on a white background.

The word ‘art’ is very broad and encompasses many different types of photos, pictures, paintings, and so on. If they are in a frame, then they usually need to go on the wall. Here are some methods you can consider and see which one works the best for you.

1. Velcro or Picture Hanging Strips

This is easy to use and the first step in the process is to clean the frame where the strips will be placed. After drying the frame off, apply the strips and then stick them to your wall.

For better security, place a strip on the top and the bottom of the picture frame.

2. Adhesive Hooks

These are easy to apply and all you have to do is find those hooks that hold enough weight. Sometimes the packaging is in error and the hooks do not hold the claimed amount of weight so be careful.

To apply, clean the wall and let it dry. Then peel the adhesive backing off the hook and place the hook firmly against the wall. Let the adhesive set before hanging your artwork. The only drawback is that those hooks can bring some of the drywall with them when you remove them

3. Press in Hooks

This is an option if your artwork is not too heavy. The hole this device makes shouldn’t be too large and they can be as or more secure than using a nail. They are made by several different companies and come in various sizes holding various weights.

Just be prepared to patch the hole when you move. The repair is the same as repairing nail holes.

4. Double-Sided Tape

Roll of double sided tape standing on its side on a dark grey background.

Like Velcro strips, the double-sided tape needs to go on the top and bottom of the frame. They are easy to put on, but maybe difficult to remove. The tape is not bulky so the frame should look like it is hanging in the air.

Also, you need to clean the wall first before using this option.

5. Picture String

If you have nails, hooks, or other hangers already installed in your wall, you do not need to add any more. Just get a hold of some picture string and tie it to those existing wall items.

Once the string is in place, just hang your picture frame on the string using different holders.

6. Use Your Molding

This may be an easier item to repair when you move as all you need is a little wood filler, and the hole is hidden. You can put hooks in your molding and then tie some string to the hooks and hang the artwork at any level you want.

Fishline, thread, or wire may be more secure and less visible than string. Or you can use the fireplace mantle if your apartment is lucky enough to have one.

A Couple of Alternative Methods

Framed pegboard on a white background with a small photo frame mounted on 2 pegs on the pegboard..

Unfortunately, when it comes to hanging artwork, putting holes in your wall may be unavoidable. If you have to put holes in your wall, use anchors and drywall screws instead of nails.

Those two items are very secure, and they can hold the following two items very well without the risk of having them fall to the floor. Both options allow you to change the artwork at your whim.

1. Peg Board – Measure the pegboard first and pick the two points that will spread the weight out and keep the board even. Next, measure the wall making marks at the same distance apart as the pegboard spots.

Use a drill with a drywall bit and make your holes. Only go as deep as the length of the anchors. Slip the anchors into place and then use a screwdriver to add the screws. Once those screws are in place hang the pegboard. The screws do not have to be flush to be secure.

2. Corkboard – The same measurements need to be done as the pegboard. Drill your holes and place the anchors and screws in those holes. Hang the corkboard over the screws and then place your artwork on either board.

Avoiding damaging your apartment’s walls is almost an impossible task. The artwork can be heavy, and you may need larger hooks than anticipated. When you move, removing the hooks or other hangers can leave a mess.

Just be careful and select the right method that works for you and does not anger your landlord.

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