How to make a rental feel homely: adding pictures without nails

There are many plus points to renting a property – the lack of concern about the value of your house, the maintenance is the responsibility of someone else (assuming you have a good landlord) and the ability to up sticks and move to pastures new in a relatively easy and painless manner. However… There are also drawbacks, at least if you have a contract like mine which stipulates you can’t put any nails in the wall to hang pictures.

But there is another way.

Command strips from 3M are adhesive backed ‘hanging nails’ which allow you to not only hang pictures with extreme ease, and without worrying about where the pipes and cables are, they also allow you to remove the hooks from the wall without damaging it afterwards*


You start by affixing the adhesive pad to the back of the nail plate, as seen in the picture above. Once this is firmly affixed (make sure you follow the instructions and use the correct side), next you need to decide where, and what height you want your picture to hang.

The instructions recommend cleaning the area of the wall using some chemical that I didn’t have in my kitchen cupboard – it also suggests that the chemicals I do have in my kitchen cupboard aren’t suitable. This is my only complaint about the 3M Command strips… They could easily include a little sachet with a wipe in it. Anyway I didn’t have one, so I used a wet wipe.

I let the wall dry for an hour after to be safe and then peeled off the other side of the sticky pad ready to fix the nail plate to the wall. Checked my location again and then pressed the plate and pad firmly onto the wall for about 30 seconds (cant remember what the instructions recommend, but follow them over me).

Again, leave it alone for an hour for the adhesive to take hold before you start loading it up with your self portrait, best over exposed Venture snaps or that mirror that’s been resting on the floor since you moved in.

Check the weight of your desired hanging object against the manufacturers instructions – they make a variety of sizes for different weights.

Then hang your masterpiece, step back and admire.

*so I’m told. Realistically, part two of this article will come shortly after I’ve moved out!