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9 Ways to Stick Paper to The Wall Without Damaging It

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Hanging posters and photos to a wall is often a rite of passage for kids. It is a fun way to personalize a room or working space.

But some fixative products can damage the paint or wall coverings, leaving unsightly holes or tears when they are taken down.

An internet search for ways to hang paper without damage will return many options, so how do you know which is best?

Is it possible to stick paper to a wall without damaging it?

Command™ Tape is specially designed to adhere paper, photos, and posters to walls without damaging them.

Rear View Of Businessman Sticking Charts On White Wall

If you don’t have Command™ Tape, there are a few alternative methods that will work as well like homemade cornflour mixture, gum, painter’s tape, or Washi tape, which is also easy to remove from walls. We will discuss these products in the paragraphs that follow.

How to stick the paper to the wall without damaging it

You have prints, posters, and photos you want to artfully display in your room. But you want to save the walls of the rented property or your dorm, or maybe you’re a traveler who is constantly searching for new places to hang your artwork. How can you do that without causing any damage?

You’ve probably heard of duct tape, but duct tape is the worst thing to put on your wall. It will peel off the paint or wallpaper and leave a residue.

Here are nine great ideas on how you can display your favorite memories and art without destroying the wall. With some careful planning and preparation, you can create a gallery on your walls that will last through time.

1. Command™ Tape

Command™ Tape comes in small strips, which make it a very easy product to use. These strips are highly adhesive and larger ones can hold a weight of up to 16 pounds.

Plus, Command™ Tape does not damage the wall at all. It is specially made for hanging posters or decor on the wall. All you need to do is remove strips from one side, apply them to the wall and then stick your poster onto it.

2. Washi tape

Washi tape is a Japanese tape made of rice paper. This tape has a very light adhesive that won’t damage even light objects like scrapbooking paper.

It comes in many different colors and prints, you can match it to your room’s décor, and best of all, it’s easy to install and the tape can be removed without damaging walls.

3. Poster Tape

Poster Tape is very similar to Command™ Tape. Poster Tape is a temporary adhesive that comes in the shape of a roll, not a strip.

This product is also made specifically for hanging posters or cardboard on walls. It has a removable, repositionable adhesive that adheres strongly to most surfaces.

4. Removable Putty

These compounds come as strips, but their adhesive is not that strong.

They’re very lightweight and can be reused after they’ve come off the surface of the wall. It is easy to attach paper or posters as long as they’re not too heavy.

5. Masking tape

Masking tape is made of very thin crepe paper. This easy-to-tear tape is great to stick paper on walls.

Masking tape can be removed and reapplied easily if applied on a smooth surface. It’s also very safe to use on the wall.

It may leave a slight residue, and if you think this is the case, you can simply clean the surface with rubbing alcohol. Masking tape is a great choice if you are using heavier paper, like posters, etc.

6. Painter’s Tape

Painter’s Tape is a lighter version of masking tape that painters use to hide the area which is not to be painted.

Painter’s tape is safe to use on walls because the adhesive backing is not permanent and when peeled off it leaves no residue.

woman attaching a plain white paper to a wall

DIY methods

7. Toothpaste

Toothpaste works as a temporary adhesive that will easily paste your pictures on the wall without leaving any sticky residue. It’s very convenient and ideal for quick decorating ideas or traveling.

A great thing about this technique is that you can remove it at any time without damaging the wall. All you have to do is scrape off what’s left of your creation and clean the wall with rubbing alcohol.

8. Corn starch paste

Corn starch paste is an amazing and cheap way to stick paper on the wall. It’s even more durable than tape when it’s used correctly, so give it a try!

To make homemade corn starch glue you will need:

  • half a cup of hot water mixed with a quarter cup of corn starch.
  • Mix well and leave the mixture to cool. Your glue is ready!

This paste is completely removable and very strong. The best part is it costs only around fifty cents to make enough to last for two years.

To apply the paste, use a paintbrush or simply dab it on using your fingertips.

9. Gum

Chewing gum is an easy way to stick paper on a wall without any mess or fuss.

First, you’ll want to moisten your gum with water, this way it will stick better.

Stick the gum on the wall and press your paper on it. When removed, it doesn’t leave a residue at all.

Things to do before sticking paper to the wall

Woman’s hand in yellow glove cleaning white wall
  • Make sure you have cleaned your wall. Use rubbing alcohol to remove dirt, grease, and grime. Then, wipe down the walls with a clean white cloth. Make sure there is no dust on your surface before applying any decorations to the walls.
  • Pick an appropriate adhesive for the type of wall you have.
  • Not all adhesives work on every type of surface. Apply putty or washi tape only to clean surfaces and make sure they are completely dry before adding your decorations.
  • Wash and dry your hands so the adhesive doesn’t stick to your fingers.
  • If you’re making corn flour paste, mix the ingredients at least 15 minutes before to let it cool down before applying.

3 Things you absolutely should not use to hang paper on the wall

1. Duct Tape

Duct tape is probably the worst choice for hanging your paper. It won’t remove without leaving a sticky residue and it will leave marks on your wall.

2. Thumbtacks

Metal stationery thumbtacks lie on a white background

Thumbtacks are a bad choice for hanging paper on the wall because they are not made for walls. Even if you manage to stick them into the wall, they leave marks when removed.

Plus, it’s very difficult to remove thumbtacks once they have been stuck into the wall.

3. Nails

You shouldn’t need nails to hang papers on the wall. Nails are difficult to hammer in, they leave marks when you try to remove them and they’re not safe around small children.

Also, the effect of nails sticking out of paper is unsightly.

woman hammering nail to wall

Alternate methods for hanging paper other than adhesives

  1. Use fishing line to hang pictures. You can use this to hang items from the ceiling as well. The fishing line will disappear in most light and the photographs will look great.
  2. Make a photo frame by cutting an old picture frame into smaller pieces, or use an old card box. Then paint or cover the picture frame with wallpaper.
  3. Use a corkboard to make a collage with the paper decorations.

These are only a few ways to hang paper on your wall without damaging it. I hope you learned a new method to use for your own decorating. Which is your favorite one?