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Question Hanging Pictures with 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips

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WinderX

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I am in the process of finalizing an work order for custom frames for a combination of 11x14 photos and 8.5x11 certificates. The customer just inquired about using 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips instead of the traditional wire and hook. Their certificates had previously been hung in generic store bought frames with these strips attached right to the frame. The new moulding is wood, unfinished on the back and I had intended on using a paper dust jacket.
Any thoughts on how well these strips will work attached to a paper dust jacket or unfinished wood? I would hate to be doing glass replacements a couple of months down the road!
Thanks
-X. Winder
 

Larry Peterson

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Make no warranty about them holding. It will be at the customers own risk. And use acrylic instead of glass so when they do fall (notice I said do and not if) only the frame will be damaged.

If it were me I would refuse. If it was a long time customer I would do it without warranty.
 

Mike Labbe

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Those things bring a lot of business into the shop for frames that dropped. I agree with Larry about not selling them as a suggested hanging method, that will certainly come back later as a liability. They can get those from Amazon or wal-mart if they want them :)

Just my own personal opinion
Mike
 

artfolio

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So, let me get this straight:icon9:.... The cheapie frames had these hooks attached to their backings? So was something else stuck to the wall for them to hang from?

Either way it would be a big no from me. I always warned my customers against any form of adhesive hook and provided the appropriate hanging hardware with every frame. If they then went ahead and used something else that was their choice and their fault if it failed.

I am sure all of us have benefited at some time from the repair work these things provide.
 
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Joe B

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I love those things - they have brought me glass replacement business and a couple times even finding the replacement art for the piece that was damaged when the the piece fell off the wall and the glass broke because the strip failed. Why the strip failed I have no idea but I personally would never use those strips.
 
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Shayla

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Nopers.

It's a big 'nope' from us. If they insist, you could leave the wire off, and let them do what they want once they get home.
 

WinderX

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So, let me get this straight:icon9:.... The cheapie frames had these hooks attached to their backings? So was something else stuck to the wall for them to hang from?

Either way it would be a big no from me. I always warned my customers against any form of adhesive hook and provided the appropriate hanging hardware with every frame. If they then went ahead and used something else that was their choice and their fault if it failed.

I am sure all of us have benefited at some time from the repair work these things provide.
The frames were standard variety Michaels/Walmart style with no wires, just the little "hooks". The client chose to use the 3M hanging system with those frames and would like to do the same with the new custom frames. I will be discussing the pro and cons with them later with an emphasis on the cons.
 

WinderX

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I love those things - they have brought me glass replacement business and a couple times even finding the replacement art for the piece that was damaged when the the piece fell off the wall and the glass broke because the strip failed. Why the strip failed I have no idea but I personally would never use those strips.
As much as the extra business is great, I would probably cry to see one of my pieces come back because it fell off the wall.
 
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wpfay

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If you use a foam tape strong enough to hold the art safely on the wall, it will rip off the face paper of the drywall when taken down. It will be easier to putty and paint a few nail holes than to repair damaged drywall.
Does the client have any expectations of the Command strips providing any kind of security from theft?
 

Greg Fremstad

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I think the un-finished wood and paper backing are the weak links. The lignin in the unfinished wood will degrade the adhesive. If you have to use adhesive on the wood, paint it with acrylic paint first. The paper? well, it's paper.
 

MnSue

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"as a professional, I can not endorse command strips."
I will add the hangers necessary...if they want to change it and use the strips...it has nothing to do with me
 

WinderX

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I think the un-finished wood and paper backing are the weak links. The lignin in the unfinished wood will degrade the adhesive. If you have to use adhesive on the wood, paint it with acrylic paint first. The paper? well, it's paper.
Would acrylic paint be enough? In house we were discussing the option of determining locations for the 3M strips in advance, varnishing those locations and working the dust jacket around those spots. I have 1" to work with on the back of the moulding and the 3M strips are 3/4" in width.
 

WinderX

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If you use a foam tape strong enough to hold the art safely on the wall, it will rip off the face paper of the drywall when taken down. It will be easier to putty and paint a few nail holes than to repair damaged drywall.
Does the client have any expectations of the Command strips providing any kind of security from theft?
Unsure about the security from theft issue. I'll ask some questions regarding how well the old pictures had come off the wall and whether or not they had issues with any of them falling off the wall. Some of the old frames looked pretty beat up so...
 
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artfolio

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What a lot of people don't understand is that adhesives strips are not stuck to a wall but to the paint on that wall which raises two problems:

If the paint has a matt finish, like most interior paints, its slightly roughened surface means the stickum is only in contact with the high parts of the surface.

If the painting was a typical landlords "fast and dirty once over with the roller" job you could probably peel the paint off with a piece of masking tape.

A realtor near my shop had me frame dozen posters of various houses in aluminium frames around 3' x 6'. Because he was renting in a heritage building the landlord would not let him drill holes in the walls so, against my advice, he hung them all on 3m strips before going home on Saturday. On Monday morning he brought in what was left of seven of those frames and I was able to salvage three out of the wreckage. In each case there was a strip of paint peeled off the wall where the hook had been.
 

GreyDrakkon

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I have one customer that insists on using command strips. He understands that they can fail at any time, so we either frame pieces with no glass or at most plexiglass, and try to go for the lightest weight frames possible. I'm in Iowa, which has very dry winters and very humid summers, so when people mention relying on glue to hang a picture, I point out that massive fluctuations like temperature and humidity are notorious for weakening adhesive. That's usually enough to convince them.
 

framah

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I mounted and laminated a large Nautical chart and the customer took it home and used those command strips.. BUT only 2 on each end of the map.
There wasn't anything holding it to the wall along the long side. The piece started curving from humidity ( along the Maine coast) and finally pulled itself of the wall.
The strips were still on the back. I had originally told her to use mirror clips on all four sides but she went with those things.

Something about the wall makes it not flat to screw into. Wood strips on the wall, I think.
Now she is going to try velcro strips but on all four sides.
 

Jim Miller

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Would acrylic paint be enough? In house we were discussing the option of determining locations for the 3M strips in advance, varnishing those locations and working the dust jacket around those spots.
By the time you charge for your time to prepare the wall spots and the frame-backs for the use of adhesive hangers that are sure to fail over time anyway, it would seem reasonable to suggest that the customer's best, most secure, and easiest hanging system would be a traditional, tried-and-true system of mechanical hangers with wall hooks.

Since wire-hung frames usually end up crooked in short time, I always recommend using two-point hangers, such as WallBuddies, Fletcher Wireless, Hangman, Beehive, and others.

In any case, patching the tiny holes in the wall would be quick and easy to do. All it takes is a swipe of spackle and a dab of matching paint. :shrug:
 
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WinderX

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By the time you charge for your time to prepare the wall spots and the frame-backs for the use of adhesive hangers that are sure to fail over time anyway, it would seem reasonable to suggest that the customer's best, most secure, and easiest hanging system would be a traditional, tried-and-true system of mechanical hangers with wall hooks.

Since wire-hung frames usually end up crooked in short time, I always recommend using two-point hangers, such as WallBuddies, Fletcher Wireless, Hangman, Beehive, and others.

In any case, patching the tiny holes in the wall would be quick and easy to do. All it takes is a swipe of spackle and a dab of matching paint. :shrug:
We had the conversation that we cannot guarantee that the 3M hanging system would be effective over time and the primary motivator is to avoid putting holes in the wall. Apparently according to the bill her contractor gave her for hold repair and prep for painting was astronomical and that if worst came to worse it would be cheaper to replace frames and glass.

We have discussed that I can prep the frames for hanging and that she will be responsible for attaching the 3M strips according to recommended directions. :)

She was planning on hanging a couple of certificates today to test. I have a few weeks for her to change her mind. :)
 

artfolio

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As regards damage to the wall - sanding down and repainting areas where those sticky tabs have ripped the paint off would not be a walk in the park either. The repair is almost always visible to some minor degree.

I think landlords just have to be a bit realistic about "fair wear and tear" in rental properties and, if necessary, take the costs of redecorating out of the tenant's bond.
 

Jim Miller

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Apparently according to the bill her contractor gave her for hold repair and prep for painting was astronomical and that if worst came to worse it would be cheaper to replace frames and glass.
That's a very high-priced contractor. If I were you I would suggest she consider others.
As regards damage to the wall - sanding down and repainting areas where those sticky tabs have ripped the paint off would not be a walk in the park either.
This is a very good point. If the adhesive sticks to the paint better than the paint sticks to the wall, repairing several square inches of peeled-off wall surface would certainly cost more than patching a pinhole. Also, the adhesive failure can make two messes - a broken frame on the floor in addition to the mess on the wall.
 

WinderX

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The conclusion thus far is now: I prepare the frames as normal with dustjacket, wire and bumpers. They have apparently found 3M hooks that they will use instead of the strips (I advised two hooks per picture). I will keep my fingers crossed on their behalf and they have been fully advised of the risks. :)

Thank-you for all your input. It has been greatly appreciated and I have learned a lot about the foibles of adhesive hanging methods.

I'll start a clock after my client picks up her work order to see how long it takes for the first glass/frame repair!!
 

Bruce Papier

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On a similar note- does anybody have any insight about Alien Tape which I see advertised on TV? They show a lady hanging a framed picture with it.
 
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tedh

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Found this. Note the instructions re drywall. Looks like a total waste of time.
 

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Larry Peterson

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artfolio

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That looks like heavy duty double sided tape. The instructions also omit telling you how to straighten the pic if it is out of whack or how to remove a picture without damaging the frame.
 

Jim Miller

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Regardless of how "good" the adhesive may be, there are at least three ways the bond could fail:

1. Mounting surface failure: Under gravitational stress in the small area of contact, the wall's sheetrock could disintegrate. The paint could crack, peel, flake off the wall. Dust, grime, oil, or other contamination could reduce adhesion.

2. Frame surface failure: Under gravitational stress in the small area of contact, the paper dustcover's fibers could disintegrate. Paint or varnish could flake off the wood frame. Dust, grime, oil, or other contamination could reduce adhesion.

3. Adhesive failure: The adhesive chemistry could react with a surface, change and weaken the bond over time. The tape carrier could shred, or if it is foam tape, could deteriorate, weaken, and disintegrate over time. Surface contamination would reduce bonding strength. A too-heavy load could overcome the design strength of the carrier or the adhesive bond.

Using a pressure-sensitive bond, failure is only a matter of time. I'll choose a secure, mechanical hanging system in every situation - better dependability, less damage to the wall, no damage to the frame.
 

Framar

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I was wondering about the Alien tape. Somehow the warning not to use on painted surfaces will probably be ignored by people. And wouldn't over at least 75% of inner wall surfaces be painted?

It amazes me that people are so darned afraid of "holes in the wall." So easily remedied but lots of folks don't even own a screwdriver or a hammer, let alone a putty knife.
 
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Frances M.

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We framed a set of 9 small prints for customer in 2007. In order to have them flat on her newly painted walls she removed the hangers and wire and used the Command Strips. One fell immediately and broke the glass. A second fell the next day. She's going to put the hangers and wire back on after we replace the glass on the 2.
 

Framar

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Oy vey. That gets me every time - where on earth did people get the notion that their frames had to "hang flat" on the wall?

Like the "I want it floated" people.

Where do these absurd notions keep coming from?

:faintthud:
 

Larry Peterson

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We framed a set of 9 small prints for customer in 2007. In order to have them flat on her newly painted walls she removed the hangers and wire and used the Command Strips. One fell immediately and broke the glass. A second fell the next day. She's going to put the hangers and wire back on after we replace the glass on the 2.


I'm confused. She bought these in 2007 and they fell off the wall in 2007 and she is just now replacing the glass? :confused:
 

GreyDrakkon

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We framed a set of 9 small prints for customer in 2007. In order to have them flat on her newly painted walls she removed the hangers and wire and used the Command Strips. One fell immediately and broke the glass. A second fell the next day. She's going to put the hangers and wire back on after we replace the glass on the 2.
What does she think about French Cleats? They tend to lay even more flat to the wall than a wire, and it's very secure.
 

Frances M.

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I'm confused. She bought these in 2007 and they fell off the wall in 2007 and she is just now replacing the glass? :confused:
No. She had them since 2007, hanging in various groupings in a couple of different homes, with proper wire. They will be putting current house on the market soon so she has had walls painted and is hanging them all together in one group for the first time. In order to not mess up the walls she hung them with Command Strips which failed.
 
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GreyDrakkon

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Wait, so she's being horribly picky about how the frames look on a wall in a place that she's not even staying in? Yeesh. Just get a projector and throw an image up on the wall if you don't want the walls altered in any way.
 

Jim Miller

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Would put holes in walls in a house freshly painted to go on market soon.
Obviously, she believes the Command Strips should work, even against your professional advice. Be sure to remind her that repairing a few pinholes in the wall would almost certainly cost less than repairing/replacing just one fallen frame.

Oh, and she might appreciate it if you tell her about filling the pinholes with toothpaste and using a Q-Tip to dab a bit of paint over it. How hard could it be? :shrug:

What causes these people to lose their reasoning ability?
:faintthud:
 

Ylva

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The freshly painted walls might be another reason the command strips don’t work.

Also, when we put our house on the market, recommendation was to remove any wall hangings.
 

Rick Granick

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Oh, and she might appreciate it if you tell her about filling the pinholes with toothpaste and using a Q-Tip to dab a bit of paint over it. How hard could it be?
Whenever we decide to downsize and move it won't be quite that easy. We have so many things on our walls, many on Floreat type hooks, but some things screwed to wall, and the house is a 50s ranch with real plaster walls. I'm going to have to say a little prayer before removing each hook, and there will be a lot of prep work to do before any painting takes place.
:faintthud: Rick
 
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