How to attached picture to teak wall with no holes???


Grumbler in Training
Nov 13, 2005
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hi... a customer of ours here in Florida has a boat with teak walls. He doesn't want to put a nail hole in the teak for resale purposes. Has anyone used any other method with long-term success? I was wondering about silicon, but wondered if it would leave a stain... any come across this situation before? Thanks. Sharon
How about magic?

The tiny nailholes made by quality picture hangers can easily be filled. The stains left by silicone, or pretty much any other adhesive, would be much more problematical.
It has to be a secure mount on the bulkhead of a boat so traditional mounts won't work. The owner is going to have to compromise the wood some way in order to secure the piece. adhering a piece of loop pile material to the wood and using Velcro style fastening might be a solution that avoids drilling, but the teak will have to be refinished should removal become necessary. Oh, and don't use the self adhesive Velcro...It'll fail in a heartbeat around that much humidity and heat.
Realisticly, if he doesn't want holes in the teak, he shouldn't hang art in his boat.

[ 04-18-2006, 08:56 AM: Message edited by: wpfay ]
Originally posted by garyandsharon1122:
...He doesn't want to put a nail hole in the teak for resale purposes...I was wondering about silicon, but wondered if it would leave a stain...
The first suggestion is to put nothing on that wall, if it is to remain pristine.

If the customer insists on hanging something on that wall, it would be a lot easier to patch a couple of 1/16" diameter holes than to remove several square inches of any adhesive, which might then necessitate refinishing the whole wall.

That's assuming you use an adhesive that will stick to the wall and the frame. If the adhesive doesn't stick securely, you might have less mess on the wall, but broken glass on the floor.

Boats move side to side, up and down, to and fro. It seems that if you hang a frame by any loose method, its movement would scratch or abrade the wooden wall. Again, that would probably cause more damage than a couple of small nail holes.
Does your customer have any idea how that salt air and humidity/extreme heat will act on the finish of the frame and the photo/artwork within that frame?? Most all frame finishes are designed for interior use only and the interior of a boat floating in a marina 24/7 isn't the epitome of interior conditions. When that boat is closed up between uses, sometimes for weeks at a time, the interior temps. may hit 140&#186 and the humidity is almost always 100% in that environment. It would be like hanging that art in a steam room.

I wouldn't give the art much of a chance even if you sealed the glass to the frame and the back to the frame. You still have the problem of holding it to the wall.

I wish you good luck in your quest but I don't hold any good solutions for you. Your customer should have to sign a release for you no matter what you decide to do with that project.

Maybe the customer could just hire someone to hold the artwork against the wall..that would prevent holes!

Can someone say reality check....yeah and I would like to have the body of an 18 year old!

Good luck and like Framerguy said keep yourself protected. Any way to secure some kind of metal rod from top to bottom?
I would refer him to a boat interior shop.

I am sure they deal with similar things more often than any of us, besides if their idea fails he will complain to them.

I would frame it and then hand him a list of 3 boat places in the area.

Otherwise if he uses an idea from you and it damages the wood he might hold you accountable.
Tom, the conditions you describe make me wonder how the teak walls are holding up. Maybe they will need to be refinished every few years anyway so gluing artwork to them wouldn't matter.

Or the customer could bolt the frame to the wall and sell both art and boat together - added value, ya know? If Tom is right in his predictions of what will happen to the art, it wouldn't be much of a loss to part with it when it comes time to get rid of the boat.

What about doing something from the floor...Can you use something like a flag pole stand or an easel to make some kind of creative floor stand? I mean if it is a large boat it could be doable, if it is smaller than space could be problematic???

Am I thinking, or am I crazy???

I used to make teak accessories for permanent attachment to teak walls, Wine glass holders, tooth brush holders, shelves etc. Nice wood to work with and easy to hide your mistakes with fillers or waxes. Be careful about attaching pictures to the walls because they will move and can cause more damage to the walls then a few small holes would make. Use lots of felt pads behind the pictures and if you decide on a typical wire hanger, insist on two hangers on the walls to still the movement a bit.

Offer to make a few wineglass holders for free and suggest an invitation for the framer to join a short cruise. Night reap great rewards from such a gesture. Oh Yes, bring a couple of bottles of good California wine.

Jack Cee
If you end up going with an adhesive based solution be warned that teak contains oils that resist typical adhesives. You must wipe the surface with a solvent like lacquer thinner to remove the oil from the surface prior to glueing. It's important to know that the oil will eventually leach out again so you must glue as soon as the solvent evaporates out of the wood.
Yes! Here in Sunny CA we get requests for boat art often.

One thing you failed to mention is how large is this piece and how is it framed?

On fiberglass: Check with 3M re: Command Adhesives. We have had good results with them but on TEAK there are other factors to consider, especially the oils David mentioned.

Teak is very light sensitive. There will definitely be a "fade" shadow on the wall when the picture is removed, especially if it is mounted permanently. We usually provide some type of removable feature so the piece is hung up when the people are on the boat. Then, we also have many who live aboard so they want it up all of the time. Is this a sail boat or a motor boat? If it is a sail boat, motion is much more of a factor.

Our experience with Teak is that it patches with filler or lacquer burn in sticks so well it is hard to see the hole.

My first recommendation is to attach industrial self-adhesive velcro pile to thin strips of acrylic (1/16 to 1/8" thick), then drill small holes in the acrylic through the velcro and lace the velcro to the acrylic with Tenera thread (now available from Attach EZ) or a type of thread used by sail makers. I would attach this to the bulkhead with small flat head stainless steel screws. The back of the picture would have Velcro Hook attached with both the adhesive and an additional fastener. If you use staples, they should be Monel or stainless.

Alternatively, I would not use glue, but would recommed a french cleat at the top and bottom with 4 small holes to attach them. A dab of silicone will hold the pieces together, but will allow for removability.

We have also used "flush mount" hangers that have a spring detent which allows for the piece to be removed for storage, but they are noisy and if the client is not careful, he will damage the wall by sliding the piece against the wall when installing and removing.

If you are using a metal frame (alumunim) be sure to use cast alumunum corner hardware and plastic springs (or filler board of coroplast.) Metal hardware will not last in a marine environment.
David, you know more about wood and finishes than most of us here. In your opinion, would hanging by an adhesive be less damaging than a couple of nail holes, or more damaging? Which provision would be easier to fix later?