Command Picture Hanging Strips: In-Depth Review (Pros, Cons, and How to Use Them)

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In this in-depth review of Command™ Picture Hanging Strips, you’ll learn exactly how to use them (step-by-step with pictures), common mistakes when using them, which surfaces they work on, the different sizes available, the most significant downsides, and common consumer complaints.

Let’s dive right in!

Command Picture Hanging Strips: Quick Overview

Command Brand, the maker of Command Picture Hanging Strips (see on Amazon), is the market leader in damage-free adhesives.

In addition to picture hanging strips, they manufacture clips for outdoor lights, hooks for hanging things on glass windows and doors, caddies for wall storage, and much more. 

Command Picture Hanging Strips have a specially formulated adhesive and patented design that allows you to hang pictures securely to walls without leaving behind a sticky residue or pulling paint off the wall.

If you’re a fickle decorator, this is the perfect product. Change your mind about a painting or photo? No problem. You can easily hang, remove, and adjust. Never put another hole in the wall when you use Command Picture Hanging Strips.

Command strips have two downsides.

First, if you don’t follow the instructions, you run the risk of a picture falling off the wall.

This will only occur if you exceed the weight limits and don’t use enough strips, or you don’t allow enough time for them to adhere to the wall before adding the weight of the picture.

The second downside is that they are expensive compared to a hammer and nail.

Depending on the size and weight of your picture, it could cost you a few dollars to hang with Command strips (check prices on Amazon) compared to a few cents with a nail.

On the flip side, if you use Command strips, you won’t have to pay for wall putty and paint when you eventually have to patch up holes.

How to Use Command Picture Hanging Strips

The most common use for these picture hanging strips is, you guessed it, to hang heavy (or light) framed pictures to your walls and other surfaces without damaging them with nails and anchors.   

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Wipe the wall with rubbing alcohol to remove any dust and debris. Do not use other household cleaners since those can leave behind a film or residue that can make the stickiness of the strips ineffective.

Step 2: Separate two strips and press the Velcro parts together.

Command picture hanging strips2

They come in 3 different sizes (small, medium, and large), and each size has its own weight limits.

The Small Picture Hanging Strips can hold up to 1 pound per pair. The Mediums hold 3 pounds per pair, and the Larges hold 4 pounds per pair.

If you’re not sure how much a frame weighs, stand on a scale, record your current weight, then pick up the frame and step back on the scale to see the difference.

Step 3: Remove the protective liner from one side of the strips and place the sticky surface on the frame with the pull tab facing down. The “pull tab” is the rounded part that says “3M” with an arrow pointing down.

Installing Command Strips

If you’re using one pair of strips, stick it horizontally on the center of the top part of the frame.

If you’re using two pairs, place them on the top corners of each side of the frame. 

If you’re using three pairs, place one horizontally in the center of the top frame and two on the top of the sides.

If you’re using four pairs, put two on the top of the side frames and two on the bottom of the side frames about 2/3rds of the way down. Don’t put the bottom strips all the way down on the bottom corners because doing so will make it very difficult to safely remove the picture from the wall when the time comes. 

Step 4: Remove the protective liners that are now facing away from the frame and position your frame where you want it on the wall.

Hanging a picture on the wall with command strips

If you don’t get the frame level on the first try, you can adjust where each side of the Velcro meets to get it perfectly level later.

Press the frame firmly against the wall for at least 30 seconds. Put pressure on the areas where the strips are so they adhere securely to the wall.

At this point, the manufacturer’s website advises you to peel the frame off the wall and let the strips on the wall side sit for an hour before re-hanging the frame.

This period allows the adhesive to fully adhere to the wall before adding the weight and resistance of the frame.

In all honesty, I’ve never followed this step and never had an issue. From my experience, as long as your wall is clean and you press the frame against the wall and hold firmly for 30 seconds, you should be all set.

A couple of times, I’ve used two pairs of strips when I really should have used three, and the frame detached and fell (whoops!). Adding an extra pair can be overkill, but will never hurt.

How to Remove Command Picture Hanging Strips

Command strips make removing pictures from the wall extremely easy. To remove the frame, all you do is take the bottom corners of the frame and slowly pull it off the wall. The pairs of strips attached by Velcro will easily come apart.Removing a picture from the wall with command strips

Do not pull the frame straight off the wall.

To remove the strips from the wall, slowly stretch the pull tab straight down about 12 inches. It will release from the wall. Do not pull the tab straight towards you; doing so could damage your wall.

This video does a great job summarizing the process of hanging pictures that I just described:

Common Mistakes When Using Command Strips

If you follow the instructions carefully, Command strips are highly effective. If you cut corners and don’t follow the instructions, you’ll have issues. Here are the most common mistakes people make when using Command strips:

  • Not using enough strips. If you use one pair of strips to hang a 20-pound frame, it’s going to fall. 
  • Not pressing firmly for at least 30 seconds when hanging. Putting pressure on the strips helps them adhere completely. Don’t skip this step.
  • Pulling the frame off the wall the wrong way. If you pull the frame straight off the wall, you risk damaging it. 
  • Pulling the strips off the wall the wrong way. Pull the tab straight down until the strip releases from the wall. If you try to rip it straight off, the paint will come with it.

Do Command Strips Work on All Surfaces?

Command strips work on most surfaces, but not all. The surfaces you can use them on are painted, stained or varnished wood, glass, tile, painted cinder block, plaster, drywall, metal, and painted wallboard. They will also stick to smooth cinder block, like what you see inside school buildings.

They DO NOT stick to brick, wallpaper, or glass directly exposed to sunlight. Wait a week after painting to make sure the paint has fully cured before using these strips.

Command has an outdoor line of products (link to Amazon) that stick to some of these other surfaces and work well in heat or cold.

Options and Sizes

Command has many different picture hanging products, here’s a breakdown:

  • Small Picture Hanging Strips (view on Amazon) – Weight Capacity: 1 pound per pair of strips – best for 8″ x 10″ frames.
Command Strips (Small)
  • Medium Picture Hanging Strips (view on Amazon) – Weight Capacity: 3 pounds per pair of strips – best for 18″ x 24″ frames.
Command Strips (Medium)
  • Large Picture Hanging Strips (view on Amazon)– Weight Capacity: 4 pounds per pair of strips – best for 24″ x 36″ frames.
Command Strips (Large)
Command Strips (Large)

If you’re using the small strips and your frame weighs 6 pounds, you’ll need six pairs of strips. If you’re using the large ones and the frame weighs 8 pounds, you’ll need two pairs. You get the idea.

The product mentioned above are the basics; however, Command also makes hanging strips for large canvases, easel back frames, narrow, wire back, and more. You can find all of these products at your local big-box store or online on Amazon

Command section at big-box store
Command section at a big-box store

3M, the parent company of Command Brand, invests about 6% of its revenue back into research and development (over $1 billion annually) to improve their current products and invent new ones continuously. This dedication to innovation is why their products, including picture hanging strips, are so useful.   

Command Strips Weight Limit (Chart)

One of the most frequently asked questions about Command strips is: 

How much weight can they hold?

In the previous section, I highlighted Command’s three most popular products (Small, Medium, and Large strips), but they sell many other picture hanging strips and hooks with various weight limits. 

Here’s a quick chart that breaks down the weight limits of each type of Command strip.

Two Quick Notes: 1) The weight limits in this chart are based on only one pair of strips. 2) The product names are linked to Amazon, where you can check out more details. 

ProductWeight Limit Per Pair (pounds)Weight Limit Per Pair (kilograms)
Command Small Picture Hanging Strips1.45
Command Medium Picture Hanging Strips31.3
Command Large Picture Hanging Strips41.8
Command Narrow Picture Hanging Strips31.3
Command Black Medium Picture Hanging Strips31.3
Command Black Large Picture Hanging Strips41.8
Command Poster Strips1.45
Command Universal Picture Hanger52.2
Command Jumbo Universal Picture Hanger83.6
Command Sawtooth Picture Hanger52.2
Command Wire-Backed Picture Hanging Hooks52.2

(Source of Weight Limits: Command.com)

What Are the Biggest Downsides of Command Strips?

Command strips are effective, easy to use, and convenient, but they have downsides.

The biggest knock on Command strips are, compared to nails, they are expensive. You could probably buy a hundred nails for the price of one pack of Command strips.

However, when that moment finally comes when you have to take down a picture, buying wall putty, sanding, painting, and being left with a less than perfect wall is a much higher price than the cost of these strips. 

Secondly, hanging pictures with Command strips takes more steps than it does with a hammer and nail. Although these steps are quick and easy, you need to have the right number of strips, make sure you place them on the frame correctly, peel off the cover, press firmly, etc. I don’t see this as a significant downside, but it’s worth mentioning.

Additionally, as you’ll see in the next section, Command strips could detach from the wall and ruin your frame, art, or photo. If you follow the instructions, the chances of this happening are slim, but it certainly does happen. 

The last downside is that you can only use Command strips once. Command designs their pull-tab release mechanism to ensure there is zero wall damage. When you pull the strip to take it off the wall, it stretches out and becomes unusable. Unfortunately, you can’t use them more than once, but paying a little extra for more strips beats the time it takes to patch holes.

What Are the Most Common Complaints?

If you scroll down and check out the comments on this review, you’ll see that most complaints about this product are related to lack of stickiness causing expensive frames and pictures to fall off the wall.

I totally understand how frustrating and upsetting it could be to have a pricey piece of art or sentimental photo come crashing to the floor. 

However, if you follow the instructions—clean the wall first, use the appropriate number of strips, apply pressure before hanging—you significantly reduce the risk of pictures detaching from the wall. 

With products like this, there is a tendency to rip open the package and start using it without reading the label. It’s not a complicated product or process, but you must follow the few instructions.

Even if you follow the instructions, with this type of product, there’s still a slight chance of the strips losing their stickiness. Drastic changes in room temperature or the moisture in the air are the most likely culprits. 

My advice—if you’re hanging something really expensive or invaluable, use a nail or double up on Command strips.  

Alternatives to Command Strips

Besides a hammer and nail, there are not many viable alternatives to Command strips.

Double-sided tape/adhesive strips, like Scotch Indoor Mounting Tape and Gorilla Mounting Tape, are an okay alternative. Still, based on my personal experience and extensive research, I wouldn’t be comfortable recommending any other brand besides Command. It is the best option for hanging pictures and won’t leave behind a sticky residue like these alternatives.

Bottom Line: Are Command Strips Worth It?

The best way to hang heavy pictures, art, painting, or anything flat to drywall, wood, glass, tile, plaster, or most other surfaces in your home is to use Command Picture Hanging Strips. The main focus of Command Brand products is hanging things to walls, and, in my view, they nailed it (pun intended).

picture on the wall

These sticky Velcro strips will cost a little more than nails, but they do their job and leave your walls completely smooth with no holes or residue left behind.

The result is a beautiful, securely hung picture and a wall in pristine condition.

So yes, Command Picture Hanging Strips are worth it.

To see more details and pricing, check them out on Amazon.

Thank you for reading our review of Command Picture Hanging Strips!

We hope you enjoyed reading our review and that now you can confidently hang pictures without using nails.

Have you had a different experience with Command Picture Hanging Strips? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Do you about better options for hanging pictures? Please let us know in the comments section or contact us directly; we would love to hear your feedback.

Looking to improve life at home? Check out these recent articles:

39 thoughts on “Command Picture Hanging Strips: In-Depth Review (Pros, Cons, and How to Use Them)”

  1. I bought a pack of the long narrow picture hanging strips but the adhesive would not stick to the frame. I almost gave up after two sets of strips didn’t stick but I had another pack of the small size strips which were a little wider than the frame but gave them a try and they worked! Think the first pack was maybe out of date and perhaps adhesive had dried out?

    Reply
  2. I was recently introduced to 3M Command strips and after a trial I am a fan! It has always seemed to me rather primitive in this technological age to still “bang a nail in the wall” to hang a picture. So far I have re-hung about 10 pictures – mostly light, the heaviest is 2kgs – and they seem pretty firmly fixed to the wall (I keep testing them to make sure). The rear of the picture is generally a smooth surface, often hardboard and my internal walls are emulsioned and smooth (the house is in UK and only 22 years old). The house doesn’t suffer any extremes of heat/cold & humidity. I have been applying the strips to the picture and leaving them overnight to “prove”. Like Andrew, I do not remove the picture when first hung (as specified in the 3M instructions) but hold it firmly in place with moderate pressure and count slowly to 60. So far so good. What I really wanted to find out is what is the longest period anyone has had a picture on the wall for? Correspondents are very keen to tell their stories of failure and then call the product garbage but I would also hate to find out that the pictures all fall off the wall in 2 years time!

    Reply
    • Hi Dave – thanks for the comment.

      Command strips are designed to last indefinitely. I’ve hung several pictures that are still up after 5 years and going strong.

      Andrew

      Reply
  3. I find Command strips to be great, and I’m a professional picture framer! I’ve even reused some, for photos on wood blocks (no glass). I used them for a reasonably large glazed frame, followed the instructions, left the strips on the wall overnight without the picture attached, and then fixed it on the next morning. All has been fine. I am about to use them for a framed mirror on tiles in the bathroom, will let you know how that goes.

    I am even considering offering them to customers as an alternative to traditional stringing on the back of pictures. Note: if your picture already has stringing on the back you must remove all of it, including the metal fixings screwed into the frame BEFORE attempting to use strips.

    Reply
    • Hi Mike – Command strips will not work on any wallpaper. The wallpaper is not strong enough and could tear when you apply the strips.

      Reply
  4. “Command™ adhesive is designed to stay in place for as long as you need it to, and will stay put for many years.”

    WRONG! I had two clips to hold phone charging cables. After about six months, one clip broke and the tape on the other dried out. Cute idea … not a long term solution.

    Reply
  5. Absolutely rubbish … followed the instructions to the letter..3 hours later one smashed picture frame and damage to the skirting board…the adhesive held but the velcro fastening gave up … complete waste of money!!!

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear about your experience, Stuart.

      When the Velcro doesn’t hold, it’s usually a case of not using enough strips to hold the weight. With valuable photos/paintings/art, it’s always better to be safe and overestimate the number of strips you need.

      Reply
  6. I purchased a packet of Command no damage strips which included multiple sizes per weight of picture. I followed the directions after listening to the youtubes multiple times. I tried multiple approaches and pictures fell off the wall causing damage. I contacted the company who suggested that the back of my frames were too porous (used recycled wood frames in which I tore off the brown paper over the back of the wood frame). The agent suggested I paint the back of the frames because that is the problem. So I painted the back of the frame with flat paint. I waited several days for the frame to dry. I just tried, again, to hang a picture. The picture again fell off the wall. Though I wanted these damage free strips to work, they do not and I’m done trying. Now I have to go fix the damage to the picture and the wall.

    Reply
    • Hi Pamela – I’m sorry to hear about your experience with Command Strips. When you attempted to hang the picture, did the strips peel off the back of the frame, or did the Velcro connecting the strips on the frame and the strips on the wall not hold?

      Reply
  7. I am so tired of these. Despite using heavy duty ones, more than recommended, and pressing for more like a minute than 30 seconds, I’ve had two very expensive pictures fall off the wall, one of them twice. One frame must be replaced as a result. To add insult to injury two of the falls were at 2 AM or so… I’m seeking alternatives.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing, Annalynn.

      Sorry to hear they didn’t work for you. What type of surface were you trying to hang the pictures on?

      Did you clean the wall with alcohol before sticking them?

      If you’re willing to give them another shot in the future, I’d recommend pressing the strips against the wall and letting them sit for 24 hours before attaching the picture. This step is not necessary in most cases, but since you’ve had issues on your wall, I’d give that a try.

      Good luck!
      Andrew

      Reply
  8. We bought 2 packets of the 5.4 kg size and didnt even get as far as getting them on the wall.No stick at all when we removed the liners.Nope didnt have receipt so just wasted our money.Would we recommend them?NO

    Reply
    • Hi Barb,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. What type of wall did you try it on? Command strips work best on painted, stained or varnished wood, glass, tile, painted cinder block, plaster, drywall, metal, and painted wallboard.

      Certain glossy finishes may give you trouble, but the strips should still work if you clean the surface properly first.

      If you can’t get a refund from the store, I recommend contacting Command directly.

      Sorry to hear they didn’t work for you.

      Andrew

      Reply
  9. I followed the Command instructions to the letter e.g. cleaning of the wall before placing of strips, the weight of the photo frame, pressing on the strips for 30 secs, the surface I wanted to attach the frame to. The first time I tried, the strips did not adhere at all, the second time when I pulled the frame off, holding it at the bottom both the strips came away from the wall and one took an area of paint with it, and due to colour matching issues I’m unable to repair the wall to hide the damaged area. I contacted the company who did not even bother to reply. Am I dissatisfied – yes. Will I use Command again – no. Will I recommend Command or the company – no.

    Reply
    • Wow! I’m sorry to hear about that horrible experience! What type of wall? Standards drywall? Any special finish or unusual paint type? Please let us know so others can avoid these issues. Thanks – Andrew

      Reply
  10. I’m extremely dissatisfied with command strips, I followed their instructions I used the heaviest holding strips and instead of using only 4 strips per picture I used 6 still 2 and 3 nights later the pictures fell off the wall. The other room I used them in, again following their instructions when I used the strips and decided to remove them 3 years later, pulling the strip straight down my walls were damaged. Too bad I can’t show you the pics of the damages. I’ll go back to using nails and picture hangers. What a disappointment ?

    Reply
    • Like I told the girl at 3M, complete false advertisement and yes, I followed the directions and the wall was prepared, no excuse for the damages or the pictures to fall if their advertisement is correct

      Reply
  11. I would like to put some magnetic knife holders on the side of a new kitchen cabinet (a polyurethane type finish), and avoid drilling holes in the cabinet. Making sure I use sufficient strips to hold the weight, would you feel comfortable with this application? Note- I would probably need to mount the strips sideways. Oh, the knife holder is 1 pound, a couple of the heaviest knives are 8 oz, most are 2-3 oz.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Nelson,

      According to Command’s website, the strips will stick to “Painted, stained or varnished wood”, so I think you’ll be okay. Since you’re hanging knives, I’d recommend using extra strips, even beyond the weight limits stated on the package. But, if you use enough, the knife holder will stay. In fact, there are some magnetic knife holders that come with an adhesive mount similar to Command strips (like this one).

      Good luck with this project!
      Andrew

      Reply
  12. Worse product, false advertising it can’t even hold 250 grams, forget about 2 or 3 kilograms. I have 2 broken wall clock which dropped down and 3 photo frames.
    They useless. Do not waste money on them and they cost so much

    Reply
    • Zarina,

      Thanks for sharing your feedback. Sorry to hear about your experience.

      Have you checked to make sure you are only using them on approved surfaces (painted, stained or varnished wood, glass, tile, painted cinder block, plaster, drywall, metal, and painted wallboard)? Also, are you using enough strips, putting them in the correct spots, and pressing firmly for at least 30 seconds? If you use them correctly, they should NOT be falling off the wall.

      It’s interesting that most people (including me) have a very positive experience (see reviews on Amazon) but a much smaller percentage of customers seem to share your experience. I wonder what portion of those bad experiences are due to misuse. HArd to tell without knowing the full story. All I know is that they work great for me and from thousands of others.

      Anyway, I appreciate your feedback!

      Andrew

      Reply
  13. I bought a pack of these strips, large ones that apparently will hold up to 7kg – wrong!!!. I used 2 strips per picture that weighed around 3lb each, followed the instructions on the packaging only for them to come crashing down in the middle of the night, smashing a much prized ornament in the process.

    Total waste of money – stick to something a bit more reliable like a nail.

    Reply
  14. I got tired of having to straighten the thirty or so pictures in my old farmhouse every time a clap of thunder shook the walls, so replaced all the nail hangers with Command Strips. And yes, I followed all the instructions and used heavier-than-recommended sizes on all applications.

    About a year and a half later, for no reason, the pictures started falling off the walls, often taking the pictures hanging beneath with them, including several abstract prints worth hundreds a dollars. After 10 failures and having to spend about 30 bucks on repairs, I switched back to the nails. The strips adhered well to the painted wooden walls; in every case, the failure was attributed to the strips attached to the varnished wooden frames (varnished wood is listed as an approved surface).

    Use these at your own peril. A total waste of time and money.

    Reply
    • Gene, thanks for sharing your experience.

      As you mentioned, according to Command, varnished wood is an approved surface so it’s disappointing that they didn’t work for you. https://www.command.com/3M/en_US/command/contact-us/faqs/

      I’ve found, in some cases, that certain finishes on wood can be too slick for Command Strips to adhere. If that’s the case, lightly sand the finish on the back of the frame where the strips will go. This provides better grip and should help keep the strips firmly in place.

      Good luck!
      Andrew

      Reply
  15. Want your frames to hang indefinitely with Command? The importance of not attaching the lower sets of strips further than 2/3 of the way down from the top of the frame can not be understated. Command adhesive is pressure activated & needs an hour without weight to bond with all surfaces to the advertised weight tolerance, placing the strips too low down the frame precludes the removing of the frame as required as part of the application process (step 5). Leaving the frame on the wall at step 4 of the instructions means that the strips will only be partly adhered and risks the frame falling off be it hours, days, weeks or years later. The point is that if you follow ALL instructions, they will last indefinitely! This link is to an excellent video for how to use Command Picture Hanging Strips properly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJA3cEMRjRM

    Reply
    • Hi Regina – great question! Since the strips attached to the wall and the strips attached to the frame are connected by Velcro, you can simply pull the frame off the wall and the Velcro will release. Once you line up the frame so that it’s level, press the Velcro strips on the frame against the Velcro trips on the wall to secure it in place. Simple and easy!

      Reply
  16. In my store I only found medium hanging strips and large, so i took the medium ones home, it didn’t occur to me that there were small ones (I live in a third world country so I just take what I can find and I’m thankful for it :D), but the frames that I want to hang are not even 1 pound (I know this because I weighed them on my kitchen scale). My question is, can I use only one strip to hang each frame? Considering that each pair of medium strips holds up to 3 pounds, I was thinking sticking one strip on the top of the frame. Do you think that’s doable?

    Reply
    • Hi Emilia! Great question. Yes, you absolutely can use only one of the medium strips. Just be sure to attach it to the center of the top part of the frame. Good luck!

      Reply
  17. Hello,
    If I use these strips, will I be able to take the frame off to change the picture and then stick it back to the wall in the same exact place again?
    You mentioned velcro so I guess it should be do-able but is the strength compromised each time I do that?

    Reply
    • Yes, you absolutely can take the frame off and change the picture. When you pull the frame off the wall, the Velcro will release. One side of the strips will remain on the wall and the other side will remain on the frame. Once you change the picture, you can re-hang the frame and press it back to secure the Velcro.

      I’ve done this many times and the Velcro does not lose any of its strength. That’s the beauty of it!

      Good luck!

      Reply
  18. Thanks for the comment, Aaron. With this product, there is a small risk that it won’t stick. However, if you use the recommended number of strips and apply them the correct way (on approved surfaces), you should be fine. I use them to hang over two dozen pictures/painting in my home. If you’re hanging a really expensive, irreplaceable painting, I’d go with a nail too.

    Reply
  19. Total garbage…this is a product that most likely worked in laboratory tests but in the real world just does not work, better off using nail in wall hooks…it does also state on the back of packaging …in very small print…not to be used for “antiques, heirlooms, or other valuable items…”. Regardless no one wants to put a picture up (no matter what it is worth) with this product and see it fall off, it just does not work reliably.

    Reply

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