I want to surprise my mom by affixing her pictures for her coming birthday. All the photos are rectangle with dimension of 5 X 15 cm like shown below, just the bare photopaper (no frame), and the walls of acrylic paint, solid-whitish .

picture describing the idea

I have tried using tape, but that tends to mess up the wall, by spoiling the paint on the wall while I remove the tape. I have used duct tapes & sellotapes but it spoils the pictures while removing and looks ugly on the wall.

I am looking for any hack which helps me to affix the photos on wall without damaging the photo & wall after removing.

Here's a pic of some of the tape I've used:

3m adhesive tape tried

  • Well, have you tried nails, sticky clips(available at stores, tacks, etc? Also, how does the picture frames back look, those are some needed info :) And not to nitpick to much, but adding a example brand of transparent tape would make this a awesome question! Plus, what is the criteria for a response, your comment made it seem like you only want tape or glue, IMO :( Anyway, Welcome to Life Hacks Beta, may you find a answer to every problem :)
    – Pobrecita
    Dec 28, 2014 at 2:33
  • 2
    Thank you all for the edits! StackExchange would be a terrible place without your helping hands for us poor-question-writers! :) Dec 28, 2014 at 2:45
  • 1
    Ever heard of sticky tack? That's what i use in these sorts of cases. Very neat and convenient - and reusable.
    – J. Musser
    Dec 28, 2014 at 3:06
  • Nope, never heard of it. I don't really know how to search for it in my native language D: Dec 28, 2014 at 3:16
  • Also called reusable adhesive putty. Something like this.
    – J. Musser
    Dec 28, 2014 at 4:19

8 Answers 8


I have had a similar situation recently, and as a renter - keeping the walls in a pristine manner is important.

  • What I used was a removable foam mounting square, very lightly applied to the wall behind each photo. An example is below:

enter image description here

According to the product website:

Removable foam mounting squares adhere and conform to a variety of surfaces. Ideal for adhering lightweight items such as paper and photos to textured surfaces. Can be used on wood, ceramic tile, gloss and semi-gloss painted walls, glass, and refrigerators

  • Another possible solution is poster putty, an eample is shown below:

enter image description here

The description from the product site:

Removeable and reusable. Ideal for temporary mounting applications such as photos, notes, posters and decorations. Holds up to 1 lb. Not recommended for use on flocked or loose wallpaper and on peeling or fresh paint.

  • Another thing I have done that worked rather well, was to not stick anything to the wall at all - I had several lines of string fixed onto doorhandles (also stuck by blue-tak on high areas) and had the photos taped to the string - essentially, multiple "clothes-lines" for and of photos.

  • One more option is to rest a corkboard, or a piece of wood against the wall (with padding where the wood makes contact with the wall) and use that to display the photos.

  • 1
    Be careful when selecting putty. Some of them have a high oil content which will slowly seep into the paint and create a large oil stain on the wall. Dec 9, 2016 at 9:02
  • Be careful with those foam mounting squares, too. Some brands (3M) are better at peeling off than others (Duck), and sometimes even the ones that do peel off will do damage, because that's not the intended usage.
    – Allison C
    Mar 7, 2019 at 15:36

The Scotch mounting squares is a good suggestion but it's a high cost per photo. I use painting tape for delicate surfaces. Both Scotch and Frog make a version and they've both proven to be pretty reliable. I still have a single coat of builder's beige in my house and we've used the tape to hang things for a while so we can plan it all out. It's always removed easily with no damage. Even masking tape wasn't working that well.




Damage Free Picture Hanging Strips from 3m work fantastic!

enter image description here


I think it might be a bit late, but you could try magnetic push pins called Magnetacks. they are really strong and use magnets to hang the photos so they won't damage your photos. i use them for much larger photos so they should work great for your size.


Try 3m spray adhesive; the weakest kind. You can find it at home depot, etc. Or they actually make spray adhesive for photos that doesn't ruin things like the paint on the wall you've stuck it on, since it is made for photobooks where people like to stick pictures but don't necessarily want to permanently stick them. I've seen this spray adhesive at craft stores but it is usually more expensive than the 3M stuff, which I think is better quality anyways.

Another option is that putty-type stuff they sell at home depot and officemax which is meant not to ruin what it is stuck on, but I don't like it because 1) it never stays stuck (for me) and 2) it only sticks the picture where you put putty- spray adhesive is applied to the entire picture and therefore the entire picture will be nicely flush with the wall.

  • 2
    How do you remove spray adhesive?
    – J. Musser
    Dec 28, 2014 at 4:55
  • 1
    @J.Musser Perhaps it's sprayed onto the back of the photo. Mount after it dries?
    – Lawrence
    Mar 21, 2018 at 23:32
  • Might be a little late but I only just noticed the comments- how to remove spray adhesive? Depends on the spray adhesive you're using. In my experience with the stuff made for photo mounting, you just simply rub it off much like rubber cement but even easier
    – Ron Kyle
    May 1, 2018 at 19:58
  • And yes, you would spray the back of the photo, wait for it to become tacky and then stick it wherever you like
    – Ron Kyle
    May 1, 2018 at 19:59

What's wrong with using Blu Tack, or isn't that available where you are? If the wall is painted with acrylic paint, and therefore not water permeable, blu tack won't leave grease marks on the wall either. I wouldn't recommend it on wallpaper unless it's for short periods, but on a wall painted with vinyl emulsion, acrylic or oil based paint, it will do the job well and is easily removable, with care.

It's possible blu tack is the same thing as the 'poster putty' someone else has already suggested, I'm not sure.

  • Other brand names for reusable adhesive putty are: sticky-tack, plastitack, poster putty, etc. Yeah, I asked the same thing in a comment under the post, but more as a question than an implied answer.
    – J. Musser
    Dec 28, 2014 at 13:13
  • Blu tack has it's uses - but I tend to find it sometimes looses adhesion in cooler weather. It's fine for small pictures - but doesn't work quite so well on card stock posters. Oct 17, 2015 at 11:22

I use a foam board 20"x30" found at Michaels arts & craft stores. Adhere that to the wall with 3m command strips.I thumb tacks all my pictures. Being a first-time grandmom I am also using a tape called washi tape, also found at craft stores or staples.It comes in all sizes, designs & colors. The tape does NOT harm the walls and you can border all your pictures. It is a great product! Go on to google and see the many uses this tape can be put on. If you don't want to use the thumb tacks for the foam board, the washi tape works great.


This answer on DIY (to a similar question) recommends:

I would be tempted to try those removable stick up hangers from 3M. They come in different sizes for different weights. They don't penetrate or leave a stain when you remove them.

enter image description here

I haven't tried them myself though.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.