6 mistakes you’re making with Command hooks

Prevent pictures from falling down or damaging your walls.
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Whether you’re renting your home or not, Command strips are a home decorator’s best friend. The strips, hooks and holdalls can solve myriad problems around the home for storage and display, decor and organisation. With new products continuing to be added to the lineup, there’s something for everyone and every style of home.

Plan and create your own gallery wall in your bedroom, living room or hallway using Command hooks for pictures or a collection of artworks. Use hooks and holders to hang and organise kitchen utensils, cleaning essentials and even storage, such as spice racks.

However, they require careful preparation and application to get the best results and have them (and your artwork) stay put. Take a closer look at the packet for clear instructions on how to use Command strips, but as a guide, here’s what you’re probably doing wrong.

Hamptons style bedroom with frames above bedhead
(Photography: Simon Whitbread | Styling: Corina Koch)

You don’t prepare the surface correctly

Strips work best on clean, smooth surfaces, so wipe the wall with isopropyl rubbing alcohol (methylated spirits) first. This will ensure your strip bonds properly with the wall. Avoid using other surface sprays or cleaning wipes, which may leave a slippery residue.

You rush the job

If you’ve just painted your walls, you need to be patient and wait at least a week until using the strips. For some Command hooks, once attached to a wall, you’ll need to wait up to one hour before you hang your item on it. Check the packet for correct timing.

Staircase with gallery wall
(Photography: Brigid Arnott)

You don’t press hard enough

The stronger you apply pressure when installing them, the better the strip will adhere to the wall. Read instructions carefully and make sure you press firmly along the whole strip, not just in one spot.

You disregard the weight guidelines

The weight restrictions are specified on each product, so carefully weigh your artwork or photo frame before choosing the correct strips. Some hooks can hold over 3kg so they’re great for larger items, or in the laundry or garage to hang tools and cleaning equipment.

LIving room with black and white photos hung on the wall
(Photography: Helen Ward)

You don’t pull down when removing 

How to remove Command strips properly is key to your success when using them in the home. If you pull the tab towards you, you risk damaging your wall. Pull down firmly on the tab towards the floor. Keep stretching it up to 40cm until the hook releases from the strip.

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