Hassle-free (and hole-free) Ways to Display Art for Renters

According to Pew researchers, approximately 36% of the nation's households are occupied by renters. Whether you're a big city apartment dweller, lease a single-family home in the 'burbs, rent your summer house in the Hamptons, or are just plain commitment adverse, there are endless reasons why some people prefer a rental to homeownership.


While there are pros and cons with both options, one challenge home renters face is how to decorate a space that someone else owns, and more specifically, how to display art without the burden of later having to fill in dozens of holes with matching putty. As we consider ways to help you identify your taste in art, we've compiled a how-to list and some helpful tips and tricks to showcase your beloved artworks in those leased spaces. Because no matter where you hang your hat, your home should always be a reflection of your unique and personal style.“Green Apartments” by UGallery artist Mitchell Freifeld

No-nail Art Hanging Solutions

An easy and great solution is to utilize the many products on the market that allow you to hang your artwork and wall decor without putting holes in your walls. While these solutions need limited explanation, here's a quick refresher on the options:

Command Strips and Velcro Hangables

If you're looking for a super straightforward option for your wall art, this is among the most simple. These strips are adhesive on one side with a velcro-like material on the other and sold in multipacks of individual pieces. To use them, separate the strips and connect two together on the velcro side, then remove one side of the liner for each connected strip. Adhere the required number of strips to the backside of your frame (not directly on the artwork) of your wall décor, remove the remaining liners and place your art firmly against the wall, pressing and holding for at least 30 seconds. To make sure the strips are securely in place remove the painting or artwork from the bottom up and press each individual strip firmly for at least 30 seconds. Wait an hour for the strips to bond before replacing your art accordingly, re-aligning the strips.

Although command strips are a well-known product, there are other options. For example, Velcro brand "hangables" are specifically configured velcro strips that serve an essentially identical function. In a similar fashion, attach strips to the artwork and to the wall, incorporating the steps for removal in order to allow time for stronger adherence, and then marry your wall art to your wall accordingly. The manufacturer indicates hangables can hold up to 16 pounds per pack, ensuring the security of even your heavier artworks.

Other considerations: 3M, the maker of command strips, suggests you don’t hang wall art over your bed using command strips (we assume the same would apply to the Velcro hangables), and we certainly recommend using caution as it relates to ensuring your artwork is well secured and protected against damage.Picture of a woman hanging art, photo by JeoJango Maps

Adhesive Hooks

Adhesive hooks work in a similar way as command strips but without the dual strips. One side of the hook adheres to the wall, with the hook side facing out so that your art can be hung directly to the hook utilizing the wire across the back of your piece. The same cautions apply to ensure that your artwork or decor isn’t heavier than the load capacity of the hook.

Washi Tape

Although not our most highly recommended suggestion, you can also use washi tape in less formal spaces. This creates a very casual look for unframed pieces since the tape will be visible. You can find decorative versions of the tape, which could make for a fun display of photos in a very informal space or to display kids’ art in their room.


Prop, Lean, and WedgeInterestingly displayed artwork by UGallery artist Jessica JH Roller

Although prop, lean, and wedge might sound like the latest dance move taking the internet by storm, we're actually talking about additional “no-nails-required” art hanging solutions for your rented dwelling. Utilizing this concept, with a bit of creativity, one need not hang art directly on a wall to create a fabulous aesthetic.

Prop Artwork Against Walls“Grid Aesthetic: #4” by UGallery artist Terri Bell

While you still need the wall to bear the weight of your beloved pieces, adherence to your wall space isn't actually required. Strategic placement of your leaning artwork is a unique option that can bring visual interest to a space. This works best with a higher profile piece that takes up enough vertical space to penetrate our natural sightlines.

Hang Your Art on a Bookcase or Other Durable Furniture

Because every space is made better with art, we recently shared unique ways to dress up your bookcase with art. As another option to avoid adding holes to your walls you could consider hanging art directly on your bookcase. If that's not appealing to you, you can also wedge smaller artworks within your bookcase shelves.

We've seen examples of art displayed directly onto other types of furniture such as bedroom headboards. Let your furniture act as a beautiful backdrop for smaller-scale pieces, which serves multiple purposes, including eliminating the need for wall holes while injecting a pop of color and pizazz into your decor and furnishings.

Display Art on an EaselEasel stand with painting, photo by Thirdman

Even if you aren't trying to protect the drywall, we find this an intriguing way to display artwork. We love the impression it creates for establishing a focal point for your most cherished art, and this is undoubtedly an easy alternative for protecting your walls. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about a piece breaking free from its adhesive, causing damage, although we do recommend being mindful of spaces frequented by roaming pets.

We hope these renter’s tips have been helpful. If you’re in the market for the perfect pieces to display in your apartment or rented home, check out new original art updated weekly on our website.