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What's the best way to hang unframed posters on a sloping wall without using tape or velcro or glue that would damage the poster? Thumb-tacks don't work too well because the poster ends up sagging between the tacks.

I'd love to find a way of attaching the posters to the wall so that they lie as flat and as close as possible to the wall without resorting to adhesives that could damage the posters or the wall.

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What exactly is your definition of "damage" that would not otherwise exclude thumbtacks for putting holes in the poster? –  Random832 Jun 3 '11 at 12:16
    
Small pin-holes are fine. Damage from tape or other adhesives that would stick permanently to the poster or wall is what I'm looking to avoid. –  Zippy Jun 3 '11 at 12:24

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I hang my posters gallery-style. Get a piece of glass (or plexi) cut to the exact size of the poster. Buy some nice hanging nails and use them to rest the glass on - one at each corner. The nails pictured below have a really nice edge, hold the glass well, and leave very little damage to the wall.

You can pick these up at a hardware store or a framing store.

I've hung entire shows this method and it's very nice. I also used to work at a gallery and this method was the preferred method for hanging flat artwork. No framing of any kind was needed.

Picture Hanging Nail

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1  
Nice @Inkspeak! And thanks for the picture! Sounds super elegant. Would probably go with plexi given it's for my son's room although have always been blown away by how expensive plexi is. –  Zippy Jun 8 '11 at 8:26
    
@Zippy, yeah, if you have access to a big glass cutter then you can buy glass inexpensively in bulk and cut it yourself. Plexi is a little more money but safer. It's what I use for the mounted photos and posters in our home. –  allnightgrocery Jun 8 '11 at 18:17

The only way I can think of is to use a frame ;)

You don't need to frame each poster, but create something like the advertising hoardings you see on bus stops (in the UK at least) where the frame can open and a new poster inserted.

So what you'll need to do is get a piece of glass or Perspex slightly larger than the poster you want to hang. Then create a frame with a cross section something like this:

| space for poster |
|------------------| <- frame
+-        ^       -+
          |
     glass/Perspex

If you have this on three sides the poster can slot in at the top. It will rest against the glass/Perspex and hence be flat.

One step further would be to add a hinge on one side and a catch on the other so it can be totally enclosed to keep dust etc out and make changing posters a bit easier.

You can get the moulding to make the trim quite easily. There are various shapes "Hockey Stick" being one. Cut to length and mitre the corners. Stick to the wall and then slide the Perspex in. If you use Perspex it will be lighter than glass so you might get away with glueing the frame to the wall rather than screwing.

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Nice idea. Thanks @ChrisF. Hadn't thought of a plexiglass case. –  Zippy Jun 3 '11 at 10:31

Poster putty is an adhesive, but supposed to not damage posters or walls. Similar products are sold under names like Sticky Tack, Mounting Putty, and Blu-Tack.

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1  
Thanks. The issue with this is that the poster will still sag between the points where the poster is attached to the wall with the putty. –  Zippy Jun 3 '11 at 12:25
    
@Zippy, even with small pieces of putty very close together? –  Vebjorn Ljosa Jun 3 '11 at 12:37
4  
Good idea, but beware that over long periods of time, poster tack stuff can transfer oils to your poster. (It did to mine, anyways.) If the thing has any real value to preserve, I'd avoid using these. –  quixoto Jun 6 '11 at 1:34

3M makes Command adhesive strips for posters. They supposedly come off clean when you pull the tab. From my experience, this type of adhesive works really well. I used them a for a towel hook in college since we weren't allowed to have even thumbtacks in the wall. At the end of the semester, you couldn't tell anything had been there at all. No sticky residue left over, and no scraping with a razor blade required.

If you go for the poster putty in @Vebjorn's answer, make sure to find a white version, or whatever color most closely matches your wall color. I've seen that type of adhesive stain before - both the wall and the back of the poster.

Disclaimer: I've used other Command products, but not the poster strips in particular.

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1  
The strips sometimes take the paint with them when you remove them. –  Vebjorn Ljosa Jun 3 '11 at 15:22
1  
@Vebjorn: I've never had this happen myself, but I suppose that's no universal guarantee. There's probably a combination of paint quality, primer quality, and environmental conditions (humidity, temperature, etc.) that factor in to whether or not the strips will pull paint off the wall. –  Doresoom Jun 3 '11 at 15:29
    
I've had the 3M command hooks pull the drywall right off (and I was careful about following the directions). I tried the 3M poster ones and they were falling down soon after. –  user13188 May 26 '13 at 22:22

You can buy wood strips with a slit that (gently) grab the edge of the poster, distributing the weight across the width. There is a string that goes from end to end of the wood so you can hang it. These work great; my friend used to use them for his treasured anime posters.

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Don't forget the OP wants to hang the poster on a sloping wall. –  ChrisF Jun 3 '11 at 15:33
    
You can buy a second wooden strip for the bottom, then use Command hooks to connect both strings to the wall. –  Alex Feinman Jun 3 '11 at 16:27

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