I have purchased an approx 2m high by 35cm deep dispay cabinet seated on a carpet floor. This is not fully stable (the cabinet rocks a bit when you exert force on the doors to open them), and it was suggested to me that we anchor the cabinet to the wall using some L-shaped brackets.

I'd like to stabilize the cabinet but would ideally not like to drill holes in the wall or cabinet. If this isn't possible, I'd like to minimize the damage to the wall to avoid having to re-paint the entire wall when we eventually move to another house.

We aren't in an earthquake-prone area so I'm not trying to attempt a rock solid load-bearing fastening... Just something to keep the cabinet in place when the doors are opened and closed. I had an idea of using something like 3m command strips or some kind of glue-based solution but really have idea if this would be possible.

  • Are you trying to avoid damaging the wall, the cabinet, or both?
    – Tester101
    May 23 '12 at 18:56

This is a tall unit and if it were fully loaded, it could really hurt someone (especially a child) should it fall. Products like the 3M command strips are designed for hooks where the force on them is acting downwards. Your cabinet on the other hand, should it tip, would be pulling away from the wall and I really don't think those strips would hold. If it were my house and my kids, I would not trust them and would opt for a bracket.

As for glueing it, in all liklihood, it would just pull the paper layer of your drywall off with it. Even if it held, it would likely damage your walls more than a couple of holes for a bracket when it comes time to remove it.

For a solution to this, what I often see come with tall bookcases is a short strap (webbbing) with a screw and washer on both sides. One side screws into the back of the bookcase, and the other should be screwed into a drywall anchor - ideally a toggle bolt since they don't easily pull out. The washer is important to prevent the screw from pulling through the webbing. This particular one below uses velcro, but I'd personally screw it into the back of the bookcase.

(source: themanlyhousekeeper.com)

Alternatively a L bracket will work, but they tend to look ugly and depending how much clearance you have, can be really tight to install and/or remove.

  • 4
    +1 Adhesive on a wall does many times more damage than putting a nail or screw through it. It takes a few extra minutes of prep work to patch a hole before painting, but that increases significantly when you're trying to remove adhesive and repair a major tear in the drywall paper.
    – BMitch
    May 23 '12 at 18:09
  • You've described what not to do, and why. Could you also supply some solutions?
    – Tester101
    May 23 '12 at 18:55
  • 4
    I used L-brackets on some shelves. Over time, as the shelves settled deeper into the carpet and carpet padding, the L-brackets pulled loose from the top of the shelves. Moral of the story: for items which will settle / get shorter over time, L-brackets are probably not the best choice.
    – mikemanne
    May 24 '12 at 15:34

If this is a wall to wall carpet then the back edge of the cabinet most likely sitting on the tacking strip that is placed around the edge of the room under the carpet. Making the cabinet lean forward slightly.

You could try placing one or 2 shims under the front edges of the cabinet to level cabinet or even raise the front a bit so it tends to lean back toward the wall.

That said if you are concerned about it falling a solid connection to the wall is best.


Well, if you REALLY don't want to damage the wall or cabinet, you could roll the carpet back, pull up the tact strip.. get a new one, then sandwich a tie-down strap between the floor wood and the tact strip. Re-secure, but also Put 2-3 screws through the strip into the strap (depending on the width) You should probably use a washer there. Then, on the back side of the strip, (the side facing away from the wall) put another 2-3 screws right on the strap into the floor board. (using washers) Then, put the ratchet side with the hook over the top of the unit and give it a click or two. Maybe put some bike inner-tube between the ratchet hook and the wood furniture.

enter image description here

However, I think just a wall strap would be far easier.

  • +1 for a creative solution, and awesome low-tech drawing.
    – Tester101
    May 25 '12 at 12:24

You'll have to paint it again later when you peel it off, but you'd be amazed what you can accomplish with a big roll of double sided self-adhesive velcro.

It won't keep the cabinet from falling over and crushing an infant trying to climb the cabinet, especially if said infant has a personal-injury lawyer as a parent, but that's just speculation on my part.

Seriously though, it will stop the cabinet from rocking away from the wall when you open and close doors. It works great! I used it many years for several poorly constructed cabinets (you know, the fast assemble utility furniture you buy at big box stores) and it took a 6" patch at each corner in an X.

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