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I just moved into a new place and I am adding curtains in a window and do not want to put holes in the wall so I used 3M double sided adhesive hook for the curtain pipe.

It works for a couple of days but then suddenly the right side hook fell and also peels off the paint. At first I thought its due to lack of support in the center since the pipe is a two piece metal and it bends at the center.

I decided to remove everything and clean the surface, reinstall the hooks on both left and right side then add 2 more hooks with 3M adhesive at the center for support - it seems fix the issue for almost 2 days. Tonight as I am about to sleep, the right side fell off again and peels off more paint.

My guess is I should not reinstall the hooks on the same surface making the adhesiveness weak but I did just to hide the peeled off paint part. I also discover that the wall has this chalk style surface and realize that powdery surface makes it more impossible for any adhesive to stick on.

What is the proper solution for this case? I really do not want to screw and put holes in the wall as it is more invasive and hard to fix if not done right which is more likely to happen in my case.

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  • Do you own or rent? Where in the world are you?
    – mmathis
    Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 2:18
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    Even if you rent, most landlords (in the US, at least) will overlook small screw & nail holes for hanging things like curtain rods or pictures. So long as they're small holes and not excessive and you're otherwise a good tenant, you're unlikely to get dinged for it. Always good to double check with the landlord, though.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 17:52
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    @FreeMan, check your rental contract. Mine explicitly called out small nail or screw holes for hanging decorations as acceptable.
    – Mark
    Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 23:07

5 Answers 5

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Consider spring fit (aka tension) curtain rods instead. These contain a spring somewhere inline and rubber feet on the ends. When set up correctly they use outwards force pushing against the walls, a friction fit that does not rely on the bond strength of the surface of the wall.

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    @BitwiseDEVS That's a separate question but you basically have 0% chance of matching the color... especially if it is a textured paint. You technically can, but it'll be obvious. Best to let the landlord know and apologize instead of trying to cover it up, because your cover up might cause more damage.
    – Nelson
    Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 4:07
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    They're also called tension rods in some places. Very useful things. Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 5:54
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    From my experience it might be useful to put a piece of paper between the feet of the rod and the wall. In my case the rubber feet somehow bonded with the wall and ripped a part out (of course only from the cover material) when I removed them. Not sure if I set them up with too much force.
    – Arsenal
    Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 12:52
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    Damaged paint may or may not be an issue. If you are in an apartment for 10 years then they'll likely repaint when you leave anyway and everyone knows there is a certain amount of damage over time. If you leave at the end of one year and it was repainted in the last few years then the landlord will not be happy and might try to deduct from your deposit. The crazy thing is that rules about "no holes at all" really just lead to problems like this. Allowing limited holes for hanging pictures, mirrors, etc. is actually less likely to end up with damage that needs to be fixed before the next Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 20:38
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    tenant moves in. Of course proper curtain rods (except spring fit) normally need much larger screws/holes, but even then not necessarily so big - 1/4" diameter screws into studs would be enough and the holes really not that noticeable. Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 20:39
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No "adhesive solution" is going to work if the paint you are adhering to is poorly attached. Since the paint is peeling off the wall with the hook, the hook is attached to the paint, but the paint is not attached to the wall behind that.

Consider an alternative like freestanding folding screens if you don't want to (or cannot by lease terms) drill holes in the walls. Freestanding (on the floor) poles supporting a curtain rod is possible if you are dead set on curtains.

If you are mostly after privacy, you can get more light from the windows while having privacy in a very reversible manner with "static cling" window treatments, either as "stained glass look" or as "frosted or textured glass look" products. Not so helpful if you are trying to block light with the curtains, but quite helpful where privacy is the major issue, and they take up no room in the room. When packing to leave (or bored with the look) they peel right off, and they can be reused since the attachment is non-adhesive.

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A late third idea…

Now that you've stripped off the weak paint from the original decor, your original glue might actually work;)

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    I doubt, the surface is dusty/powdery after that Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 17:15
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Quite frankly, there's a risk that any attempt at adhesive pads etc. will cause much more damage than drilled holes: a torn-off patch of paint is more difficult to make good than a cluster of 1/4" (5mm etc.) holes properly done.

But in any case, you need to know what you've got underneath. If it's a thick layer of plaster or is dry lining with inadequate laths then you're stuck with something freestanding like (as somebody's suggested) screens.

Arguably, the landlord has a duty to advise you as to what will work and be considered acceptable.

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As already noted, no glue. If the paint isn't well attached to the wall, will do what a screw would (paint will peel off).

In my experience glued-on stuff keep up only when glued to tiles or on "cooked" paint, on "brush" painted surfaces it will stay put for few days.

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