Do Command Strips Really Work?

Do Command Strips Really Work?
2.9 (58.8%) 301 vote[s]

Do Command Strips work?Command Strips are designed to allow you to hang up pictures, posters and other flat items without damaging the walls, and without having your things fall off of the walls. It is a replacement for nails, tacks, and other hanging solutions that leave holes in your walls when you take them out. The promise here is that when you put them up, they won’t come undone like ordinary double sided tape. But do they really work as advertised?

Overview
Surprisingly, hanging things on walls is a pretty big industry. Since the traditional way of a hammer and nails leaves holes in the walls, and sometimes involves things falling off the wall, there was definitely a gap to be filled here. Not only are these strips supposedly effective, but they are easy to use as well, so if you’re not really good with a hammer you can use these without worrying about getting it wrong.

The Claim
Command Strips say that they are the damage-free way to decorate and organize your home. They also have a line of hooks, so they are trying to be the total solution of getting various items onto your walls. The part that makes them unique is that they can be removed easily when the time comes, and you won’t have to clean up bits of adhesive like you do with other sticky strips. These days they are pushing their clear line of hooks that employ the same stick strips in order to hang on the wall.

The Hype
The hype is that either through a clever advertising and marketing campaign, or a word-of-mouth buzz going around saying that these work, there is a perception that the Command line of products is effective. That’s why it’s interesting that so many people have voiced that it doesn’t work quite as well as you might think.

The Cost
The price of Command Strips varies depending on which size you get, and the quantity. Typical prices range from $5 to $10, with an average price being around six or seven dollars. Some people have said this is rather expensive for hanging strips, but we’re thinking that 3M is charging for the brand recognition, and the perceived reputation that it has in the market. Also, when you compare it to your other options, it makes sense to spend a little more for something that goes on and comes off without much fuss.

The Commitment
Compared to other ways of hanging your pictures and posters, this is either a reduction in commitment or at the very least the same amount. All that’s required is to apply these to a clean surface and then affix your desired item to it. After that, it should stay put and require no more thought on your part. When it’s time to take it down you just pull the adhesive until it yields. Easy cheesy!

The Clever Bit
The feature that put Command Strips on the map is that you can simply give them a tug when they’re ready to come down, and they should pop right off, leaving no marks and no holes, and basically no trace left behind. This is especially great if you are renting your home, condo, or apartment and you don’t want to deal with a cranky landlord pointing out holes in the wall and threatening your security deposit. It’s what separated them from double-sided adhesive strips in the first place.

Evaluation
Command Strips have created a lot of debate as to whether or not they work, with one side saying that they’ve been able to hang things up for years, and another side saying that they weren’t able to hang up anything without them without having them fall down. A common reason given for the negative feedback is that the directions weren’t followed. With a product like this, it’s tempting to just open it and stick it to the wall, but the directions clearly state that you should make sure you are applying it to a clean surface.

A lot of the examples that are given from people that said it doesn’t work make it seem like perhaps they did not follow the directions properly, and that’s why the strips are not working working the way they are supposed to. However, there are also plenty of people who said that they followed the directions to the letter, and it still did not work for them. It’s strange the product would have such varying opinions from users. Usually you’ll find some middle ground, some people saying that it works okay, but with these strips people either say it works fantastically, or not at all.

Final Command Strips Review

While it is possible that Command Strips won’t work for you, we think that for most people they work just fine. Be sure to check whether the surface you’re considering putting things onto is one of the surfaces that are listed as being okay. After that, you want to follow the directions exactly, and take the time to do the job right. The reason they need to be applied so specifically is because they are designed to come off later without much hassle.

Our Recommendation
Pick up a pack or two of these and give them a go. Chances are if you follow the directions accordingly, and use it on the right type of service, you’ll have a fantastic experience with these and your home will look better than you ever thought possible.

What do you think? Does Command Strips work or not?

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Rhonda July 9, 2013 at 2:08 am

Command Strips work! I was skeptical, but around the holidays I wanted to try them to do all my indoors decorations. I used them all around my house and was able to hang everything up with ease and without holes on walls. What is good about the strips is you can use them on your stairs where you don’t want nail holes at. The big reveal was do they really peel off when you’re done. When it was time to take the decorations down, the strips came off easily and no trace on the surfaces where they were at. They are worth every penny and work.

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LS July 10, 2013 at 1:46 am

Unfortunately, I have to disagree. These things do not work. I hung a photo with it and after a few months, it crashed to the floor. I even tried using Command strips to hang stockings on my wall for Christmas and they would last a day or two, tops, before falling off the wall. And I was making sure that the objects I was hanging were light enough for the Command Strips I bought to handle. Turned out that these expensive strips were just a waste of money. I won’t bother going back to these.

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Ricardo De Haro July 11, 2013 at 1:24 am

It’s unfortunate to hear that these strips didn’t work for you because I am actually a pretty big fan of them. My wife and I do a lot of decorating and re-decorating with ever-changing portraits and canvas paintings. At first we were skeptical but just out of convenience picked up some packs when we were heading out of the store. Since then we haven’t looked back. Because we’re always making changes there are literally several opened and unopened packs in our kitchen utility drawer. I don’t want to say that perhaps you didn’t follow directions, but we have found that these work the best on clean and dry surfaces. The adhesive will grip the dirt and just tear it off of your wall.

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Phyllis DeFalco July 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I love command strips! I didn’t know if i should trust them or not. Then when I moved into a studio connected to someone’s home, I didn’t want to leave holes in the walls so I went ahead and I tried them. I was half expecting to have something fall off within a week and to my surprise, even with weather changes and temperature fluctuations, nothing seemed to budge them and it has been at least a year so they will probably last well into the next lease. The types of things I had hanging were everything from paintings to utility stuff in my home office. Yes, you do have to clean the area off first though if you want them to work properly so read the directions.

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Lynda Schab July 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Okay for hanging lightweight items, not so good for heavier things. At least, for me. I also had a couple that peeled the paint off my wall when I tried to remove them. Not sure why – maybe I pressed them too hard to the wall or something. I would be very hesitant to use them again, except maybe behind a door or something, where it wouldn’t matter if a little paint comes off with the strip. Wasn’t impressed.

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Josh B. July 17, 2013 at 8:49 pm

It seems like they might be more ideal for paintings, photos, or something really light. I can’t imagine it having the power of holding up something heavy. Not to mention that the surface must be clean in order for them to properly function the way you want them to. As Phyllis mentioned, they don’t leave holes on the walls but like Lynda Schab said, they do have the potential of removing paint of the wall. They’re definitely good for something lightweight but you’ll need something more durable to handle heavier objects.

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Vanessa B. July 28, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I’ve tried Command Strips before and have had success with using them. It might depend on the finish of the paint on your walls…mine are painted with semi-gloss paint and are a very smooth surface and I can imagine that provides a better surface for the strips to stick on than, say, a wall painted with flat paint. I love that I’m able to hang things without worrying about putting holes in the walls, and so far they’ve worked fine for my paintings. I’ve also tried taking them off and they come off very well, without pulling off paint.

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Sarah Ellington July 9, 2018 at 5:52 pm

How’s it holding up now in 2018 for you?

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Robbie Rotten August 28, 2018 at 3:21 am

They work perfectly fine. It’s the instructions that people never read. Someone claimed they removed paint, but ripped it off the wall. Another tried hanging framed portraits over 4lbs on their weakest version. I feel like most of the flack this product gets is from the lack of understanding how adhesives work or just never bothering to read the instructions.

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douglas crider December 28, 2015 at 2:04 am

We just took off our first command strips tonight from a flat painted wall after a year and a half in our brand new house, and they pulled loose the paint/drywall paper. They may work fine for holding up picture frames, but they also tear off the drywall/paint from the wall.

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John November 11, 2018 at 12:26 am

Had a similar incident at Xmas last. The command strips would not hold the stocking on our heater/fireplace on the front piece. So we actually put them horizontal and used a 90 degree edge to help with the weight of our stockings. We found out 50% of the time the command strip would release even on an empty stocking! After getting some to stick we used them through xmas. Following xmas we went to remove them and doing as directed and pulling the end piece, the end piece ended up ripping off leaving the strip still stuck. We then had to pop the strip off and it removed the black vaneer on the fireplace! Now I have serveral spots all over the wop of the fireplace. I will never use command strips for anything.

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Katrina April 13, 2016 at 11:33 pm

Yes command hooks work but not for all smooth painted surfaces. Hooks fell off the wall the very next day. Surface was cleaned with rubbing alcohol until the paint came off. I’ve tried repeatly to make the hooks work. Even added the sticky stuff to the wall first. Didn’t work for this project. Bummer. 🙁

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Alison April 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Using the up to 16 lb ones… they won’t even hold up a one pound decoration…16 pounds. Yeah right !

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Chuck April 14, 2017 at 2:53 am

I’ve used these twice. The first time all the artwork fell off the wall over a three day period. The last time I used a 30# hook to hang a 5# item on glass. It held but after two weeks I didn’t trust it and took it down. No, I won’t try them again. Peace of mind is worth a few nail holes in the wall.

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alex April 20, 2017 at 3:13 am

Followed instructions to the letter, including cleaning with alcohol, pressing down for 30 seconds, waiting over an hour before use. Three hours after hanging, the picture fell down and broke the frame – fortunately the glass did not break. Did Not Work!!!

Please do not hang anything that you value with these strip hangers!!! Do not buy them!!! Not recommended!!!

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NoKnitter July 22, 2017 at 8:52 pm

I don’t know why I kept buying Command hooks after I had bad experiences. I cleaned the wall, pressed the strip on properly and waited the mandatory time. Then I put less weight than suggested, and they still fall down.

I’m not a fan of these strips and would never use them to hang up a framed picture.

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Dawn Celli August 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm

Spent about $50 on the large picture hanging strips to decorate my daughters dorm walls.
After following the directions (wiping walls, waiting, using the appropriate # of strips for the weight)
little by little all her items that she hung on the wall are falling down. These things are nothing but a scam! Wish I could get my money back!

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Janice August 24, 2017 at 8:06 pm

I’m sorry to say that they didn’t work for me. 3 pictures fell off the wall after maybe 6 months or more and I don’t know why. Maybe the varying temperatures this summer. All I can say is that I’m disappointed.

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John Hladyszewski August 30, 2017 at 5:41 am

Absolutely useless. Because we live in rental accommodation the landlord insists we use command hooks. Have tried them on numerous occasions and they do not work.In fact,they are the only product that I know of that actually costs you more money once they have been used. Broken artworks and frames,paint and drywall paper coating ruined,and no comment whatsoever from the manufacturer. They don’t care. Never again.

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simon bloomfield December 14, 2017 at 8:12 am

Useless. Advertised to hold 5.4kgs but picture weighing 2.5kgs fell and smashed on the floor. Have contacted Command Brand for compensation and they won’t even reply. Their attitude to customers is as bad as their product.

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Blaine Burke December 23, 2017 at 2:21 am

They do not work even for the lightest of pictures or anything at all…. I guess they dry out. Everything we hung up has fallen down and some have been ruined. They suck….use a nail..not worth 2 cents…

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Melanie February 9, 2018 at 7:53 pm

I bought some 3M Command hanging strips (the kind that looks like stiff velcro) to put some pictures up in my camper. The walls are very nice smooth birch wood and I liked the idea of not poking holes in it. Following the directions exactly, I tried repeatedly to hang up ONE picture which weighed less than 5 pounds, and could not get the strips to stick to the wall, no matter how hard I tried. This gives me no confidence whatsoever in the product’s ability to not send my artwork crashing to the floor, even if I could get the strips to stick in the first place. I’d rather just poke holes in my wood the old fashioned way than trust my artwork to these worthless pieces of 3M junk. They are going back to the store. I’m convinced 3M Command products are only good for hanging up very small lightweight things like pot holders.

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Ross May 10, 2018 at 7:40 pm

Entirely useless from having tried them, as in never stuck in the first place let alone fell off later.

Put the pieces together, cleaned the wall with rubbing alcohol as instructed, waited for it to dry, stuck one side to the picture, removed backing, placed picture on wall, waited 30 seconds, tried to tilt up from the bottom as instructed to remove one side. Whole thing comes away. Retry, wait another 30 seconds, same result.

So basically didn’t even complete the instructions because they failed.

Picture weight? 800g out of a 4kg max.

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Catina May 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm

I am so mad right now. 2 days ago we hung some very expressive art work (within the weight limits of the strips) they crashed to the ground and broke! I am calling the company today as soon as they open. I also hung a frame well under what the strip max was. It also fell off the wall and shattered the glass. So now, not only have I wasted money on the strips. But I am also out 300.00 for the artwork that was broken. I am livid!

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Georgia Solomon May 31, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Save your money… These things are crap… I broke a beautiful picture frame. I hung it up and about an hour later it fell and shatter all over the place. How can they still be in business. I tried again, didn’t learn the first time…. This time no glass….. I think it lasted a couple of hours and down she went…

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Montessahall June 12, 2018 at 10:13 pm

This product is a total disaster. I hung eight pictures one afternoon. I pain stakingly prepared the wall and followed directions for each application of the photo strip, Please note: eachnof the pictures were well below the weight limit for the strip. Overnight, all of the pictures came crashing down shattering the glass in each. I had to go through the expense of repairing the pictures. This product is worthless.

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Fran July 6, 2018 at 9:29 pm

This product gives false sense of security… had a mirror held with more strips than required which stayed on the wall for 18months. Came home today and had crashed to the ground breaking things in its wake! If I hadw not done it right why did it stay up so long?
My daughter had the same happen to her a precious wedding photo crashed after one year. Least you know where you are with a nail!

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Sarah Ellington July 9, 2018 at 5:45 pm

Well I did follow the usage directions to the letter, and for about a yr and a half the command hook held my 2 lb clock on the wall, no issues, until it just suddenly jumped off the wall scaring the mess out of the whole family when it crashed down onto my hardwood floor. There’s just no substitute for an old fashioned screw applied into a wall stud if you wanna keep whatever you’re hanging up awhile.

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Cyrina August 4, 2018 at 5:29 am

Everyone should be forewarned these are not for long term use. I hung pictures about 6 months ago with the correct product for weight of frames I’ve now had a total of 6 picture frames fall off my wall and shader glass everywhere 🤬

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Mandy August 16, 2018 at 11:23 pm

Very poor product … picture fell down and ripped some paint off wall in the process. Called customer service and they made false claims that they would pay for the repainting of wall in the area, but refused to do so after I submitted the work receipt, instead wanting to offer me free products. Company does not care about customer satisfaction.

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Michael Lopes August 24, 2018 at 7:34 pm

I used them to put up 4 16×20 pictures. The adhesive did not stick to the wood frame so I used a staple gun to put them on the frame. They have now been up almost a year and nothing has come down. I think I got the ones rated at 20 pounds for a 5 pound frame. I haven’t tried removing the part stuck on the wall.

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Nil Mendez August 31, 2018 at 8:39 pm

The worst product ever. It would pull off completely your wall paint and texture. I call the customer service and they won’t do anything for you. The worst experience. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!!!

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Meagan Marie Charlebois November 8, 2018 at 4:05 pm

This product is absolutely horrible from wall hangers to command strips they fall of the walls can’t begin to tell you how much money I have spent on command hooks and they are no good don’t waste your money even called command hook toll free number and agent told me to return them how would you like me to return them after I have used it on my wall!!! Very dissatisfied customer.

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C Graham November 12, 2018 at 11:08 am

60 years experience of diy, and these hooks exasperate me. I like the different styles as some ítems require different kinds of hooks. However, my latest venture, following ALL the instructions, to put a clear plastic soapdish on the bathroom Wall, and a matching toothbrush holder, has had the same result as everything else. With nothing in the containers and using 25kg hooks, they fell off overnight. I use impact glue to secure them. It can be cleaned off the wall if necessary.

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Debi December 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm

I bought command strips to use in an apartment i stayed in while my house was being rebuilt after a fire. THEY ARE HORRIBLE!!!! Every single one of my pictures has fallen off the wall tearing off strip. All lightweight but slowly but surely each one has failed……worst product ever…..and yes i read and followed directions.

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Deena January 1, 2019 at 10:18 pm

Used to hang four stockings up. Today went to pull them down and it took the paint with them.. wall is ruined… ill never purchase these again

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Lewis January 2, 2019 at 1:50 pm

Yes, I swear by the Command strips. I have everything that hangs on my walls attached with command strips. I love the Velcro ones since they let you move items around. I have only had one picture frame fall down within a few weeks of placing it on my wall. It was my fault thou because I didn’t use the right size of hooks for it. It was a very large frame picture which easily weighed more then 5 pounds. I only had some small strips on hand and used them but I added a few extra. Bottom line, use the right size strips for the weight of the item and make sure the wall and item is clean (I use the eye glass cleaner wipes) before applying the strips. Also, make sure that you apply pressure like the directions state for 30 seconds. Try them the right way and you will love them.

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sara jones January 10, 2019 at 7:44 pm

ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION
If you’re really averse to command, use Monkey Hooks and buy them on e bay with free shipping. Just sayin’. command isn’t the only product out there. … However, word to the wise. …

COMMAND WORKS (WEIGH THE ITEMS and BUY ACCORDINGLY)
They work. But I have a tendency to underestimate the weight that they will hold. Now I have learned, and actually have to weigh (or overestimate) how much weight I will expect the command strips or the hooks to hold.

THEY COST A LOT, BUT 3M has best quality.
I don’t like the price, though. Usually people who are in an apartment need a lot of hangers because we cannot use nails. Soooo, add up the costs, and it’s ridiculous. I mean, 3M makes good products (think of the difference between their window film and that of the cheap store brand, and it’s wortth the money). …

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Beck March 7, 2019 at 3:23 pm

I have used these strips for different applications and sadly they all have failed with time. The latest application was the shortest amount of time. It was a medium dry erase board and I used 4 sets of the strips and cleaned the surfaces with rubbing alcohol and placed the second set of strips 2/3 down as directed. With the 2 sets, it’s supposed to hold up to 8lbs and with 4 sets it’s 16lbs. The dry erase board was 6lbs; I used 4 sets bc at the time I wasn’t sure if the board was more than 8lbs and I figured since it would be written on that the extra strips wouldn’t hurt. I’m a direction follower so I know for certain it wasn’t user error. Anyway, the strips last 2 days before giving way and the board crashed to the floor, busting a corner. Didn’t even get a chance to use the board.

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Janet April 28, 2019 at 9:35 pm

I hung a glass covered picture from Home Interiors on my bedroom wall. It worked really well for about 7 YEARS and then suddenly in the middle of night I the strip came off the wall and the picture crashed to the ground!

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Tom Chandler May 16, 2019 at 4:19 pm

These things are not worth the money. Seven pounds from Tesco and four plastic hooks with “instructions” for it. Tried twice to put lightweight frames on after allowing to “stick” but they come away from the wall bringing plaster and tapestry with it. Would strongly advise anyone not to purchase.

Should be in Poundland with a warning that they are unreliable and awkward to use. Manufacturers either a bunch of amateurs or with the business acumen of a toadstool. Con artists also to be more accurate.

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