How to Hang Shelves on Your Wall Without Tools or Screws
You might want to put up shelves but feel hesitant to do anything that could damage your walls. Even if your handy with a putty-knife, fixing screws and nail holes can leave traces, which can be problematic if you rent. There are many ways to put shelving on walls without causing damage. Here are some tips to hang shelves without screws or tools.
One solution is to use Command adhesive strips. These hooks and strips attach temporarily to walls and can be easily removed without leaving any residue. This has made Command a favorite among renters for many years. In fact, Command actually makes small picture ledges that are just shelves you hang on your wall using their adhesive strips. You could also buy their large picture hanging-strips and use them on the back of floating shelves. The downside to this is strength and stability. The picture ledges can hold five pounds, which is not much. The larger strips can hold up to 16 pounds, but you’ll need to install them in a corner to get enough support. If you only put the strips on the back of the shelf, they will droop over time, but if you use a corner to get strips on both sides of your shelves, you can use just about any floating shelf to store up to 16 pounds worth of stuff.
Another way to use Command products for shelving is to buy their heavy-duty utility hooks (which hold up to 15 pounds) and then buy shelving designed to be used with hooks. (Make sure that the brackets fit your hooks. It might take some research but the end result is beautiful and doesn’t depend on corners for stability.
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If you’re not ready to put your faith into adhesive strips, or you’re more concerned about avoiding tools than wall damage, another way to get shelves on your walls is High & Mighty shelves. These shelves use a combination of an adhesive strip and press-in brackets to hold up to 25 pounds of weight. Simply place the strip on the wall, using a level. Next, press the brackets into drywall with your thumbs. Slide the shelf onto the brackets, and press into adhesive.
This will cause some minor damage to your walls that you’ll have to reckon with when you move out, but it’s an extremely small footprint that won’t be too hard to fix up with some putty or joint compound (or, you know, toothpaste). Both of these methods will provide storage without taking up any floor space. They also don’t require any tools, nails, screws or expertise. While I wouldn’t test the weight limits on these shelves (for example, trying to get 50 books on one of these shelves will likely end in tears), they’ll definitely get some stuff onto your walls without causing you to lose sleep over your security deposit.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.