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Art Not So Smart

by - Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Six months to hang a piece of art? That must be a new record around here. But yes, that's how long it has taken us to finally hang up the vintage ship photographs. We came across these 3M Wireback Picture Hangers at Michaels and knew they were just what we were looking for.

We've been hesitant to drive nails into the wall, not only because we may ruin the wallpaper, but because we share the wall with our neighbour and didn't want to find out it was made of 1" of plaster on a concrete wall and a nail could cause it to potentially crumble behind the wallpaper. So, non-wallpaper-ruining 3M strips to the rescue!

We had a really hard time deciding what art to put on the wall in the dining room. A mirror would have been an option, but that would have reflected the kitchen (which can be a mess at times). And while these five photos together may be a bit busy, we love to look at them and wanted them displayed prominently since they had personal meaning.

The tragic ending:
As I was typing this post, boat photo #2 fell down and hit the cap rail!! I don't blame the 3M strip... with the wallpaper having a slight texture, we knew there was the possibility the strip wouldn't adhere well. We did do a test beforehand - put up the strip, let it set for a couple of hours, hung a photo (with a blanket sling & pillows set up underneath in case it did come crashing down), waited 24 hours and hung up the rest - but I guess the wallpaper did us in!

Fortunately, there was only a bit of damage on the backside of the lower corner. The rest of the photos have been taken down... guess we will have to drive those nails into the wall after all! Let's just hope this doesn't take another six months to get done :)


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  1. I love your vintage ship photos -- especially the number of them that you're hanging.

    And your dining room looks great!


  2. The dude gives me the evil eye everytime I suggest hanging something on our plaster walls. I feel your pain.

  3. That's really too bad it didn't work. On the other hand, your dining room is gorgeous! You may have already covered this in an earlier post, but what is the make of the wallpaper??

  4. Beautiful dining room and I love the art! I feel your pain on the 3M strips not working... I used some of the heavy duty strips to hang some flat mirrors (no hanging hardware on the back) in our basement. They worked well for about a month I think, then one night we heard a huge crash and breaking glass - one of the mirrors fell on the tile floor and broke. :( So sad. I knew it was possible because the paint on the wall was semi-gloss, but still! I thought they were sticky enough, too. Guess not. At least your artwork fared better than my mirror, may it rest in peace. :)


  5. Don't feel bad. A friend convinced me that one of those mounted on a tile wall in a kitchen would hold my vintage clock.

    It didn't.

    Thank god just the outer glass broke...we were able to find an old clock with the same glass to replace it.

  6. Too bad, it seemed like such a good solution. Your artwork is perfect for the room.

    Where did you get your chandelier ... I LOVE it!

  7. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Handyman's thinking that we should probably replace the two sticky hooks that are holding up our vintage photograph above our bed.... Not sure I want a 4' long photo crashing down onto me in the night.

  8. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Would something like powerhooks or Monkey hooks work? I've never tried them but the concept appears to make sense. Might make a smaller hole in the wallpaper than a drywall anchor.

    And don't feel bad about 6 months. I've had photocopies of pictures taped to a wall for 18 months while I have accumulated frames and then had matching mats cut for all of them. Now I just have to get good prints made of the pictures and have my husband hang them. With luck they will go up about the time we put the house up for sale!


  9. Shannon - the wallpaper is Tobago by Arte Wallpapers

    Chelsea - oh no! At least no one got hurt when your mirror crashed. I wouldn't have thought semi-gloss paint would be a problem.

    Barbara - agh, who knew problems with these strips were so common? Lucky you to find matching vintage glass.

    Sharon - the chandelier is the Chase double pendant by Robert Abbey. Most lighting stores carry the Robert Abbey line.

    Cheryl - I've never heard of monkeyhooks or powerhooks. I'll have to look into them. Thanks for the tip!

  10. So sorry! It's such a pain when you finally feel like you've accomplished something and then all of a sudden not so much!

  11. Everything is just beautiful,I love what you have done with that space. thanks for sharing.

  12. The artwork is perfect for your dining room. We love the vintage tall ship photos. I'd just put them up with the common nail and hook. We hang art all the time and they are the most reliable. You probably have a double wall between you and your neighbor. Love the dining room colours by the way! Susan :)

  13. I see someone already mentioned the as-seen-on-tv hooks (monkey hooks I think they're called). We found that putting a piece of masking tape on the wall then drilling a tiny hole through the center of the tape before nailing made a huge difference with the crumbling wall issue.

  14. Amy K1:54 PM

    Oh plaster walls... the bane of a decorators existance lol.

    I have to say, I did use the 3M command picture hanger strips - they are kind of strange in that its like a plastic velcro type of material. I put 4 strips on a big 16x20 framed picture - and its been up, on my textured plaster wall for about 3 months now.

  15. Would a picture rail work? GORGEOUS room!


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