Learning, Drilling,

How to Hang Wall Shelves without Drilling (Using Command Strips)

In this article, I’ll teach you how to hang wall shelves without drilling.

Shelves are essential decor elements used to display items or storage; however, merely drilling shelves into the wall can damage your walls. As an experienced handyman, I always use an alternative way to install wall shelves without drilling holes. This way, you can preserve the integrity of your wall.

In general, I recommend hanging shelves on a wall with command strips.

  • Gently wipe the wall down with isopropyl rubbing alcohol to cleanse it
  • Determine the shelf’s width
  • Indicate the wall location where you wish to hang it — can use a pencil
  • Detach the red liner by separating the strips and pressing it hard against the wall for 30 seconds
  • Gently put the shelve on top of the Command Strips and press down hard

I’ll cover more details below.

How to Hang Wall Shelves Using Command Strips

Before we get to the core process of installing wall shelves with command strips, let’s understand some basic concepts of command strips.

How Do Command Strips Work and What are They?

  • Command strips (3M being the common type) are adhesive strips that are used to connect objects to surfaces. 
  • They can be used for anything that requires attachment to a wall or other surface, though they are frequently employed for hanging portraits and fastening light fittings.
  • Due to the strips’ dual-sided construction, they will stick to both the wall and the back of the object you are hanging.
  • They are available in a range of sizes, allowing you to use them for both little and large goods.
  • Additionally, you may use them to hang things on a variety of surfaces, such as tile, glass, and more.
  • Command Strips are simple to apply and remove. That makes them ideal for short-term fixes or for folks who don’t want to deal with the headache of using screws or nails.

Installing Wall Shelve to a Wall with Command Strips — Procedure

  • A quick and simple solution to increase storage space in your home is to install shelves with Command Strips.
  • Shelves are a perfect alternative whether you want to display your treasured trinkets or need a space to store extra towels in your bathroom.
  • You can avoid drilling holes in your walls by utilizing Command Strips. This is how you do it.

Step 1: Clean the Area where You Intend to Mount the Shelves

Gently wipe the wall down with isopropyl rubbing alcohol to cleanse it. Use only water instead of household cleansers like wipes or sprays, that leave a slick residue behind.

By doing this, the strips will attach more effectively, and dirt and dust won’t be caught behind the shelves.

Step 2: Next, Determine the Shelf’s Width

After determining the width of the shelve, and indicating the wall location where you wish to hang it — can use a pencil. Before continuing, check the shelf to ensure it is level.

Step 3: Detach the Red Liner by Separating the Strips

For 30 seconds, push the command strip hard against the wall. The adhesive bond will be stronger the more forcefully you press. Redo the procedure for each corner of the shelve.

To secure the shelf in place, gently put it on top of the Command Strips and press down hard. 

Step 4: Now You can Put Anything on your New Shelves that You Like

Be ready to only stack the shelve with items that do not exceed the estimated weight of the command strips you are using.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Hanging Shelves with Command Strips

Without cutting holes in the wall, command strips simplify the process of hanging shelves. They do have some shortcomings, though.


  1. They represent a fantastic option for households on a tight budget because of their affordability.
  2. Tenants who wish to prevent harm to their rental apartment can use Command Strips because they can be detached without causing damage to the wall.
  3. Command strips are appropriate for heavier objects like bookshelves since they can sustain a respectable amount of weight.


  1. Textured walls, including those with plaster or stucco finishes, don’t always respond well to them.
  2. If the paint is not extremely even and smooth, they might not stick to painted walls very well.
  3. The removal of Command Strips can be challenging as they might leave behind a sticky residue.
  4. Last but not least, because Command Strips are only capable of supporting a specific amount of weight, if your shelving unit is too large, it may topple and cause injury.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

Video Reference

Two Engineers and A Scientist

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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