3M Command Strips – Use with Caution

I used 3M command strips after recently painting my guest room.  I decided that after all of the pre-painting prep work of spackling and sanding and getting rid of nail holes, I didn’t want to re-create the same problem. Although I had quite a few pictures to hang on the walls, I didn’t want to ruin the paint job with nail holes and picture hooks.

After a little research, I came across the 3M Command Strips. The 3M Command Strips allow you to hang pictures without damaging the wall. Their adhesive strips can be removed as simply as pulling the tape strip straight down to release the adhesion.

Picture Hanging Heaven

Before running out to purchase the strips, I printed a manufacturer’s coupon. If you’re going to buy the product, make sure to download and print the coupon before going to the store.

Armed with my coupons, I went to Home Depot and bought the picture hanging strips and a package of Command Hooks. The directions were simple enough so I made sure to follow them to the letter. I cleaned the area with alcohol, applied the appropriate amount of pressure on the strips for 30 seconds and then waited an hour before I hung my pictures.

Will the Command Strips Work?

3M Hooks

After hanging one picture and a wall decoration, I decided to wait to see if it worked prior to hanging the rest of the pictures. Imagine my surprise when I heard a bang and a crash. I went back to the room and my wall decoration fell, hit the baseboard heat (placed a nice little dent in my newly painted trim) and was lying on the floor.

Before I could turn around to remove the picture frame, it too came crashing down, damaging the frame. GASP! What had I done wrong?

The unfortunate thing is that since I used two strips per picture, one of the Command Strips had fallen while another one was still stuck to the wall. I went to pull the adhesive tab straight down as instructed, and the tab snapped in half. The tab was in hand and the strip was still stuck to the wall.

I then tried to gently pull the tab from the wall and I noticed that my fresh paint also began to ‘bubble up.’ I stopped pulling and decided to take it real slow. Eventually I removed the strip, but there was a bubble and a small hole in my newly painted room. Nothing too major that a little paint patching wouldn’t cure, but the reason I bought the 3M Command Strips was because I didn’t want to do patch work.

More 3M Command Strips Internet Research

After searching the internet to see what I had done wrong, I eventually stumbled upon a few forum threads and then eventually the FAQ’s on 3M’s site. Here’s the question and the answer that addresses my problem:

Q: Can I use Command adhesive on fresh paint?
A: Alcohol may remove or dull the surface of fresh paint. Paint should be fully cured (check paint can for manufacturer’s cure time) before using Command adhesive products.”

Ya think they would put this little fact as a warning in their product’s instructions?

I’ve got a dent in my baseboard heating and a broken picture frame. To top it off, I have to repair the my wall. I wish I knew that I I had to wait about a month for the paint to cure before using their Command Strips.

Shame on you 3M for not including such a tip in your instructions!

I used the 3M Hook in a different room that was not freshly painted and its working just fine.  Although, I haven’t tired to remove it as yet. I don’t know if the strip will snap in half. Just wish that I hadn’t wasted time, money and frustration trying to make something work that clearly wouldn’t under the given circumstances.

3M, I think your product works, but you should be more upfront about the cured paint. Let’s face it; a freshly painted room was the inspiration for using 3M Command Strips.


I wrote a review entitled Do 3M Command Strips really work?I’m sad to say that in the long run, they did not work. Check out the review to see what finally ended up happening.

That’s my 2 cents and I’m sticking with it.

About the author: Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mom, freelance writer & blogger.

2 comments… add one
  • judy Nov 11, 2017

    3M’s clear small crochet hooks took the paint off my friend’s wall upon removal.

    • Felicia A. Williams Nov 11, 2017

      Judy, I’ve found that if I use them on wood and other surfaces that have not been painted, they seem to work just fine. I have 3M hooks on my bedroom’s wooden closet doors to hang my bathrobe and they’ve worked just fine. I haven’t had any luck using them on painted surfaces.

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