Other Tips & Design Ideas

Can You Hang Shelves With Command Strips/Hooks?

Written by

Rosanne Jones

Writer, Designer


Steven D. Carrico


can you hang shelves with command strips

Typically, in order to hang a shelf, you’d need to screw brackets into the studs. While this method is the most secure way to mount shelves, it can leave unsightly holes in the wall. Plus, these holes can become a problem if you live in a rental that doesn’t allow drilling.

In such a case, you may want to opt for alternatives, such as using adhesives. So, if you’re wondering can you hang shelves with Command strips, the answer is: yes, as long as the overall load is less than 20 pounds.

Can You Hang Shelves With Command Hooks or Strips?


You can indeed hang shelves with Command strips. However, the combined weight of the shelf and the items on it can’t exceed the adhesive’s capacity. Therefore, this method is most suitable for people who only need to store small, lightweight knick-knacks.

In addition, the mounting surface needs to be compatible with the Command strips for shelves. To be specific, the surface should be smooth, finished, or sealed, such as painted walls, tiles, or laminates. In contrast, rough cement, wood, exposed bricks, or wallpaper will not work with this product line.

As there are no specialized Command strips used for hanging wall shelves without nails or screws, you’ll need to use products made for hanging pictures. As of now, the strongest heavy duty Command strips can hold a 20-pound item that is no larger than 24”x36”.

While it’s true that a Command strip shelf has rather limited use, it doesn’t mean that the product doesn’t offer any benefits. Let’s examine what advantages these floating shelves Command strips have to offer:

  • If applied correctly, the strips will not damage your walls whatsoever. And if you ever decide to peel off the adhesive tape, there will be no sticky residue
  • Command strips are an excellent alternative when you need to hang shelves without nails. As the installation process doesn’t involve nails or screws, it won’t leave holes behind once the shelf is removed.
  • Unlike mounting shelves via wall studs, Command strips don’t require any special tools. Most of what you’ll need are the strips themselves and a few common household items.
  • The installation process is incredibly simple and will only take a few minutes to finish. You don’t even need to be particularly crafty to finish this DIY floating shelves
  • If you ever need to get rid of the shelves, removing the adhesive tape is a breeze. On the rare occasion that the Command strips stubbornly refuse to come off, 30 seconds of exposure to a heat gun will solve the problem.
  • In a similar fashion, if you’re not happy with how the shelving looks, you can easily adjust its position.
  • Whereas hanging shelves with brackets will usually leave the mounting fixtures exposed, Command strips are always hidden by the shelving.

What is a Command Strip?


Produced by 3M company, a Command strip is a thin piece of pressure-sensitive foam featuring a special adhesive that allows it to stick to smooth surfaces while holding hefty items.

What makes Command strips stand out is their stretchable backing. Thanks to the Stretch-Release Technology, you can effortlessly remove the tape by slowly pulling it downward. With this proper removal technique, you can rest assured that Command products won’t damage your wall.

Other than Command strips, the brand also produces other adhesives for easy hanging. Some notable products include Command hooks for shelves, wire toggle hooks, poster strips, and slate picture ledges that can double-act as a Command wall shelf.

Ways to Hang a Shelf With Command Strips

Hanging a shelf with Command strips is quite easy – your only challenge is usually finding a rack that’s light enough. One good example you should consider is the 11”x 10”x2” IKEA Lack shelf Command strips.

Step 1: Clean the surface thoroughly using rubbing alcohol to enhance the adhesive properties. Note that isopropyl alcohol is the only substance you should use to clean the wall; household cleaners, such as surface sprays, are not suitable for the task.

Step 2: Mark where you want to mount the shelf with a pencil. You can use a spirit level to check if the markings are aligned correctly.

Step 3: Gently tear the two Command strips apart and stick them together by pressing the two sides with fasteners together until you can feel a snap.

Step 4: Cut the strip so that it’ll fit vertically on the shelf. Placing the Command strip horizontally can reduce its hold.

Step 5: Peel off the liner and stick the Command strips onto the shelf. Note that each mounting point should have at least two strips.

**If the shelf has a rough surface, you can fix the strip in place using nails or a staple gun for good measure.

Step 6: To hang the IKEA wall shelves without drilling, press them against the wall. Tap the shelf firmly a few times to make sure the Command strips adhere to the surface.

Step 7: Try applying pressure to the shelf. If it stays put, then the shelf is good to go. That said, wait for 24 hours before placing anything on it.

Are Command Strips Really Strong Enough to Hold Up a Shelf?


As discussed above, Command strips are only suitable for holding up small shelves that store a few lightweight items. Anything heavy, such as shelves made from dense materials, may tear down the adhesive tape.

Therefore, you may want to scrap the idea if you’re planning to use Command strips to hang a heavy oak shelf. It’s a guaranteed failure that may even damage the wood and your floor should the shelf crash onto the ground.

For the best outcome, I’d recommend that you use these adhesive strips to hang floating shelves with a hollowed design. I’d also check out the shelf’s weight to see if it’s a few pounds lighter than the tape’s max capacity to account for the knick-knacks’ heft.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can a Command strip hold?

This will depend on what product you buy. So far, the strongest Command strip can hold up to 20 pounds. However, you can find strips with lower maximum capacities, such as 16 lbs, 15 lbs, 12 lbs, 5lbs, or 4 lbs.

Although your shelf might be incredibly light, I’d still recommend that you get the strongest Command strip that can hold 20 pounds. This will give you peace of mind and guarantee that the shelf will not fall off should you place anything heavy on it.

Can I use a Command strip to hang a wall shelf?

Yes, you can. However, the shelf has to be really light and/or hollow. Dense shelving, such as one made from oak, will be too heavy for the Command strips to hold.

Therefore, before you hang anything onto the wall with Command shelf hangers, check its weight to see whether it exceeds the adhesive’s capacity.

What if a Command strip gets wet?

Command strips are designed to be water-resistant, meaning the occasional water exposure, such as moisture, will not affect their integrity. So you can rest assured that your Command strips are still fine if they get slightly wet from a weak water spray.

However, Command strips are not water-proof, so you can’t get them soaked. Frequent direct exposure to water will ruin their adhesive properties as well.

Should you need adhesive strips to install a small shelf in the bathroom, you should find Command strips that are specifically designed for such a humid environment. The Command bath assorted refill strips are one example.

Is hanging a wall shelf with nails better?

Yes, anyone needing to hang heavy shelves should prioritize nails over Command strips. Whereas the adhesive can only hold 20 pounds at most, the weight rating for nails in studs can reach up to 40 pounds.

In short, if you’re not concerned with creating small holes in walls, nails are a better option. And after all, there are several methods you can utilize to hide holes in walls, such as filling the imperfections with spackle.

Tricks to make shelves look good on Command strips?

In most cases, your shelves don’t look good on Command strips because you made a mistake in the installation process. To be specific, the shelving may be tilted or crooked, which makes it come across as unappealing on your wall.

Therefore, you should follow my tip in the instructions for installation – always use a spirit level to check if your markings are parallel. Only then should you start mounting the shelf onto the wall.


Can you hang shelves with Command strips? Long story short – yes, you can. However, this is only possible for hollow, light shelves that don’t exceed the strip’s max capacity. In addition, the mounting surface needs to be compatible with the adhesive; rough surfaces will not work.

While you can use strong wood glue to hang a slightly heavier bulk, the method isn’t a guaranteed success either. At the end of the day, the most reliable way to mount shelves, particularly large ones, is still with brackets and screws/nails.

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