How to hang posters

Updated February 21, 2017

Posters, like other art, are very popular for decorating bare walls. The decorative nature of many posters can make them appropriate for hanging in every area of the home. A good method for hanging posters depends on the kind of wall and surface you are trying to hang the poster on. But you can successfully hang a poster on paint, wallpaper, wood or metal by choosing to attach it with the right materials.

Choose a hanging method. If you can use drawing pins, they are the most reliable way to keep the poster from falling. If you don't want to put holes in the wall, you can use blue poster putty, mounting tape or adhesive strips. Putty works great, but will leave grease marks on the wall. Double-sided tape will not mark the wall, but will damage the poster when you remove it. For a compromise of the uses, 3M Sticky Poster Tabs or Command Poster Strips are good for any surface except wallpaper.

Clean the wall. if you are using an adhesive instead of tacks, clean the wall where you are going to hang the poster. Use rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab or paper towel to remove any dirt from the area and let it dry for a few minutes.

Pick a spot on the wall to hang your poster. Use the T square or ruler to frame where you want the corners to go. Use the pencil to make tiny marks to keep the spot.

Check the poster for curls of folds. If your poster has a curl or fold in it when you unroll it, roll or fold the poster in the reverse direction until it lays flat.

Attach the adhesive strips to each corner, if you are using this method. Also, if the poster is large add a few additional strips along the edges. Don't take off the backing yet. If you are using blue sticky putty, put small dabs of it on each corner and in the middle of each side.

Hang the poster. Line up the poster with your pencil marks. If you are using adhesive strips, remove the backing from the tabs and press the sticky area against the wall, top to bottom. If you are using drawing pins, line up the poster with the pencil marks and tack the poster up, top corners first, then the bottom. If you are using putty, press the spots where the putty is from top to bottom.


If your poster is large, ask a friend to help you keep it level as you hang it. When hanging a poster on wood, blue putty works best. When hanging a poster on wallpaper, drawing pins are the only recommended method. You may need to weigh the poster down on a flat, hard surface if the curl or folds are severe.


If your poster is valuable or rare and you don't want to apply adhesive to it, you may want to consider framing it and hanging the frame. If you are in a college dorm room and cannot leave marks on the walls, do not use any of the methods that will put holes in or mark the surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Poster
  • Thumbtacks or blue sticky putty, or heavy-duty adhesive mounting strips
  • Rubbing alcohol, if needed
  • Cotton swab or paper towel, if needed
  • T square
  • Pencil
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About the Author

Kim Hoyum is a Michigan-based freelance writer. She has been a proofreader, writer, reporter and editor at monthly, weekly and daily publications for five years. She has a Bachelor of Science in writing and minor in journalism from Northern Michigan University.