Do Command Strips Take Off Paint? Can Command Strips Damage Your Paint?

Probably the very first thing that surpasses your mind while buying a Command strip- do Command strips take off paint? Especially if you are renting a house, there might be strict rules regarding the wall paint. Again, if it’s your own house, severe damage to the paint might cost you extra dollars.

Well, Command strips have the potency to peel off your paint if not pulled off correctly. However, this is avoidable. So, let’s deep dive into the basics and know how to pull the strips off without damaging the paint.

Suitable Surfaces for Command Strips

Not that you can stick Command strips everywhere you want. Strips can adhere to glass, metal, varnished wood, tile, and painted drywall. Surfaces of antiques, wallpaper, vinyl, and irreplaceable items aren’t suitable for Command hooks.

Other than the surfaces, temperature and humidity play an important part in adhesion.

As for wet conditions, and outdoor purposes, Command has water-resistant and dedicated outdoor strips.

Do Command Strips Damage Painted Walls?

Properly applied and maintained strips will not damage your paint. The term “properly”, means avoiding the use of strips if the base doesn’t fulfill the requirement, and avoiding pulling the strip off in an improper technique.

What Causes the Command Strips to Pull Off Paint?

Most of the time, it’s not the adhesion but your mistake, that results in peeling off the paint. Mistakes you do with Command strips that make your paint fall or paint damage are discussed below:

Not Ensuring a Flat Surface

Strips won’t stick to every exterior because of having strong adhesion. Many of us use textured walls and it’s a trend nowadays. Those walls are also a type of textured surface.

The summary is to ensure a flat, and smooth surface. Any brick walls, concrete, or timber exterior isn’t for Command hooks.

Ignoring The Fine Dust

Any fine dust or unnoticeable particle will reduce the adhesion of the strips causing them to fall apart. So, in the preparation phase, you will be cleaning the exterior; ensuring zero dust.

To ensure that, swab the exterior using methylated spirit or rubbing alcohol-soaked cloth.

At this point, another mistake that can take place is using any cleaning wipes or sprays for the cleaning purpose. The one that is mentioned above is volatile. Even if you don’t wipe the wall properly, the alcohol will evaporate.

However, people use many cleaning sprays that can make the surface slippery. Avoid using such kinds of products.

Rushing the Job

Command strips have enough adhesion to pull off dried paint and that’s why they can carry your loads. So, never think about using the strips over wet paint.

Even if you felt that the paint has been dried, don’t use the strips. The inner layer of the paint is still wet and forms a bond with the surface. So, wait for at least a week to apply Command hooks on the painted surface.

Lack of Enough Pressure

The trick to pressing the strips will change the overall output. Make sure you press the strips with enough pressure. Another mistake people do here is that they press on a spot. Spread the pressure throughout the strips by pressing all over them.

How long you press the strips down is also a matter of fact. As for how long you should do that must be written in the guideline of the product.

Over-weighting the Load

All strips’ packages have load guidelines that mention the maximum amount of load they can carry. And the number differs. Putting more load than its’ limit will eventually damage your paint.

So, before you buy any strips, weigh your artwork or the product you want to hang.

For a rough idea- a larger 3M Command strip can hold around 16 pounds with a size range of 24 to 36-inches. The smaller ones can uplift around 4 pounds.

Ignoring the Instructions

We never take the time to read the instruction provided by the manufacturer. Whereas, most of our basic question has been solved there. So, take out a minute and read them.

Pulling in the Wrong Direction

The most common mistake of all is the way people pull the strips. It’s kind of human nature to pull towards themselves, especially when acting against something, like the adhesion.

However, you should be pulling downward in case of Command strips. There are a lot of other ways of taking off the strips instead of pulling and damaging the paint, that have been discussed in the later part.

How to Remove Command Strips Without Damaging Paint?

After you accomplish applying the strip on the wall following all the tips, you got a perfect adhering hook. Now that you want to remove the strip, you are even more terrified. Aren’t you?

The following will show you the exact procedure:

Correct Direction of Pulling the Tab

You can a tab in the lower portion of the strip. Pull that in a downward direction instead of pulling towards yourself. Keep the pressure low to moderate.

Not working out? Try out a combination of blow-dry and floss.

Combination of Floss and Hair Drier

Apply blow-heat over the strips for 30 seconds and then use floss to detach them from the exterior. Move the drier from side to side and this will reduce the adhesion. Slide the floss between the paint and the strip in a back-and-forth motion.

This method is so effective.

Using Chemical Stuff

There are solvents for weakening the strip’s adhesion called varnish remover.

The use: Apply the varnish over the strip and scrape the strip over before the solvent dries off.

A drawback, in this case, could be leaving a mark. However, the stain will be small enough and you can easily wipe that off using a rag.

Now, which process to choose is your decision.

Alternatives to Command Strips

What if your exterior doesn’t meet the requirement for using Command hooks? Well, there are other alternatives to help you out. Nails, adhesive hooks, wall anchors, drywall hooks, magnetic dots, and so on.


After knowing- Do Command Strips Take Off Paint, you can decide whether or not to make a purchase. The purchase will be worth the money if you know when and how to use the strip. In short, you can obtain all the benefits of using Command hook by proper application and pulling off method.

Frequently Asked Question

When Should You Avoid Using Command Strips?

There are some specific conditions under which you must avoid using a Command hook or else, you will end up damaging your property. Those are- unsmooth and textured surfaces.

Why Do The Strips Come Off Without Me Making Any Mistake?

Sometimes, an accident like this occurs, even after you follow all the procedures. It simply happens due to an imbalance of bond between strip-paint and paint-exterior. When the strip’s adhesion with paint is stronger than the paint’s bond with the surface, undesirable incidents take place.

Can I Use Command Strip on Newly Painted Wall?

You cannot use strips on new paint if it’s not cured. As for the curing time, follow the paint manufacturer’s guidelines. However, the Command Strip manufacturer recommends waiting for 28-days before applying the strip over fresh paint.

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