Framed or unframed, posters can make a great, easy, and affordable addition to your walls. But in order for them to look their best, you need to make sure that you hang them right—and no, a couple pieces of clear tape on the corners isn’t the way to go.

So, how do you hang posters so that they look fantastic and stay in place? There’s a way to do it so that they look professional without requiring that you put any holes in your wall. Throw the tape and thumb tacks out the window (okay, not really) and follow these best practices for hanging up your posters.

Step 1: Prep your poster

With clean hands, take your poster out of the tube and lay it on a flat surface with the printed side facing up. To get rid of the furling at the corners, weigh down each of the four corners for a few hours, or longer if needed. Books, candles, and other heavy objects that you have lying around your room will suffice, just be sure that they’re clean.

If your poster is already flat, if it’s made from a heavier material like hard plastic, or if it’s framed, you can skip this step.

Poster with blue flowers laid out on surface with camera, books and rock to flatten
 The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Step 2: Pick your spot

Decide where you want to hang your poster. Anywhere is fine, though know that if your poster is hanging in the path of direct sunlight it’s likely going to fade over time.

Keep in mind that you’re going to be applying removable adhesive to the area that you choose, so you don’t want to pick a spot that isn’t smooth or that has recently been painted.

Step 3: Choose your adhesion method

You have a variety of options when it comes to removable adhesives for hanging your framed or unframed poster. While standard clear tape is certainly the cheapest, it isn’t designed for removability, so you run the risk of taking paint off the wall along with your poster later on. For that reason, it’s good to stick to adhesives that are specifically intended to be removed, since they’re made with special formulas that will come off of the wall a lot more cleanly.

If your poster is unframed:

Use removable mounting tape (3M makes a great option), poster glue dots, or Scotch brand Magic Tape (not to be confused with regular Scotch tape), all of which are strong enough to keep an unframed poster on the wall and are uniquely designed to peel off your walls without leaving damage behind.

If your poster is framed:

Because frames are heavier and more fragile by default, you’re going to want to use removable adhesives that offer more sturdiness than a strip of mounting tape. Look for removable picture hanging hooks or universal frame hangers, and make sure they’re listed for “heavy duty” use on the label.

Poster in frame being placed on removable adhesive hanging hook
 The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Tips for Taking Off Removable Adhesives

When it’s time to take your posters down, you’ll want to be careful not to take any of the paint off of the walls down with them. Luckily, removable adhesive products are designed to do just this—though you may need to remove a bit of latent sticky residue left behind.

Look at the specific directions attached to the adhesive product that you used for tips on removal. Some removable mounting hooks, for example, have a pull tab that helps release the product from the walls. Others you’ll just need to gently peel away.

If you do notice residue left behind, you have a few ways to get rid of it:

  • Use vinegar and warm water. Make a 50/50 solution of white or cider vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray on to the remaining adhesive and let sit for a few minutes, then use a soft sponge to carefully wipe the remaining residue off the wall.
  • Use dishwashing liquid and hot water. Fill a spray bottle with hot water and add in a few drops off dishwashing liquid. Shake it up to disperse, then spray on the remaining adhesive. Give it a few minutes, then use a soft sponge to wipe away remaining residue.
  • Use a commercial adhesive remover. A product like Goo Gone Original can safely be used to remove adhesive residue from painted surfaces. Spray it on, give it a moment to get to work, and then gently wipe away with a clean paper towel. If you’re going this route, just make sure that the commercial product you purchase is paint-safe.

Ready to beautify your space? Use the tips above to hang (and remove) posters with ease and instantly bring more visual interest to any room.