View Full Version : Adhering Labels to Walls

Alana Quinn
08-26-2010, 07:08 AM
I do arts programming at the National Academy of Sciences. We show rotating exhibits in our three galleries. We use putty to adhere labels to the walls, but the putty leaves an oily stain behind when we deinstall the show. Our budget allows us to paint the galleries only once or twice a year. Do people have suggestions about other kinds of adhesive that are strong enough to hold up labels, but that won’t stain the wall?

T. Ashley McGrew
08-26-2010, 06:45 PM
Very small pieces of 3M VHB tape are one possible solution especially if the labels will be up for a while. A description of this application is included in another thread (http://www.pacin.org/showthread.php?197-TAPES-post-best-tapes-for-specified-uses-here&highlight=Tapes)on the site.
Another trick that can be applied to a variety of situations is to place a relatively low-tack tape (so it won't tear paint) like blue painters tape (or the purple version available from ACE) on the wall and then attach your second adhesive to that. Time consuming but it beats spotty touch-up or needless repainting.

Paul Brewin
08-27-2010, 11:13 AM
We use hot melt glue in small dots (half the size of a pea) and without pressing too hard when attaching to the wall; it's a sufficient bond, and when it's time to deinstall the little dollops scrape off the wall cleanly with a putty knife without residue or removing paint or wall surface. However, using a hot glue gun in around artwork, particularly unglazed or otherwise sensitive objects, can be of concern (little strings of glue floating around). We also use glue dots which you can get from Uline (and other places) - click here for info (http://www.uline.com/BL_7551/Dot-Shot-Pro-and-Glue-Dots?keywords=Dot+Shot+Pro+and+Glue+Dots). These can be more of a pain to remove and may leave a residue. We've had trouble if the wall paint is anything other than a flat finish. Otherwise they are very quick to use and the highest bond version holds well.

08-30-2010, 12:29 PM
One place I worked at liked a "shadow" look around the labels so they used foam tape as a spacer, then used blue painters tape between the wall and foam tape so the could be removed easily.

Another place I volunteered at used these (http://tinyurl.com/23qakn2), which worked quite well when cut into small pieces and carefully pulled off the wall.


Jamie Hascall
01-19-2011, 09:54 AM
We're in the process of trying Glue Dots with an applicator. This is the "fugitive adhesive" that is used to put credit cards into mailers etc. An artist here used it to put up paintings done on drafting table vinyl. There were fairly heavy and floppy but there was no sag and the wall was fine afterwards. We're inspired to look for a solution as we're repairing a fairly trashed gallery after someone used the wrong foam tape and it pulled the paper off the dry wall.