How to Keep Curtain Rod From Peeling the Paint Off the Wall

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Tension rods can pull paint off the wall where the rubber end caps press.
Image Credit: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Some curtains are held in place by a tension rod, a long dual-fitted rod with an internal spring that presses each end against the wall. The rod's ends are fitted with rubber caps designed to protect the wall. Tension rods can be used for window coverings as well as for shower curtains. A problem occurs when a tension rod is pressed up against a painted wall and a disc of paint comes off when it is taken down. Take steps to eliminate the damage a tension curtain rod can do to paint.

Paint Issues

Paint is designed to adhere to the surface of the wall, and in ideal conditions, the atmosphere around the paint has low moisture. Moisture causes the paint to peel and pull away from the surface. Pressure on the paint can hasten occurrence of the damage, such as pressure from the rubber end cap of a tension rod. Bathroom paint usually has a semi-gloss or satin finish, which resists mold and mildew better and creates a harder surface that can better withstand direct pressure. Paint on the walls of other rooms usually feature a matte finish, which is soft and makes it easy for a tension curtain rod to press into the paint and lift it off.

Felt Pads

When the rubber end caps press onto soft paint, moisture can get caught inside and not evaporate. The easy way to eliminate this problem is to place felt pads between the rubber and the paint to absorb moisture, diffuse the direct pressure from the tension rod, and cushion the rubber from pushing into the drywall. Home-improvement stores sell all sizes of felt pads. Choose a size that is about 1/4-inch larger than the rubber end pads on the curtain rod. Change the pads every four to six weeks for best results.


The first step to reduce the tension on the curtain rod is to twist the center of the rod. Put a felt pad between the left side of the curtain rod and the wall. Press the rubber end cap to the wall to hold the felt pad in place. Put another felt pad on the right side of the rod, between the rubber end cap and the wall. Increase the tension on the rod until the rubber end caps press onto the felt pads securely.

Other Tips

When repainting the area where the tension rod will be, homeowners should allow the paint to dry for at least a week before before pressing a curtain tension rod onto it. Keep the room with the curtain rod well ventilated, such as with a fan or open window. Don't put too much tension on the rod so that it presses too hard into the paint.


Jenna Marie

Jenna Marie has been editing and writing professionally since 1993. Her editing background includes newspapers, magazines and books, and her articles have appeared in print and on websites such as Life123 and AccessNurses. She specializes in writing about parenting, frugal living, real estate, travel and food. Her nonfiction book was published in 2008. She earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Utah State University.