How to Hang a Mirror Without Putting a Hole in the Wall

Mirror Hangups

Hanging a mirror from above is one way to avoid putting a hole in the wall. Holes in the ceiling are less noticeable than holes in the walls, but if you're renting, check the contract or speak with your landlord before puncturing the ceiling. This hanging method starts with a mirror with a sturdy, stocky wood frame:

  1. Screw two evenly spaced metal lag hooks into the frame's top edge. If the mirror has strong D-rings on the back for hanging, you can use these instead of the lag hooks, if you like. The former method, however, can result in a mirror that hangs more flush with the wall than when using the D-rings.
  2. Position the mirror along the wall, suspended by two lengths of chain or wire cable, and two more hooks in the ceiling's rafters or joists above; alternatively, use a ceiling-mounted art rail secured to joists instead of hooks, locating these solid supports with a stud finder. If you use ceiling hooks, they must have long enough threads to go through at minimum 1/2-inch thick drywall with another 1 inch to sink into the joists or rafters. Choose hooks rated to support the weight of the mirror.

Now You're Caulking

When you don't want to put a hole in the wall, you likely don't want to peel the paint from it either. But when you hang an unframed mirror with a mirror or caulk-like adhesive, expect to peel away some of the wall's paint or drywall when you take it down. If you go ahead with this hanging method, start with a clean, dry wall, and use the right product -- using anything but specialty mirror adhesive can damage the accessory's silvery backing, causing distortion in its reflective front. Keep the mirror supported for the first several hours as the adhesive dries, as instructed on the product's label.

Stick Ups

For small or midsize mirrors with hangers on the backs -- as with some artwork -- you can use adhesive hooks. The peel-and-stick hooks come in a variety of types to accommodate assorted hangers, such as sawtooth or D-ring styles. For mirrors without hangers, use locking rubbery grip-style strips, positioning one part on the wall, and the other on the mirror back or frame. Depending on the manufacturer's design, the two parts may click together with a pull-to-release feature that leaves the wall clean and its finish intact. The mirror's weight plays a crucial part in determining the strip's size or strength.

Weighing Your Options

If you plan to use a no-hole hook or grip strip, weigh the mirror precisely, so that you can choose the right size and strength of hanger -- thick glass and a bulky frame can make even a small mirror relatively heavy. Large strips, for example, can only hold a mirror that weighs up to 4 pounds.

Safety First

No matter how you hang your mirror, do so safely and with quality supplies -- from trusty hooks and adhesives to durable chain -- for the best staying power and to avoid damage and injury or seven years bad luck.