Don't use mounting tape on old plaster walls

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I’ve got plaster walls in my 1938 home. Fortunately I’ve also got picture rail so no holes required.

I love the solid feel and very even look of a good plaster wall but they sure are a bitch to work on when compared with drywall.


We also have plaster walls.
I use a Heat Gun (hair dryer) to soften the adhesive before trying to pull it off.


Picture rails are the best!


I did not expect a spirited away reference today.


That’s why one of the first things we did after buying our 130+ year-old adobe house was put picture rails at the top of (almost) every wall. Because adobe, the usual rails weren’t a good idea, but the ones we made work beautifully.


Are your walls not painted? We have plaster walls and I’ve not had this problem using those things before.

Also a tip for hanging stuff in a more permanent manner with small nails in plaster walls -
When you have the spot(s) marked for the nails, cover with two small pieces of blue painter’s tape (on top of each other) to keep the plaster from cracking when hammering the nail in.


Next time try to get behind that with a spackle knife first.


Yeah, they don’t make em like that anymore.

And by that I mean, with asbestos.


I thought it was horse hair.

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po-tay-to, po-tah-to… century-old horses were remarkably fire-resistant. Who are we to question their lineage?


all a matter of when. Yes, much very old plaster is horse hair. The asbestos is usually in the skim coat when it’s there, but I’ve seen it in the skim and the brown coats both. Usually (but not universally) on metal lath, rather than on wood. Wood lath is usually not asbestos containing.


the thing you want is command tape: which will release when you pull the tab. As long as you cat get behind the frame and pull the tab which stretches the tape and releases the sticky I have not had it leave even a mark.


Came here to say the same thing.

The 3M Command products work really well for semi-permanent solutions for mounting of strictly vertical loads but they aren’t magic and they will rip out chunks of wall or paint if you don’t peel them off properly.

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In my last house it was horsehair, dating from around 1850.
We had a water leak and were told that the ceiling would certainly come down as a result. Drill a few small holes (filled later). When we moved, over 20 years after the event, the horsehair plaster was still sound. Good stuff.

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This is the best thing for plaster walls, IMHO:

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