How To Hang Things From Popcorn Ceiling Without Making Holes

Popcorn ceilings, known for their textured appearance, were popular in homes from the 1950s to the 1980s.

While they can add character to a room, hanging items from them can be a challenge as homeowners want to avoid damaging the delicate surface.

Detailed photo of a popcorn ceiling

The good news is that there are ways to hang decorations, like lights, plants, or other accessories, without making holes or causing damage to the ceiling.

By using the right approach, homeowners can add a touch of personal flair to their living space without compromising the integrity of their popcorn ceiling.

Choosing the Right Hanging Tools

When it comes to hanging items on popcorn ceilings without making holes, you need to consider the right tools and methods to avoid damaging your ceiling. Here are some options to help you get started.

Adhesive Hooks and Adhesive Strips

Adhesive hooks and adhesive strips are popular options for hanging items without causing damage to the surface.

Be sure to select hooks and strips designed for popcorn ceilings, as their adhesive properties may differ from those made for smoother surfaces.

Note: While adhesive hooks and adhesive strips can be used on various surfaces, finding ones specifically designed for popcorn ceilings may be challenging.

The ceiling's texture might reduce the adhesive's effectiveness. Over time, the adhesive could fail due to the uneven texture.

Magnetic Systems

For heavier items or those that require a more robust hanging method, magnetic systems could be the answer.

These systems often consist of a magnet that attaches to your item and a corresponding magnet or metal plate that adheres to the ceiling.

The magnets' strength keeps the item securely in place and allows for a damage-free attachment to the ceiling surface.

If choosing this option, be cautious of the weight limit the magnetic system can support and ensure that your ceiling can safely accommodate the chosen system.

Note: For the magnetic system to work, there must be a metal component in or on the ceiling. Many ceilings, especially older ones, might not have metal backing or plates.

This method might not be applicable to all popcorn ceilings. It’s important to check the ceiling composition first.

You might also like to read: Can You Use Command Hooks On Concrete?

Step-by-Step Guide to Hanging Items

When it comes to decorating your living space, hanging items can elevate the aesthetic and functionality of any room.

However, every wall and ceiling has its own unique character. So, it's essential to inspect your surfaces beforehand, ensuring you choose a method that's not only effective but also respects the integrity of your ceilings.

Here's a comprehensive guide to assist you in safely and effectively hanging items on a popcorn ceiling.


Before attempting to hang items from a popcorn ceiling, it's crucial to gather the right materials and clear the area where you plan to hang the object.

Start by selecting a suitable hanging tool, such as a hook designed for textured ceilings. In addition, collect any other necessary items like a ladder, a tape measure, and a pencil.

Begin by cleaning the area on the ceiling where you want to hang the item. This will ensure proper adhesion between the hanging tool and the ceiling surface.

Measure the size and weight of the object you want to hang, as this will help determine the best hanging method for your situation.

Considerations Before Proceeding

For optimal adhesive performance on your popcorn ceiling, consider the following steps:

  1. Carefully scrape off a specific area of the popcorn texture.
  2. Apply a skim coat for a smooth finish.
  3. Paint over the smoothed area to make a clean surface for adhesive application.

This procedure enhances the adhesive's grip, especially for lightweight items meant for long-term display.

If you decide to make a change down the road, easily restoring the original texture is a breeze by doing a simple popcorn ceiling repair. This way, your ceiling remains consistent and visually appealing throughout.

To learn more about popcorn ceiling repair, check out this article: Popcorn Ceiling Patch vs. Spray: Which One is Right for You?

If you have an old popcorn ceiling, especially from before the 1980s, be careful. It might have asbestos. Before making any changes, check if it's safe and doesn't contain asbestos.

When in doubt, seeking professional assistance is always a wise choice.

Placing the Hanging Tool

If you're using adhesive strips, follow the manufacturer's instructions and apply the strips to the ceiling, making sure they adhere well to the textured surface.

For hooks specifically designed for textured ceilings, position the hook at the desired location and carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation.

Securing the Item

Once the hanging tool is properly placed and secure, it's time to attach the item to the tool.

For items hung with adhesive Strips, gently press the object against the strips on the ceiling, ensuring good contact and secure attachment.

For objects hung on hooks, thread any wire, rope, or string attached to the item through the hook and double-check it is securely fastened.

After attaching the item, take a step back and inspect your handiwork. The object should be straight, secure, and properly placed on the popcorn ceiling.

Alternative Ideas for Hanging Items

If adhesive hooks, adhesive strips, or magnetic systems don't work for you, you can try other alternatives. When it comes to hanging items on a popcorn ceiling without making holes, there are other options you can choose from.

Standing Shelves

One of the simplest ways to avoid damaging your popcorn ceiling is to use standing shelves.

These freestanding units allow you to display items like framed pictures, plants, and decorations without having to hang them from the ceiling.

Available in various styles, materials, and sizes, they easily complement any room's aesthetic. The primary benefit is that no drilling or hanging is required, thus ensuring your popcorn ceiling remains undamaged.

Tension Rods

Tension rods present a versatile solution to the challenges of a popcorn ceiling.

Typically used for hanging curtains or drapes between walls or within window frames, tension rods can also be creatively employed vertically in closets or alcoves to hang light decorations or plants.

Since they rely on tension, they don't require any drilling or permanent fixtures. It's crucial, however, to make sure that the rod is secure and won't slip under the weight of what's hanging.

With tension rods, you can introduce vertical design elements without the need for ceiling attachments.

For all the above methods, it's important to choose the right tool for the job. Be it the weight of items for standing shelves or the secure placement of tension rods, always prioritize safety and avoid overburdening any solution.

Click here to see this standing shelf on Amazon.

Click here to see this plant pole tension rod on Amazon.

In Closing

Navigating the unique textures of a popcorn ceiling might seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, you can successfully hang your favorite items without making any holes.

Remember, while it's possible to use various methods, some alternatives, like tension rods, might be more suitable than others, depending on your convenience and the ceiling's age and condition.

Safety should always be a top priority, especially when dealing with older popcorn ceilings. Be mindful of the potential asbestos content and always conduct necessary inspections before making any modifications.

In the end, the goal is not just about hanging an item but creating a harmonious blend of functionality and beauty in your space.

Personalizing your living area while preserving the integrity of your ceiling is indeed an art. With the right approach, you can master it, making your space both safe and aesthetically pleasing.

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