21 May 2013

Commandeering... almost

First of all: my heart goes out to all of those affected by the storms yesterday and this morning. The devastation is absolutely surreal; my Oklahoma friend’s husband’s family completely lost their home, and yet that almost seems FORTUNATE because they weren’t physically hurt. I take comfort in knowing that my friends and family are okay, but my mind and heart are reeling for those that aren’t. If you’d like to help, a longtime favorite blogger (and Oklahoma native) is keeping a running list of ways to help here.

Now. Last week, I let you know about my GIANT STASH of 3M command hooks, and how I used one to hang my PJs in my closet:

I followed the directions exactly for fear that it wouldn’t work. But today, I’m happy to report that the hook – and the clothes hanging on it – has stayed right there where I put it, despite the bumpy texture of the walls!

Bolstered with confidence from that successful command hook experience, I decided to try them again with this lightweight art, otherwise known as The Only Reason Anyone Ever Finds My Blog:

That’s my DIY canvas art hanging on the office wall of our old house. You may recognize it from the most popular post on this blog. Or perhaps the “Popular” page of Pinterest, which is where my sister-in-law once saw it. THAT was a weird feeling.

Anyway! Ever since we moved in, I planned to hang them in the guest room over the bed. (No really, see them balanced on the headboard in this old photo, taken a week after moving in?) I figured the pattern would look nice and cohesive with the diagonal panes in the flanking windows:

But I hadn’t yet. Because... oh, who knows. Because I have a day job that saps my energy? Because I am a chicken about hanging things on our plaster walls? Because sometimes I’d rather eat ice cream on the couch than do anything else?

Whatever the reason, with my recent hook-hanging success in the closet, I decided to finally put them up with command hooks! Except: remember how I discovered that isopropanol takes latex paint off the wall? I wasn’t about to rub all the paint off the wall in such a noticeable shot, especially considering that underneath that pinky-beige is cookie-monster-blue.

So I tested it in a corner behind a door, and found that a little came off, but not a lot:

And it didn’t leave a mark when the alcohol dried. I think maybe the problem in the closet was the finish of the paint – the semi-gloss-like finish in the closet came off much more easily than the eggshell finish in the room. Good to know!

Now, as for what to use to hang it, I chose the small, clear hooks from my vast collection:

They claimed to hold up to half a pound each. Because following the directions worked so well last time, I wanted to make sure the canvases didn’t exceed half a pound (they were super lightweight, but still, I’m Captain Careful about hanging these over a bed). Unfortunately I don’t own a scale, so I instead “weighed” them by using the super-precise technique of filling a measuring cup with water (boom, eight ounces!) and holding it in one hand and the canvases in the other. I even switched hands because I am PRECISE. Sure enough, each canvas was lighter – about a quarter-pound each (same as half a cup of water).

Convinced the hooks would be just fine, I set about figuring exactly where to stick the hooks on the wall...

Marking the spot, cleaning with alcohol...

Following the directions to assemble, sticking them on the wall, setting for thirty seconds, and waiting over an hour before hanging the canvases on them.

(I realize they look crooked on the wall, but it’s the cameraperson who’s crooked, not the hooks. Also, why does this photo look horribly pixelated on my blog but not on my computer? What? I tried to fix it but it kept getting worse. Picasa, you are letting me down.)

Finally, finally I hung them on the wall! Sneak peek of the guest room, ta-da!

Aside from the bizarre pixelation, they look so lovely there! I was so pleased! Command hooks are the best!

Oh, but wait. Hold the cheering.

Yup. When I went in the room the next evening (just over twenty-four hours later), I found one of the hooks had totally given up and crashed on to the bed. I snapped this photo with my iPod, awful light and all, to document my disappointment.

Furthermore, the hook seemed to have stretched the paint into some sort of bubble off the wall:

I mean. What is that? Not cool, 3M. (And not cool that my photos of the damage ALSO look like crap. Ugh.)

If you’re keeping track, that’s three hooks total that I’ve tried, two have stayed up, and one came crashing down. RIGHT WHERE MY IN-LAWS WILL BE SLEEPING IN FIVE DAYS.

Nope. Nuh-uh. Not gonna stand for that.

So now I’m going to take down the hook that held and bang a few holes into the wall to hang those canvases the more secure way (hey, I’ve already marked where to put the holes – that’s half the battle). It’s more spackling to do later, but it’s not worth it to have stuff falling on your face where you sleep. NO.

I’m not giving up on command hooks yet, but I’m glad that I’m slowly working my way up to the heavier stuff! And it’s good to know that even when you follow directions completely, sometimes they just don’t work. But sometimes they do! We’ll see how the score of “stays put” vs. “crashes onto your SLEEPING FACE” changes over time – I’ll keep you posted!


Rachel C said...

First, stop teasing us!! We (ok, I) NEED to see the guest room makeover!! It looks amazing!!!

Now, about command hooks. I have a love hate relationship with them. I've tried three times to hang hooks (carefully following directions) in my laundry room to hang various brooms, swifters, etc from and every single one has come crashing down. However, two years ago, I used some of the Velcro command strips to hang an 8x10 wooden frame in my guest bathroom (I was young and scared of nails) and it hasn't moved an inch. So maybe the issue is with hooks???

Sarah said...

@Rachel, I know, I want to share it with you guys too! I just have one more project I want to finish before I show it all at once (and I'm getting the supplies for it this weekend!). There are more things I'd like to do before it's DONE-done but that seems like a good stopping point for sharing!

And thanks for the info about the hooks! I was going to try to those velcro-y strips to double-up hanging heavy stuff on the wall (instead of trying to put anchors in the plaster) so it's good to know they can be reliable!

Miles said...

I've used the command hooks and have never had a problem with anything falling BUT they infuriate me when I try to remove them. Following the direction, and pulling the tab straight down, and boom my paint comes ripping off with the hook backing.

I actually nail straight pins into the wall to hang stuff. They leave a much smaller hole than a nail; even smaller than a push pin. I'm always surprised at how strong those guys are. They've held lots of different sized pic frames. My whole gallery wall is hanging on straight pins!

I am enjoying seeing snippets of the guest bedroom. It's looking great.

Prayers to your OK friend.

Laura S said...

Aww...thank you for thinking of us. :) They were finally able to get in today to the house and try and find anything to salvage. From the few pictures I've seen I can find a bed and a dictionary. It's amazing what nature can do.