4 Tested Ways to Hang Things on a Brick Wall – No Drill

Want to hang decorative items from a brick wall, but don’t want to drill a hole in it?  

How about:

  • String trellis for plants 
  • String trellising tomatoes
  • Christmas lights
  • Party decorations 

I found and have tried and tested several different products for no-drill applications to a brick wall surface. Inside or out.

How can you attach something to a brick wall without a drill?  These are the four methods I found and tested.

  1. Double-sided tape.
  2. Brick Clips that grip onto the brick.
  3. Brick Clips that, hold in the mortar space between the bricks.
  4. Hammer in brick hooks.

Each of these was labeled for use on brick, I tested them for outdoor use.  
The best for hanging items on a brick wall with no drilling and worked best for all growing season support are the brick clips. Both the style that holds the brick and the style that grips the open mortar space. Get whichever fits your bricks better.

How I tested.

To test each of these products, I installed each of them on the exterior of a brick house. To test how long they worked and how effective they were, I grew plants that needed staking support on twine to be attached to the supports.

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1. Outdoor Rated Heavy Duty Double-Sided Sticky Tape

To test this, I mounted a 3-foot (1 meter) long lightweight strip horizontally on the brick wall, maximizing the surface area for the sticky to stick.  From this, I hung four twine strings to hang down and pin to the ground for annual vines to grow up. My plan was for the vines to shade the south-facing wall, lowering the temperature gain on the building in the summer.  I did not want to do any drilling, even into the mortar since this was a rental property. This held fine for about a month and a half. As soon as the morning glory vines were 3-4 feet tall, the entire support collapsed into a pile on the ground.  

The tape was rated for 40 pounds, and I know the vines and the lightweight strip were less than 10 pounds, but the heat and the porous nature of the bricks were too much for the tape to overcome. 

I do believe the tape was a good product, but the situation was just not what it was designed for. Did like the tape, but will not use it for this type of application again.  

The outdoor strength double-sided sticky tape held light objects, much lighter than labeled for a month.  The downfall was my brick was very porous, and had a dusty surface. Not dirty, but dry and slightly friable.  I do feel it would have worked more to my satisfaction if it was painted on, non-porous surface. Also, the more weight, the more direct surface area needs to have contact.

2. & 3. Brick Clips, 2 Types

I used the following brick clips to mount on the same wall, tied the mounting board to the clips, and installed the string trellis for the morning glories and moon vines to grow.

As of 2 months later, the growth of the vines is thick and has exceeded the height of the mounting board with brick clip mountings. 

I had my doubts, which I will cover below, but I declare this a resounding success.  

The brick clip that grips the brick did well.  It was easy to install, as long as you knew and purchased the right size for your brick.  Bricks come in different dimensions (who knew? it was a surprise to me) and you will need the correct size.  The mortar between the bricks also needs to have enough of a squared-off lip to grip. Bricks that have been painted, and whose mortar is rounded up to the edge of the brick will not hold effectively.

Brick clips grips brick

I was concerned when installing these clips.  It appeared to be such a thin area the clips were gripping too, and they can be easily knocked off if the pressure is coming from the side, or if you pull away from the wall. If the pressure, or weight, is coming from below the clip, it worked beautifully.  As you can see from the pictures, these were holding tomato plants which are heavy. Please excuse the one with all the fruit, but no leaves, this picture was taken after it was disseminated by the tomato hornworm, my lack of watching for them.  Two days and look at the damage! Regardless, the tomato plant was heavy with foliage too, just a couple of days prior, and being in the state of Tennessee, there is wind and absolute downpours of rain to withstand too. No problem!

As you can see, I have these strings both with the weight pulling down, and pulling at an angle sideways down, along the wall plane.  No problems with either angle. I was surprised and happy to see this!

Clip that grips in mortar area

The brick clip that holds in the mortar space works on any size brick, which is great when you are at the store, and never thought to measure your brick before trying to pick them up :).  This is a big bonus in my book, again… Who knew you might need to measure your bricks. Bricks are bricks…right? (no). The same issue is that your brick wall needs to have a definitive squared-off edge, best the width of a pencil eraser, where it holds without the interference of mortar, especially not rounded mortar.

This clip worked as well as the prior, grips on the brick, clip.  It has a smaller bulk, so I doubted it would, but my concerns have thus far been proven unfounded.  It has worked faultlessly.

4. Nail-In Brick Clip

I tried the nail-in clips for brick. That did not work at all.  Not even close. I could not even see how these had been rated for brick.  Wood, yes, which is where I ended up nailing them into the fascia board to hold instead.  Worked great there, but the brick? Not a chance, they just bent or refused to budge at all.

There are pics of how well they worked when pounded into the wood, great there.  Possibly these are designed for concrete block or installation in the mortar. They just did not work for me in brick, and my mortar is inset, so these clips could not be installed into the mortar for my application.

Related Questions:

Do command hooks work on brick walls?  

Command stips only work on bricks if the brick is painted, and not too rough.  Think more on the lines of painted concrete block, much smoother, rather than a rougher brick.  The issue is the surface area the adhesive has to have enough flat smooth surface to grip onto. The less surface area, the less it will stick, and a porous surface like unpainted brick simply is too…well … dusty to hold.  Similar to how a terracotta pot, if you wiped it with a clean white cloth, no matter how many times you wipe it, a little more terra cotta will be rubbed off on the cloth. This is not a firm-holding surface for anything to stick to.  You can try a hack of using hot glue to hold the hook, but then again… it wouldn’t be an ‘easy to remove command strip’ then, would it?

How to hang curtains on brick walls?

This one is a tough one, but here are three hacks you can use. 

One, drill holes, into the MORTAR. These are easily filled when removed and the actual brick has not been damaged.  Second, if your curtains are very light, or sheer, try the trick of hot glue on your hooks. Third, forget about the wall… hang your hardware from the ceiling!  As easy to fill in a hole in the ceiling drywall as it is to fill a hole in the wall drywall. No problem!

How to hang pictures from a stone fireplace without damaging the stone?

Hang from the ceiling..in front of the stone fireplace.

Is there thick enough mortar between the stone pieces to drill and place hardware?  Mortar can be filled easily, and then there would be no damage to the stone. If you have large flat pieces of stone, like stacked flagstone, or slate, that have a deep inset before you get back to the mortar, see if you can find ‘C’ clamps that will fit around the individual stones, and hang from that.

Do you have a regular wall on either side of the stone area?  Mount a board or some other decorative element across the front of the stone area, mounting on brackets on either side of the stone area.  Use regular picture mounting hardware on the board.

  Has anyone had any luck with other ideas?  I would love to hear about them please comment below 🙂  Creativity will always find a way!

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