Mounting things on the walls of your classroom (or home!) can be a horribly frustrating ordeal. Reliability has been hard to come by as inconsistency seems to be the underlying and unspoken rule with many of these products.
I’ve tried a few products including:
- Blue Painters Tape
This worked well at the high school I worked at for one year. Ironically, the next year I posters falling off the wall left and right. Go figure. This seemed to work best on my inside walls versus those which were outside-facing walls. Temperature variation may have had something to do with it.
- Green Painters Tape
I found this was not a reliable solution. It also tore off some paint on occasion more than Blue Painters Tape.
- 3M Mounting Strips
I love these, but the problem here is twofold: 1) these strips are very expensive especially for large-scale use, and 2) oftentimes I find them overkill. For things that are nearly permanent, I would opt for these over anything else. Newer versions apparently offer support of up to 16 lbs!
So, back to something I really found to be helpful and quite reliable—Scotch Removable Mounting Putty. Now, before I go on, I can’t comment on the ‘removable’ and, therefore, reusability claim of this product as I never would imagine reusing this stuff. It just doesn’t seem worth it when I can go out and purchase fresh putty to take care of my entire classroom for less than $8 using four handy-dandy 50% coupons from A.C. Moore and some cash for me, the Wifey and kiddos. But, you may feel the reusable claim to be must-have. If that is you, try some and report back to me (or write your own blog post and let me know about it!).
Work It, Baby
The key to this product’s success is making the putty pliable by kneading it before applying it to the wall. I have found that if the putty is stiff and/or too cold, it is less likely to hold for an extended period of time. From the manufacturer you’ll read:
- Preparing: The surfaces must be dry and clean. As needed, knead one or several pieces of putty, approximately 1/2″ x 3/4″, until soft.
NOTE: I found the size of the putty ball you create to be an importance factor. Stick to larger balls for larger, and slightly more heavy posters such as those mounted on foam core or displays with found objects on them that would make it more weighty. The product has a 1 lb limit.
- Applying: Adhere the putty to the item to be mounted.
Notice the directions did not say apply it to the wall. Just like I remind my students with regards to glue: put your adhesive on the item you are gluing down, not the surface you are gluing it to!
- Mounting: Press the item firmly onto the mounting surface, such as wall or a container.
NOTE: The directions list you can use Scotch Reusable Mounting Putty on porous and non-porous surfaces including cinder block. So far, I’ve used it on cinder block and drywall. I would think it would work equally well on plastics, particularly those with a surface texture.
I have also found this product works better with laminated surfaces than non-laminated. Go figure.
Final Grade: A
So, top marks for Scotch Reusable Mounting Putty! I would recommend you give this product a try in your classroom. For me, finding a product that works with the consistency (though certainly not perfection) that this product has, reminds me that you sometimes have to keep looking around before finding the jewel or should I say pearl? In this case, the product was right in front of my face (at A.C. Moore and Target!) and I didn’t even know it!
For my fellow art teachers out there, is there a different wall-mounting option you have discovered?