In this post we will look into “restickable” artwork or photos for your wall.
The tape used that allows the re-sticking of tape to the wall has actually been around for decades, having been used by businesses that offer what is known as point of purchase displays, or POP as the industry calls it.
POP are temporary displays that retailers would use to promote products and services, often during major holidays. So there was an industry need to have a reliable tape that was strong enough to hold a display on a wall or endcap (the end of an isle), yet be able to be removed without damaging the surface, as that would result it costly work to remove the adhesive foam residue.
Smaller companies then realized that they could use this tape to hang photo and digital prints on walls. Then when 3M Command strips came on the market, consumers began to see the value of hanging photos and art frames on the wall without the need to make holes in the walls. While the Command Strips worked great, the had their limits and lacked the convenience, like have the ability to reposition as needed, have a very long strip, ability to custom cut with scissors to fit a custom project.
It took awhile for the consumer side of the market to offer restickable tape to the larger public simply because it was difficult to find a restickable tape that would hold up your art on a wall and not fall off a few days later. In fact, this is a difficult tape to produce that most manufactures don’t know how to make. See post here for details discussion on what makes a good restickable tape:
It was not until Mixtiles began to offer their restickable Photo Tiles, that the larger consumer market became aware that such possibility existed to hang photos a digital art on the wall.
The popular terms from Google search are, restickable photo tiles, picture frames, frames, picture tiles, wall art, framed art, photos pictures, and more. And here are the popular questions:
Is there a cheaper alternative to Mixtiles?
How do you stick photo tiles?
Are Mixtiles Restickable?
How many times can you rehang Mixtiles?
Some of these questions are answered by various websites, including Shutterfly. However, some of the answers are not quite right or leave out key details. For the wall nerds, we’ll provide more detailed responses to the questions above.
Q: Is there a cheaper alternative to Mixtiles?
A: Of course. Let’s face it, there are so many places that could do a great job at printing your photo. Since digital printing has become the least expensive method of printing art, and quality arriving to personal printers, pricing has become very competitive. The secret sauce that makes Mixtiles more expensive is the restickable tape. Suggestion: get your photo or digital printed on your preferred substrate like acrylic or another plastic, and purchase tape designed to be restickable (do research, as you could purchase “Restickble tape” “removable tape” from Walmart but the performance will desapoint you (did you read our article on what makes a good restickable tape, BTW?). You could purchase pre-cut pieces, rolls, and even floater blocks.
You could also print your own with a decent digital home printer, printing on photo paper then mounting that on a substrate like heavy cardstock, wood, plastic or even aluminum. Then just stick restickable tape and hang.
Q: How do you stick photo tiles
A: Simply peel and stick, but WAIT! And here’s where other sites don’t mention but is important to have a long-lasting photo stay displayed on your wall (mine have stayed in place for over 2 years now). Clean your wall with isopropyl alcohol (rubber alcohol). The reason rubbing alcohol (prefer 70%) works best is that it will not leave a residue that will hinder strong adhesion on your wall. Products like Windex and other solvents leave a thin film behind that lowers the bonding value (lowering the surface tension).
Shutterfly says to “Using your hands, apply light, even pressure to the face of the photo tile” as final step. Not quite correct.
You may use light pressure to see if your photos are even and at the location you like, so you could adjust as needed, but once you have your photo tiles exactly where you want, press very hard on the surface to drive the adhesive tightly against the wall. The tape used is called pressure sensitive adhesive, so it relies on pressure to work effectively. The two trouble shooting questions that a tape professional will ask when a report of tape failure comes in is, are the walls clean and did they apply good pressure? The pressure “wets-out” the adhesive so it spreads and into micro crevices in the wall, creating a strong anchor
.Q: Are Mixtiles Restickable?
Q: How many times can you rehang Mixtiles?
A: Good question. And it depends. A cleaner wall will allow you to place and release more frequently. A dirty wall will coat the adhesive so it becomes weaker. It depends on the type of wall. It also depends how much restickable tape you have. Fewer pieces will stick less often than more pieces of tape. But let’s say it’s drywall with a low VOC paint (they are harder to stick to), and the entire frame edge has tape, a ball park will be that it will lose strength to hold up that art for extended period after about 6 times. I his is just from my personal experience.
Alright, hope that was not too dull of an explanation. We love talking about tape and just shoot us a missive should you have any questions.
Check out our restickable tape options here: