No Suction Cups! Why Adhesive Hooks are Best for Stained Glass

No Suction Cups! Why Adhesive Hooks are Best for Stained Glass

You’ve invested in stained glass artwork - now make sure it stays where you put it!

If you're going to mount it on a wall, or if you have a hook, nail, or screw embedded in a wall or window frame, then you're good to go - just make sure that the thing you're hanging on is strong enough (and secure enough) to support the stained glass you'll be hanging on it. Give it a good tug downwards a few times to make sure.

But - if you'll be mounting on a window, on the glass itself, I have thoughts. And these thoughts are based on lots of trial and heartbreaking error. 


Suction cups seem great, but will, over time, come loose from glass due to temperature changes, humidity, and material issues. Plus, stained glass is heavy.


I recommend clear adhesive hooks rated for 10 lbs or heavier, or a nail/screw in a wood window frame or stud. Note - most adhesive hooks (except for Command) are not reusable, no matter what they claim! More on that below.


There are two kinds of clear adhesive hooks - Command, and basically everything else. Command strip hooks are definitely reusable - they sell extra clear strips to use in the back of the hook - but they seem to max out at supporting 4lbs. This may be good for very small items, but you've have to be 100% certain that your stained glass weighs well under 4 lbs. 

The second, more ubiquitous type, of adhesive hook (judging from Amazon search results) is the clear adhesive-backed kind with a silver hook attached. These can, in theory, hold up to 13 lbs. I've bought a variety of these, and have had personal success with them, at least in terms of them holding heavy artwork for months at a time in a gallery window with varying temperatures, humidity, and sunlight. That said, it's really important to buy ones with good ratings. 

The instructions below pertain to the second kind of hook - that's what I sell at my shows, too.


Clean surface with rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner, allow to dry fully. Remove hook backing and press hook firmly on cleaned surface. For best results, allow hook to adhere to surface for at least 12 hours before hanging anything on it.


Using a hair dryer, heat the adhesive surface, then remove it slowly. If any adhesive remains on the glass, gently remove by rubbing off or removing with glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol. Here's where it gets tricky - sometimes this works. Sometimes, it doesn't. You may want to have a paint scraper ready.


I'll be honest - one time I had to remove a bunch of hooks from glass in a gallery, and I didn't have a lot of time. I tried the heat method above, with a heat gun, and all it did was melt the actual plastic of the hook, and made a gummy mess of the whole thing. It's possible that I used too much heat, but I ended up needed the paint scraper/razor blade I'd brought with me to get most of it off once it had cooled a bit. It wasn't easy. But honestly, it was a small price to pay for having had all of the hooks stay on that window for many, many months, with very heavy artwork.


Let me know! Contact me.

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