The purpose of this experimental study is to investigate the hysteretic behavior of shear deficient reinforced concrete (RC) shear walls that are strengthened by bonding of steel strips. Four, 1/2 scale shear wall test specimens were constructed and tested under cyclic lateral loading. The slenderness ratio of the wall (h/l, where h = wall height, l = wall length) was 1.5. For this experimental research three wall specimens were strengthened with different steel strips configurations. The different configurations of steel strips were considered the diagonal strip, lateral strip and the combination of both lateral and vertical strips. All steel strip configurations are arranged on both sides of the shear wall symmetrically. The research focused on the effect of using bonding steel strips enhanching strength and increasing ductility of the non-seismic detailed shear walls. Test results showed that all the steel strip configurations improved the lateral strength, energy dissipation capacity and deformation capacity of the shear deficient RC wall significantly. Strengthened specimens developed the nominal flexural strength, and hence, the observed maximum base shear was controlled by flexure. Steel strips limited the opening of shear cracks and improved the lateral displacement capacity. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.