We report the binding of nanoparticles (NPs) to wild type (unmodified) tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). The viruses are simply mixed with citrate-coated, negatively charged gold and iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) in acidic solution. This results in TMV decorated along its whole length by the respective particles. Such a decoration usually requires chemical modification or mutation of TMV (e.g., cysteine residues), but here we simply reduce TMV's natural negative charge by protonation. The particles are protonated to a much smaller extent. This charge-based mechanism does not operate for neutral particles.