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How to Remove Double Sided Tape From Paint

Updated February 21, 2017

Double-sided sticky tape always seems like a good idea until it is time to take it down. Some newer formulas are designed for easy removal once you're done with it, but this helps little when you're trying to remove the poster that your child outgrew and the double-stick tape that has held it to the painted closet door has been there for the half a decade. But do not fret! Just like most superheroes have their trademark weaknesses, most messes have their own Achilles heel--and double-sided sticky tape's Achilles heel is a simple hair dryer.

Remove the item that was held by the double sided tape to reveal the tape. Use a thin, flat metal scraper, such as a putty knife, underneath the edge of the tape to lift it away from the wall. If the tape is fairly fresh, this act alone might remove it all. For tape that has been in place for more than a few days, watch for signs that the paint is pulling away and stop scraping immediately.

Plug in a common household hair dryer and turn it to the highest setting. Wear heavy work gloves to protect your hands from the heat. Turn the hairdryer fan to the highest setting and hold the nozzle 6 to 8 inches from the surface of the tape, pointing the nozzle directly onto it. Hold the hairdryer, with the heat focused directly on the tape, in place for at least 30 seconds. When you begin to see the edges of the tape curl back, it is ready for removal.

Scrape the tape from the wall with the putty knife. Repeat the process with each piece of tape that you need to remove before going on to the cleanup phase (Step 4).

Soak a cotton ball in nail-polish remover or acetone and rub over any remaining adhesive on your walls. Use a razor scraper or fingernail to remove the remaining residue. Do not apply heat to this area for at least 30 minutes after using the remover, which is extremely flammable.

Complete the cleanup with a squirt of your favourite spray cleaner and a paper towel or damp sponge.

Things You'll Need

  • Putty knife
  • Hair dryer
  • Gloves
  • Cotton ball
  • Nail-polish remover
  • Razor scraper
  • Spray cleaner
  • Paper towel or sponge
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About the Author

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.