How to Remove Coving

Written by damon koch
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Many rooms have vinyl cove base around the entire parameter of the room where the wall meets the floor. It can be purchased by the foot and is easy to install. But when a room gets repainted the old cove base may not match the new paint and must be removed. Removing the old cove base should be done before painting begins. If a new cove base is replacing the old then not as much effort needs to be extended in getting off all the old glue, otherwise a solvent will need to be used.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 2-inch putty knife
  • Solvent
  • Paint scraper (the kind that takes a razor blade)

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  1. 1

    Work a 2-inch putty knife behind the cove base starting at a corner. Push the knife downward between the cove base and the wall, always starting at the top of the cove base. When enough is loosened, grab it by hand and tear off as much as possible.

  2. 2

    Scrape as much of the big chunks of glue off as possible with the putty knife as the cove base is being removed.

  3. 3

    Apply a solvent to the areas where there is stuck on glue. Some paint thinner or white spirit on a rag can be used for this purpose. Let the solvent soak in to the glue for an hour or so.

  4. 4

    Scrape the solvent-soaked glue with a paint scraper that has a razor blade. Be careful to do as little damage to the wall as possible. If all the glue does not come off on the first try, then reapply the solvent and repeat.

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