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How to get double-sided mounting tape off the wall?
March 13, 2012 2:11 PM   Subscribe

How to get double-sided mounting tape off a wall you can't paint?

I recently moved and there are some patches on the wall of half-removed double-sided mounting tape. My inclination would be to just get something very sharp and scratch it off, but since we can't afford to repaint the wall, we'd have ugly scratches on it. At the same time, we have hung some further stuff with this sort of tape and I unknowingly used way too much. Everything is hung just fine right now, but at some point on the hopefully far future, it will need to come off both the wall and the tin plates it's displaying, without damaging either wall or plate.

So how do you get this stuff off of things? Any way to do it without wrecking the wall or the things? Help!
posted by JoannaC to Home & Garden (15 answers total)
 
do you just mean this stuff? It should come off easily if you just rub it and/or get a fingernail underneath. Or do you mean something else?
posted by brainmouse at 2:15 PM on March 13, 2012


I mean the heavy-duty mounting tape like for hanging pictures.
posted by JoannaC at 2:19 PM on March 13, 2012


Soak it in WD40.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:21 PM on March 13, 2012


A blow-dryer will melt the adhesive.
posted by juniperesque at 2:22 PM on March 13, 2012


Ah, then try several things, in the following order::

1) get a piece of dental floss or fishing line and drag it down against the wall behind as much of the foam/tape as possible

2) Goo-gone or WD40 to get the rest off

3) Magic erasers for the remaining straggly bits.

4) Command Strips in the future. You can get the sort of velcro-y kind if you want to hide the tabs out of sight.
posted by brainmouse at 2:23 PM on March 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm going to agreed with juniperesque and call for the hair dryer. If it doesn't work, you haven't ruined anything.
posted by advicepig at 2:27 PM on March 13, 2012


WD40 is likely going to stain the wall. Use a razor blade scraper to very gently work off the tape. It will leave almost no mark if you are careful.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:28 PM on March 13, 2012


GooGone should work. It's amazing stuff.
posted by INTPLibrarian at 2:28 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you come to pull the tape off the wall with your fingers, maybe after weakening the adhesive using a method described above, don't simply pull a loose end of tape up and away from the wall at a ninety degree angle. That way you are tending to pull any loose, detachable or friable matter - paint, plaster etc - off the wall. Pull the loose end of tape right back on itself through 180 degrees and pull it off keeping it very close to the wall, doubling back on itself as it were. This will minimise damage to the surface of the wall.
posted by londongeezer at 2:46 PM on March 13, 2012


Worst-case scenario: just because you can't paint the wall doesn't mean you can't fill in holes with spackle or paint in missing flakes of paint. (Caveat: If you don't have the original paint, bear in mind that a match blended and applied under artificial light may not match perfectly by daylight. And if you do have the original paint, bear in mind that fresh paint may not match faded paint.)
posted by feral_goldfish at 2:56 PM on March 13, 2012


I'd try a steamer. Any chance you have one? Or can use an iron that steams?
posted by iamscott at 3:02 PM on March 13, 2012


Caveat: If you don't have the original paint, bear in mind that a match blended and applied under artificial light may not match perfectly by daylight.

This is true, but the opposite is not. If you match the paint under daylight, it will continue to match under any other light.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:15 PM on March 13, 2012


Yes, a blow-dryer or a steamer.
posted by radioamy at 4:07 PM on March 13, 2012


Hair dryer or steam. Guitar pick or similar plastic (plastic pot scrapper) rather than razor blade.

You could also try packing tape, as you use the other methods, to lift the sticky as you work.
posted by vitabellosi at 7:13 PM on March 13, 2012


Mayonnaise.

Though try this in a closet first to make sure it won't stain the wall.
posted by lulu68 at 7:34 PM on March 13, 2012


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