How do you get double sided tape off a wall?

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October 16, 2012 4:42PM

I had doubled sided tape across two large walls. I've read other posts and tried just about everything on the circa 200 pieces I had to get off. Every situation is different.

This post is in reference to my situation, which was:

- 200 pieces of double sided tape

- untouched for about 3 years . . . no consistency left (i.e. no "peeling it off" with a blow dryer)

- matte latex interior wall paint on relatively new drywall

I tried a number of options including goo gone, magic erase pads, soap and water, the old thumb rub, and goof off. They all work to varying degrees and with stipulations.

HAIR DRYER - First off, the hairdryer does work if your double sided tape still has some form left to it. I was able to peel off a couple of pieces and it was a fabulous relief. I didn't even need a hairdryer . . . I just got my spackle knife under the corner and went for it.

THUMB RUB - Thumb rub worked the best in that it had the least amount of damage to the dry wall. If I hadn't already committed to repainting, I would have done this out of desperation. I, however, got a huge blister on my thumb after one piece of tape and couldn't deal.

MAGIC PADS (available at Bed Bath and Beyond) - Didn't work on the real problem, but are good for a final run through. I felt to some degree that they were just moving paint around gently across my drywall. Which was good for smoothing out the surface but not for taking care of the real issue.

GOO GONE - Worked, but it about 4 applications with the spackle knife and I REALLY doused it.

GOOF OFF - My choice. It worked in about 2 applications but the downside is that it also takes off a lot of paint. I did notice, however, that when it hit my molding (which I assume is a satin) it didn't do hardly as much harm.

* SOAP and WATER doesn't work. Surprise! But it does help clean off the goof off and goo gone mess once you're done.

These instructions are for my preferred method, Goof Off.

I started with the smaller can, then reverted to the aerosol, which I liked better but it doesn't really matter. I had a huge roll of paper towels at hand and sprayed each piece of tape one at a time. I tried a soft cloth but the nasty glue wouldn't stick to it.

1. Spray and wait 30 seconds to a minute.

2. Push off with a spackle knife.

TIPS: a) wipe the spackle knife often, b) try to stay in a straight line . . . the double sided tape will stick to clean wall in a second if you wander at all, c) the goof off takes off some of your paint, so the more parallel your spackle knife is to the drywall, the better.

3. Do it again. I had to spray each piece a second time and wipe off with spackle knife. Afterwords, rub paper towel over gently so as to remove as little paint as possible while taking off the remaining residue.

4. Wash it off with a damp cloth. It's not going to be perfect and there are going to be some gray metal marks from the scraping. You can wipe that off with the magic pads or you commit to repainting. If your situation is anything like mine, you're repainting.

5. I followed up the goof off procedure with some spackling and sanding.