How to Remove Stuck Shelf Paper

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Good idea, getting rid of the old shelf paper that harks back to Granny's era. It's just too bad half of it wants to stay put for another half-century. Don't give in--all you need is a putty knife, sandpaper and some patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic Scrubber
  • Soap
  • Rag Or Paper Towel
  • Putty Knife
  • 120-grit Sandpaper
  • Peel off as much of the stuck paper as you can.

  • Carefully scrape the remainder with a putty knife, holding it at an angle so you avoid gouging the wood.

  • When you've scraped up all you can, rub medium-coarse (120- grit) sandpaper over the remaining gunk.

  • Continue until all traces of the paper are removed.

  • Using a damp rag or a paper towel, wipe up the paper shreds and glue gunk. If some of the glue proves to be tenacious, use hot soapy water and a plastic scrubber.

  • Allow the shelf to dry thoroughly before you refinish it or apply new covering.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to remove as much as you can with the putty knife before sanding the paper. Sanding can be more time-consuming and labor-intensive.

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