How to Remove Old Contact Paper

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A hair dryer will heat the contact paper adhesive.
A hair dryer will heat the contact paper adhesive. (Image: dryers image by timur1970 from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Old homes often come with old cupboards. For decades, homeowners protected their cupboards by lining the shelves with sticky contact paper--sometimes even adding a new layer atop the old. And while the contact paper stayed in place and did its job, new and improved methods of cabinet protection exist today. Removing old contact paper--maybe more than 20 years old--is a time-consuming task that requires patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair dryer
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Cleaner with citrus
  • Sponge

Place the tip of your putty knife under the corner of the contact paper and lift up. You only need about 1 inch of contact paper to grab onto.

Grab the corner of the paper between your thumb and index finger and lift up. Lift the contact paper at a 45-degree angle. Because the adhesive is very strong, don't expect much of the paper to come up quickly.

Set your hair dryer to high heat with a strong air flow. Point the hair dryer directly at the portion of the contact paper you are working with. Pull up while you heat the paper. Continue until the contact paper is removed.

Apply a cleaner that contains citrus to any leftover contact paper. Allow to set for 5 minutes.

Place your putty knife at a 45-degree angle, and scrape the paper off. Wipe down with a wet sponge.

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