How to Remove Old Scotch Tape From Walls


Scotch tape can be extremely difficult to remove from painted walls. The plastic layer on top of the tape is resistant to adhesive strippers, making it impossible to get to the tape. Using a single method won't get results. Combine manual methods with chemicals to remove the stubborn tape. Keep in mind that any method will remove some of the paint. If you no longer have the original paint, take a small sample of the paint to your paint store. They will match the paint so you can touch up any areas that need it.

Things You'll Need

  • Razor blade
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Liquid sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Touchup paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Scrape the shiny side of the tape from the wall with a razor blade. Hold the blade firmly in one hand and scrape away from yourself. Remove the shiny plastic, exposing the adhesive.

  • Dip a rag into denatured alcohol. Lightly rub the adhesive to remove it from the wall. Remove as much adhesive as you can with the alcohol. Stop rubbing the spot when paint starts to lift from the walls.

  • Dip a rag into liquid sandpaper. Scrub the walls with the solution to remove any remaining adhesive. Rub in a circular motion on the spot and the surrounding area until the adhesive is removed and the area is smooth.

  • Dampen a clean rag. Wipe away the chemicals from the wall. Let the wall dry overnight.

  • Paint the wall with touchup paint, using a good quality paintbrush.

Tips & Warnings

  • If any wall texture was removed in this process, you may need to replace the texture. Buy matching wall texture at the hardware store and apply to the wall with a putty knife. Allow the texture to dry and paint over with touchup paint.

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  • Photo Credit scotch tape image by Adkok from
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