How to Remove Stuck-on Masking Tape From the Wall

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Things You'll Need

  • Mineral spirits

  • WD-40

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Blow dryer

  • Razorblade or knife

Removing stuck-on masking tape from walls without removing the paint or leaving sticky residue can be a real pain. Luckily, there are simple tricks you can use to remove masking tape without all the hassle. Better yet, these tips and tricks will leave the paint untouched. Several different solvents can be effective, so it is not necessary to use every one on the list, but if one solvent does not seem to do the trick, then feel free to try with another.

Removing stuck-on masking tape

Step 1

Take your chemical solvent (Mineral spirits, WD-40 or rubbing alcohol), and test a small, inconspicuous area of the wall to make sure the product does not damage the surface or corrode the paint. You will use this product to remove the final remnants of the tape after applying heat.

Step 2

Set your blow dryer on medium, and warm up the masking tape strip you want to remove.

Step 3

After three or four minutes, the adhesive underneath the tape will begin to melt. Take your razor blade or knife, and carefully lift one corner of the tape.

Step 4

Continue to apply heat while slowly pulling the masking tape away from the wall. Pull the peeled-up corner toward the rest of the strip -- not straight out from the wall -- for best results.

Step 5

Remove any adhesive residue left behind by lightly scrubbing with the chemical solvent you tested earlier.


Most hardware stores sell a commercial brand of adhesive remover that works just as well as the products listed above. Pull the masking tape slowly and back toward itself for best results.


When pulling the masking tape away from the wall, make sure not to pull straight out from the wall, or you might remove some paint in the process.