Monday, September 30, 2013

How to Remove Foam Tape from a Painted Door

I don't know who's idea it was to stick a full-length mirror onto the inside of my husband's closet door using double-sided foam tape (oh, yeah, it was mine), but I promise I will NEVER do it again. I am in the process of painting my way through the second floor of our empty nest, in preparation of selling it and downsizing to some place where all of the rooms are used, 
and that's easier to keep clean. 
I had tried removing this tape before, just after the mirror fell off of the door, but I gave up in frustration. Well, now I HAVE to get it off so I can paint the door. I Googled the how to's, and most of the hints were directed at removing it from auto bodies, where repairing any paint damage could cost hundreds. Not my concern, as I was getting ready to put 2 or 3 new coats of paint on the bad boy, anyway. I tried a couple of ways without any success, then I remembered using the hair dryer to remove Scotch tape that my then-teenage daughter had used on her bedroom walls to hang up her posters of Brad Pitt and who-knows-who-else (...funny, he's the only one I remember). 

Here's what you'll need to get the job done:
  1. a razor-blade-scraper-thingy
  2. a hair dryer with the nozzle  attachment to concentrate the hot air
  3. Goo Gone and a terry cloth rag
  4. Something underfoot to catch all the droppings - I used a big piece of cardboard
I also had a bowl of hot water with a mixture of Dawn dish soap and white vinegar - one of the previously-tried remedies that failed, 
but it came in handy for cleanup. 

One guy suggested not using Goo Gone, since, apparently, it will take off auto paint, but it did nothing to my latex-painted doors. The same guy advised using rubbing alcohol to remove any leftover residue, and that WILL remove latex paint, so don't do that. 

Set the hair dryer on high heat, and hold it as closely as you can to what remains of the foam tape after you tried to get it off initially, for a total of 30 seconds.

Then, quickly scrape off the foam residue, now the consistency of the inside of a toasted marshmallow. For the areas where the foam was thicker, you may need to quickly hit it with an additional 15 seconds of heat, then scrape it again, cleaning off the razor blade often.

This is how the remaining adhesive looked after scraping:

Give the adhesive residue a squirt of Goo Gone, and use a rough, terry cloth rag to easily wipe away the remainder. 
(I'm talkin' like 5 seconds, no elbow grease involved.)

This shot shows that there is now no adhesive left on the door. There is however, some scraped-off paint, as a result of using the razor blade. 
No worries, I am about to repaint.

Use the dishsoap/vinegar combo, or any cleaner of your choice, to clean off any oily residue left by the Goo Gone.

This WORKS, sisters! I was kind of amazed at how fast it went. I had 13 1-inch squares to remove, and it took about 25 minutes. Hope this helps.



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