My name is Tom Lopatosky. I’m the President of LOPCO Contracting (www.LopcoContracting.com) and I’m honored to have the opportunity to talk to you about home improvement on a monthly basis. I love answering your questions! Please send them to tom@LopcoContracting.com or call 401-270-2664. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this column!
How to Get Tape (and Other Adhesives) off a Wall
Many of those who know me are aware that I am a bit of an early bird.
So much so, that my haircut each Saturday morning typically occurs around 5am or so.
Sometimes a little later, sometimes a bit earlier, but on average, 5am would be a safe bet, as to where you would find me on a Saturday morning, having my weekly trim (yes, because I have SO MUCH hair to begin with!).
Right after me, a RI State Trooper buddy of mine is usually next up as he prepares for his day, as well.
Even in these early hours, typical barbershop banter occurs, while the majority of those in our neck of the world are still fast asleep.
Recently, as I was in the barber chair at the tail end of my haircut, my friend walked in, and after a short time of sitting down, blurted out (paraphrasing), Hey, I have this super strong double-sided sticky tape that just will not come off the wall, no matter what I try. He then asked what I would recommend doing that would cause the least amount of damage to the wall?
As you may have guessed, I love when folks ask me questions like this [hence the creation of the weekly radio show! (PROTalk Home Improvement Radio, every Saturday @ 2pm on WPRO 630AM & 99.7FM in RI)].
With little hesitation, after a few clarifying questions, I relayed a procedure which I thought would not only be able to help remove the tape and its accompanying adhesive, but would do so in a fashion that would create minimal collateral damage to the wall, as well as the areas around it.
There is a product known as ‘GOOF OFF’ that can be bought at pretty much any hardware, paint, or big box store.
There are definitely other products which may do the trick, but the ones I am most aware of are much less aggressive and more suitable for helping in similar situations, where a heavier hand may not be as necessary (an example would be the removal of regular Scotch tape and its associated adhesive or something along those lines).
For situations where a more robust approach must be taken (such as in the case of my friend, where the product remaining on the wall was used to hang a baby monitor), after years of trying different methods, I believe GOOF OFF is the best bet.
Please keep in mind that there is a bit of an odor that does come along with using GOOF OFF, and you should definitely keep this in mind, as you go about its use.
The method I recommended to my friend is one that could help in a variety of similar dilemmas:
- Saturate (though not to the point where it is dripping!) the area that you are trying to remove the tape & its adhesive.
- Wait 5 minutes.
- Use a stiff putty knife to remove the adhesive.
- Repeat until the adhesive is off.
- Clean the area with warm water and Dawn (my brand preference) dish detergent (this serves as a degreaser).
- Rinse the area with a warm cloth to make sure the soap residue is removed
- After things have dried out, evaluate the wall to see if any minor surface/paint correction needs to take place, and if so, proceed appropriately to do so.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you will be surprised at how easily the area cleans up, using this process.
Although being at the barbershop prior to the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning may not necessarily be the most ideal time for folks to get their haircut, there certainly are bonuses in doing so, such as helping each other in navigating annoyingly frustrating situations, including a stubborn piece of thick tape that purely does not want to budge off a wall!
About Tom Lopatosky
Tom Lopatosky has run his own RI-based painting and repair business since 1995; LOPCO Contracting – the “Personable, Particular Professionals” – specializes in exterior & interior painting and carpentry. Recently LOPCO Contracting was named ‘RI’s Finest Painting Contracting Company’ by ShopInRI Magazine. In 2013, Tom was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) and a “40 Under 40” award winner by Providence Business News. He is a member of both PCA (Painting Contractors Association) and RIBA (Rhode Island Builders Association). Tom has often had weekly ‘Home Improvement Tips’ that have aired on the radio on 630 WPRO AM and on television on WPRI 12. You can catch Tom LIVE on the radio EVERY Saturday, 2pm-3pm, on 630 WPRO AM (99.7 FM) during his weekly ProTalk Home Improvement Radio Show!