How to Properly Remove Painters Tape

What You'll Need
Painter’s tape
Large pencil eracer

Painter’s tape is a useful tool for anyone painting a home. Use it to prevent painting windows and trim. Putting painter’s tape on the wall is easy enough, but removing it can come with some difficulties. The adhesive on painter’s tape is formulated so that it will not permanently adhere to typical wall paint. This, however, is not always the case.

Step 1 - Make Sure the Paint is Dry

Trying to remove painter’s tape while paint is still drying will leave unsightly marks on the job you just completed. You will be painting over the painter’s tape in order to get clean lines. Removing the tape can take fresh paint with it. Gently touch the wall in an inconspicuous spot. Check the wall every 30 minutes until it is dry.

Step 2 - Remove the Painter’s Tape

Do not leave tape on long enough to leave behind an adhesive residue. Use your fingernail to peel up an end. Gently scrap an edge off of the wall. Grip this end of the painter’s tape and pull the tape off slowly at a 90-degree angle in one fluid movement.

Step 3 - Removing Adhesive

Painter’s tape is formulated to not stick to paint, but sometimes a little adhesive may remain. If any adhesive is left behind, rub it off with your thumb or a large pencil eraser. When using tape, you will almost always take some of the paint off of the wall. Simply carefully touch it up.

Edward Kimble, professional painter and author of Interior House Painting Blog, contributed to this article.