When repainting or tiling an old wall, it's fairly common to encounter leftover adhesive or residue. These adhesives come in many forms, including wallpaper glue, duct tape residue, bonding paint, and other wall treatments.
Unfortunately, since glue remnants take away the smoothness of the drywall surface and can destroy the overall look from the paint job from underneath, they have to go before you get started on the fresh layer. Here are some steps you can take to revive the uniform surface of your drywall.
Step 1 - Make Preparations
Before you start to remove the adhesive, cover the surrounding area with loose cloth or old newspaper to collect any debris from the process. Also, check if there are any electrical openings around—if so, cover them, too.
Safety should also be among your top priorities when dealing with chemical products. It's a good idea to put on some goggles and gloves before you dive in.
Step 2 - Identify Adhesive
You need to identify the type and cause of the adhesive on your wall before you can properly remove it. Some adhesives, like wallpaper leftovers, can be easily cleaned up with hot water and soft scrub, while others require harsher methods. Start with the simplest solutions first, but be prepared to escalate your approach if necessary.
Step 3 - Use Solvents
The easiest way to remove old glue is to scrub it off using liquid solvents. Adhesive removers are solvent scrubs and are generally enough to take care anything on your walls. In a pinch, you can mix some dishwashing powder with warm water and spray it on the problem spots.
Whichever you choose, wipe the wall with a damp cloth after the solvent has been left to sit, using some pressure, and the adhesive should come away with no problem.
Step 4 - Gently Remove Duct Tape
Duct tape on walls has very strong glue base that can peel off paint or parts of the drywall if you aren't careful. Gently raise a corner of the tape and, using a knife or blade, start cutting the contacts between the tape and wall to help it come off easily.
Then, clean up any left over residue with warm water. Tape can also be removed by heating it with a hair dryer and then peeling it off.
Step 5 - Seek out More Advanced Tools
There are companies which make exclusive adhesive remover products like The Wagner if you're really encountering resistance, and wallpaper steamers can melt the glue on the wall, leaving you to simply wipe it off. The process involves a lot of heat and is messy, but it works. Just take your time so you don't damage the material underneath.
Remove Adhesive from Drywall FAQ
How do you get tape residue off walls?
Residue from adhesives can usually be removed with heat. The heat will soften the glue and allow it to be scraped off the wall with a putty knife.
Use the knife carefully to avoid damaging the paint. You can apply heat to the glue with a standard blow dryer.
How do you get glue off the wall?
Some cleaners and chemical formulas will remove glue without removing paint from a wall. Acetone, an ingredient commonly found in nail polish remover, is very effective for removing glue from walls.
Does vinegar remove sticky tape residue?
Vinegar is very effective at dissolving glue and adhesive residue. Dampen a clean cloth with vinegar and hold it against the sticky area for about a minute.
Wipe the vinegar and residue away with a clean cloth that is dampened with water.
Does hand sanitizer remove sticker residue?
Hand sanitizer has a high alcohol content and alcohol can be used to remove sticky adhesive residue, so you can always use a little hand sanitizer to clean glue off walls.
Does baking soda dissolve glue?
Baking soda is used as an all-purpose cleaner to get rid of lots of grime and gunk because it is slightly grainy, which gives it an abrasive quality that is not harsh but is effective at scrubbing away unwanted residue.
Mix baking soda with enough water to create a paste and then gently rub this on the residue you want to remove. Wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth.