If you spread excess adhesive on the wall or if you're removing a mirror and want to get rid of the glue that was left behind, worry not. There are a couple of ways to clean off the adhesive and even out your walls so they look polished and clean — the heat method and the solvent method, which involve the use of a few common tools. For removing wet adhesive residue from most surfaces, you can use a product called white spirit.
Remove Mirror Adhesive Using Solvent
The tools you'll need to round up to remove adhesive from the walls depend on which removal method you use. The solvent method requires an adhesive remover, a straightedge or razor blade, scrubbing pad, a small paintbrush and a soft cloth as well as warm, soapy water.
Step 1: Do a Spot Test
Spot-test the adhesive remover in a more discreet area to check whether it damages the wall. If it doesn't pass the spot test, choose a different product and repeat the test until you find a safe, effective product.
Step 2: Follow Product Directions for Use
Step 3: Apply With a Paintbrush
Use a small paintbrush to "paint" the adhesive remover on the adhesive. Once you do this, allow the remover to sit for the amount of time specified on the product directions.
Step 4: Scrape It Off
Use a razor blade or straightedge to gently scrape off the glue. Be careful not to damage the walls. If necessary, you can reapply the adhesive remover with a paintbrush and let it sit before scraping.
Step 5: Use a Scrubbing Pad
Scrub any remaining traces of the mirror adhesive with a dry scrubbing pad.
Step 6: Wash Off Remaining Glue
Dampen a soft cloth with warm, soapy water and lightly pat or blot away whatever adhesive is remaining. Allow to dry.
Remove Mirror Adhesive Using Heat
You'll spend less time preparing for the commonly used heat removal method, which simply calls for an iron or hair dryer as well as a brown paper bag or an old towel.
Step 1: Heat the Adhesive
Place your towel or brown paper bag over the adhesive and rub a warm iron over the covered area. Avoid holding the iron in one place for too long. If you're using a hairdryer instead, hold it a few inches away from the towel or paper bag.
Step 2: Rotate and Wipe
Rotate the paper bag or towel as the adhesive melts; then wipe it off.
How to Repair the Wall
Suppose you damage the drywall during the removal process. What then? You can partially fill small dents or gouges using a lightweight joint compound that sets quickly. Finish by applying an overlay of topping compound. Let it dry and then sand the wall to level the surface before priming and painting.
To repair larger holes or splits, first sand the damaged area; then completely cover it with drywall mesh tape. This will be where you apply the joint compound. Once the mesh tape is completely covered, smooth out the joint compound with a putty knife and let it dry for up to eight hours.
- Bob Vila: How To: Remove a Wall Mirror
- Liquid Nails: How to Remove Construction Adhesives
- How to Clean Stuff: How to Remove Construction Glue From Walls
- Bison: Mirror Adhesive
- Bob Vila: Walls & Ceilings How To: Patch Drywall
- Loctite: How to Remove Adhesives: The Best Ways to Get Rid of Residue
- The Seattle Times: Wall of Mirrors Presents a Sticky Situation
Caroline is a writer from NYC. Her writing has appeared in L.A. Weekly, Elle.com, New York Magazine, Marie Claire and The Huffington Post. She produces content on women's health/wellness, design/DIY and business for companies such as Meredith Corporation, Leaf Group and the business school, Hautes Études Commercials Paris. She's a former Production Associate and blogger at Show of Force, the production company behind Nicholas Kristof's and Sheryl WuDunn's, Half the Sky.