Removing Contact Paper From Wood

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Things You'll Need

  • Hairdryer

  • Sponge

  • Adhesive remover

  • Cloth

  • Liquid dish soap

  • Towel


Familiarize yourself with the instructions and warnings of your specific brand of adhesive remover.

Contact paper is typically used to line shelves and the inside of cabinets. Similar to some wallpaper, contact paper features a self-adhesive backing. This allows for easy installation without having to apply glue or paste. Contact paper is water-resistant and durable and doesn't come off with wallpaper remover. Removing contact paper from wood is a difficult and time-consuming job but it is not impossible. To remove the contact paper from wood you must apply heat to soften the adhesive.

Step 1

Set a hairdryer to a medium setting. Turn the hairdryer on.

Step 2

Start at one corner of the contact paper. Hold the hairdryer a few inches above the contact paper. Move the hairdryer in a steady and slow, back-and-forth motion. The heat from the hairdryer will soften the adhesive that is securing the contact paper to the wood.

Step 3

Pull the contact paper gently away from the wood while applying the heat. Continue applying the heat and pulling the contact paper until you have removed all the paper from the wood.

Step 4

Use a sponge saturated in an adhesive remove to scrub the wood. This will remove the sticky residue left behind from the contact paper.

Step 5

Clean the wood with a cloth dampened with warm, soapy water. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and towel dry.


Amanda Flanigan

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.