Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Yuck Files - Removing Old Contact Paper

(Have you entered the Lemi-Shine giveaway here?)

Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

My hands are dry and brittle. And they smell funky. All cause I had to remove ancient contact paper from some drawers in our unsellable home. (Lived in it a year, rented for two, now going to try the market again soon.)

I am not kidding when I say this paper is older than me. At least three decades or more.  Definitely more.

A word to the wise: Only put in adhesive contact paper if you’re sure you want it forever. Cause it’s a beast to remove.

Oh wait, that’s what the previous, previous owners did.  They had it forever. Lucky me.

In an attempt to beautify this home and make it look appealing to buyers, I’m painting drawers. (And oh my, the house is looking new on the inside. So much better than when we lived in it!)

Yep, removing yucky contact paper and painting over some beautiful Easter inspired colors and making it WHITE! 9 drawers total. But I only had to remove contact paper from two. THANK GOODNESS!

Wanna know how to remove contact paper on the fly….with minimal things?

Come along on an adventure with me:

Step 1: Give yourself ample time. Work all at once or in increments. (I have two kids….it was at naptime and nighttime for me.)

Step 2: Get yourself a spray bottle of soapy water (dish soap and water) and some sort of removal tool. A putty knife or scraper would work great, but unfortunately we had taken all those to the unsellable home and I brought the drawers to our real home to work on. So I used a wood chisel. Yes, a wood chisel (not the best choice). And my fingernails. Poor things. Poor, poor fingernails.

Step 3: Score the contact paper with lines (with a razor, the chisel, the putty knife, whatever). Be careful if you want to preserve the wood underneath and not scratch it. I didn’t care. This is so the water has a place to get in and do it's magic.

Step 4: Liberally apply water. At many times. Lots of soapy water. Let soak a little.

Step 5: Start removal with scraping, picking, and peeling. Spray again and again. (I'd recommend a much wider tool than I used.)  A rag or a brush with some bristles will help get out the little particles left.

Step 6: Enlist help. Even if it is a 5 year old.  Even if he's in his pajamas.  Heck, I was in my pajamas too.  We've been sick and tired around here. (Have you seen my post on how to get kids involved in home projects?)


Step 7: Happy Dance when it’s all out.  Then promptly wash your hands.  Wash again.  And again.  Apply lotion.  Apply lotion again.  And again.

I will cry if the next owners (please, someone buy it) put adhesive contact paper in those drawers. Maybe I’ll laugh. No, I just don’t want to know. I don't.

And I'm not against adhesive Con-Tact paper. I just don't like to remove it and thus, probably won't ever use it. I do like the shelf liner though. No hard feelings Con-Tact.  I feel the same about wallpaper.

Rants or raves about adhesive Contact paper?  Removal tips?  Rip it to shreds here.  Now I'm off to paint the interior of the drawers white. But I really just want to nap.

1 comment:

  1. My daughter just bought a house with old, old contact paper...we can empathize.

    ReplyDelete

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