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This problem is on a wall in my bedroom. I used to have a A3 paper sized photo stickers on my wall. After a year or so I tried to remove the sticker from the wall and it left lots of sticker paper remains and adhesive residue on the wall. I tried to scrape it off with a scraper but it didn't work.

I went to a hardware store and told the guy working there of the problem I have and he told me to buy a sheet of sandpaper and a bottle of thinner. As per his advice he told me that I had to apply the thinner on the wall and scrape it off with the sandpaper. Though it didn't seem logical to me, since he was much older than me, I thought maybe he's got experience with this and there's no harm in trying this out so I bought the thinner and sandpaper from his store. On coming home I tried doing as he said but it ended up looking much worse. (See image)

I got busy with work and it i did not get back to addressing the problem.

Today I found this community on stack exchange and I was thinking, surely the people here would have much more experience than me so I thought I'd ask here.

Is there any product or method to remove the paper mess and adhesive residue from the wall without damaging the paint?

Edit from orginal-poster: I read in the comments that someone was mentioning a product called GooGone. But we dont have that in India. If you could give me a kind of name/product to ask at the hardware store it would be helpful. Thanks.

Sticker paper residue on white wall

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  • There are a few different brands of orange cleaner (sorry mental blank on name and guess it might not be the same where you are) - I use them to remove baked on sticky labels (the ones that get used for addressing letters) from metal surfaces and other hard surfaces ... Alternatively have you tried sugarsoap?
    – Mr R
    Mar 17, 2021 at 20:08
  • I'm from India. No. I've not tried sugarsoap. What is it. And let me google orange cleaner too and get back to you. I think if there is some sort of cleaner that removes sticker paper residue of walls that would be best. Do give me your suggestions. I'm totally new to this. Mar 17, 2021 at 20:13
  • Alternatively perhaps a wallpaper steamer?
    – Mr R
    Mar 17, 2021 at 20:27
  • Goo gone works well but I don’t think I have ever gotten all the residue off painted walls with even the contractors strength citrus cleaner.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 18, 2021 at 1:03
  • GooGone is certainly worth a try.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 18, 2021 at 1:29

2 Answers 2

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Try applying heat to the glue with a heat gun, or hair dryer. If it is on drywall, don't over heat, just scratch the softened sticky material, and clean with gentle wipe with dampened cloth.

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My father always used to use lighter fluid to remove the gooey residue left behind when removing stickers from products.

However, he did this outside and it was on hard surfaces like plastic or metal. I make NO guarantees that it won't damage your wall surface. Also, you'll need adequate ventilation to get the flammable and hazardous fumes out of the house.

Products like Goo Gone™ and Goof Off™ will also work quite well. I happen to have a can of Goof Off™ on the shelf. Among the many warnings (sounding quite similar to the ones I made above), it indicates that it contains acetone and xylene. It says that it may dissolve some plastics, but is safe for use on oil-based painted surfaces.

Based on this, I would believe that just about any product containing acetone will take the residue off for you, but could end up damaging the surface. Nail polish* remover generally, I believe, contains acetone, and may well work quite well. Again, warnings about ventilation and testing it on an inconspicuous spot still stand. Of course, it's not likely to cause the wall to look much worse than what it does now.


*That's nail varnish remover for those of you who speak British instead of American.

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