Want to know how to remove contact paper? I always think that if I am struggling with a problem, you probably are too. I am working on a fantastic redo of a vintage cabinet but it had really old contact paper inside. I am talking 70s contact paper stuck for life. I pulled, tugged, wore down my fingernails….then I googled. Turns out there is a super simple way to remove contact paper and I am going to share it with you! If you have some vintage contact paper that has been haunting you, this is the post you want to read.
This post and photos may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through any link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Any supplies used may be given to me free of charge, however, all projects and opinions are my own.
The simple trick for removing that contact paper easily is as close as your bathroom. All you have to do it break out your hair dryer! It removed that contact paper like a charm. Just heat it up a little bit and the contact paper will peel right off. Mine came off including the sticky stuff underneath with just a little heat. I was amazed just how fast this super old paper was removed. It appears from my research, you might need some Goo Gone to remove any sticky residue depending on your paper. I had a bunch of contact paper to remove but worked through it in no time at all.
I would say start to finish it took me 15 minutes! Fifteen minutes! Gotta love another great use for a hair dryer. Stay tuned for more details after I get my cabinet done. For now, if you have ever wondered how to remove contact paper, you now have a quick and easy method that is in your bathroom cabinet already. You have to love that!
Need more life hacks for the things around your home? Give these links a try!
Thanks Angie for the tip! I have a table from my grandmother that has contact paper on it. Will definitely try this.
It’s always good to know tips like these. Handy for when you’re faced with a job you’re struggling with.
Great tip, I will put this is the back of my mind to pull out when needed
Thanks for the heat idea, but for removing the stickly residue I have found that amonia and water or a Mr. Clean sponge works even better. The goo be gone just wasn’t doing it for me. I have numerous pieces that my mom contact papered, she must of went through a phase because it is on everything.
We just purchased a house built in 1970 and have the same problem. Our kitchen cabinets have not 1 but 2 layers of contact paper. Would love to knock this out today. Will let you know.
Was feeling hopeless till I read this. Will try it first thing tomorrow morning. Thanks so much!
contact paper has come a long way. I have it on my doors and washer which is in the kitchen. I can remove with no problems and there is no smell
I’m so glad I found this post– I have some super old contact paper (similar to yours, actually) and was about to put new contact paper over it. Now I can just sand, paint and make the cabinet shelves look like new 🙂
I am doing a re-org of my kitchen and there is a lot of contact paper, been on there 42 years I know because I put it there. Thanks for the hair dryer trick. Sometimes when nothing works on removing goo I use cooking oil.
Has anyone had a burning of eyes with bad smell from the residue left from the contact glue?
I have never had any reaction??
I just removed the contact paper. I kept smelling this horrific smell n why I decided to rip it off. Omg the smell is even worse now n I can’t get off the glue so it still smells bad in my kitchen. I instantly started sneezing n runny nose. I think its when water got under it. Anyway any ideas to get glue off. I tried goof, wd40, rubbing alcohol, n nail polish remover with a brush n old toothbrush nothing seems to work
Did you try goo gone? That is what I would use.
Thank you for the tip! It worked great for removing contact paper on my cabinets!
After I got the contact paper off, I just had to come back and thank you. I was out of ideas to get that stuff off, I know it had been in the cabinet for over 25 years. It took me longer to find the hair dryer than it did to get the contact paper off! THANK YOU.
I am so glad it helped! I was exactly where you are and thought I would share my findings here!
Hi there, may I ask how it worked with the cabinets? I’m actually thinking about buying “granite contact paper” and i’m scared of how it will turn out once I have to take it off in a year after my lease!
Worked great! Everything came off!
Absolutely worked on 55-year-old contact paper! It worked perfectly, so thank you!
Omgoodness this is a life saver, totally works like a charm my hope to save my cabinets has been restored ❤️❤️❤️
Have you ever put contact paper over contact paper?
I have not! I bet you have to remove each layer if you do.
I have watched lots & lots of videos and read lots & lots of articles on how to remove old contact paper, but can’t find anything on my old contact paper problem. My kitchen has a booth type of area where the table and chairs are. The entire area has contact paper from the 70’s… BUT… someone painted latex paint from the late 1980’s over the contact paper. I have no idea of how to begin or what to do to remove the painted over contact paper. Under the painted contact paper is sheet rock, and I don’t want to ruin it. Should I first try to remove the paint with something like turpentine? It is latex paint from around 1986. Any help, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Have you tried a steamer?
OMG. Thank you!!! I was at the “sit down and cry” stage in this project (repainting cupboards.) Then I found this page on Pinterest. Totally didn’t think it would work, BUT IT DID! Whoo-hoo!
It is so simple yet so effective!
Thanks for the tip. I have a wooden flatware container that I want to redo. Not only is it lined with contact paper, but I also can’t get a grip since it’s deep down inside. I hope the hair dryer works.
I think it will work!
Wow! I am shocked. Thank you so much for this tip. I have an entire kitchen full of first generation contact paper. You just saved me so much time. It peeled off like a charm ❤️
Yay! Happy to help!
Thank you!! I have been putting off removing the contact paper out of a buffet I purchased last year. I started working on it and realized it was going to take forever😩 Pinterest to the rescue! Your article came up, so I grabbed my hairdryer and it came off in a jiffy. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!! It was a huge help to me today❤️
I’m so glad it was helpful! I love when projects end up being faster than planned.