How to get left over sellotape and sticky stuff off a door

I've just moved into a new room which I want to clean up a little bit because it is showing the marks of lots of previous owners. I'm not looking to turn it into a palace but I do want to feel like I'm coming back to my room and it isn't just a student slum.

Firstly, there is a load of sticky stuff left over from sellotape and double sided sticky tape on the door. What is the best way to get it off? I wanted to ask because I don't want to end up damaging the paint (which is already a little cracked) behind and end up having to stand down and repaint the door.

It is a stupidly simple question I know but I want to get it right first time and not cause myself more work rather than avoid the embarrassment of asking something that should be obvious. 

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Try WD-40, Liam.  Give it a good spraying, the let it set for a bit before cleaning it.  If you need to, repeat the process.

Sounds like a strange idea! Won't it leave a film of oil on the door? 

I have the same problem on a painted wall.  Asked about it here, and everybody said:  sorry, dude, you're going to be painting it over.

The walls I have decided to paint over at some point, they are covered in those black smudge marks, have screw coming out everywhere and a few distortions and cracks. I'm planning to take out the screws, fill in the holes and paint over the whole lot. I can cope with the distortions in the plaster but I wanted to avoid repainting the door. I may just gently scratch/rub it off and put up with any slight cracking of the paint. And if I destroy it then I guess I'll have another home project!

Mother's advice: 

Try very hot soapy water first, it probably won’t work but worth a try.  If it doesn’t you could try nail varnish remover or turps, that usually works.  Neither should affect the paint but you could try it in an inconspicuous place first.

Rubbing alcohol or finger nail polish remover (acetone). There are a few others. . .

Goof Off! or Goo Gone if you can find them. Those two are made for that kind of stuff. Acetone will evaporate very quickly, finger nail polish remover makes me queasy.

I'm planning on painting the walls so I'll try with the turps first as I need to get some anyway. If it doesn't work I'll try and find a local equivalent of one of those products. 

Agreed on the acetone , if there's anything I learned from my sighn writer father was that acetone cleans tape off of everything , it's handy for cleaning stainless steel also to justify buying some .

I second Goo Gone, something great to have around the house in the future. You can even use it on clothes and shoes to get gum and other sticky stuff off.


Using WD-40 will leave an oily residue on porous surfaces and then you won't be able to paint that surface (the paint will peel sometime in the future or just won't stick at all).

I floated walls in one of my bathrooms that had residue from previous wall paper (I hate that crap).  I ended up cutting out the front paper of the wall board and then floating over the whole thing.  Took forever and messy as hell but it worked.

You could try mineral oil.  Found at a general store or pharmacy.  For instance you know when those highly sticky price tags leave a residue on things, that works like a charm.

Thanks guys! I've got plenty of things to work through and try now. I'm determined to have a clean door for my room. 


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