How To Remove LED Lights Without Peeling Paint? [3 Best Ways]

Poor quality adhesive on LED strips is the real reason why your LED light strips may rip off the wall easily. If you’re trying to take the LED strips off the wall and it keeps peeling the paint, this guide could save you $100-$200 easily. This post is all about how to remove LED lights without peeling paint. In this post, I’ll give the 3 best ways that can save your wall paint.

People love to install LED lights on their ceilings, roof, and wall. They bring a bright, calm, and aesthetic ambiance to your space. But, with years of use, those LEDs can go out of trend and you may want to replace them.

However, removing LED lights without ripping the paint is a real pain for many homeowners. If not done in the right way, it can damage the wall paint completely and you may have to spend another 100-200 bucks to fix them.

If you are also in a similar situation and asking “how to take led lights off without ripping paint”, this post would be a promising guide for you and many homeowners like you.

This post will give you the 3 best ways to get led lights off the wall:

  • Using a hairdryer
  • Using sharp object like credit card or butter knife
  • And, rubbing alcohol

Additionally, I’ll also talk about a few additional things, like:

  • What to do with already damaged wall paint?
  • Can you re-use the LED light strips?
  • A few more…

Sidenote: I’ve written a blog post where I’ve talked about dimmable LED flashing and flickering issues. If your LED dimmer isn’t working properly, feel free to check this article.

Can LED light strips damage the wall?

Do LED light rip off the paint?
LED lights on the wall

Honestly speaking, most LED light strips won’t damage the wall paint. It mainly depends on the manufacturing process and the quality of adhesive that has been put on the strips. For example, a cheap quality LED strip can easily rip off the paint. Such LEDs keep falling off the wall.

Apart from the quality of LED strips, there are a few more factors that could contribute to damage your wall paint, like:

  • Quality of the paint. Is it too thin?
  • How long do the strips remain attached to the wall?
  • The environment around your room. Is your room or wall so moist?
  • Adhesive strength.

Now, the question is – are there any LED light strips that won’t damage my wall?

Most experts suggest using 300LSE 3M adhesive back tape is more durable and comfortable for painted walls. Most of the LED light strips in the market are backed with 3M adhesive. The material used in the 3M back tape adhesive has dual nature – elastic solid as well as viscous liquid.

With this quality, LED strips can stick to the wall strongly and can be removed easily as well.

There are a few other things as well that you can apply on LED lights to minimize the wall paint damage, for example:

  • Glue dots
  • Foam tapes
  • Double-sided tape
  • Hot glue (I’ll personally not suggest you to use this)

How to remove LED lights without peeling paint?

How to remove LED lights without peeling paint?
Removing LED light without ripping the paint

How to remove led lights without peeling paint

To get LED lights off without peeling the paint, the first method you can use is a hot dryer. Appy hot dryer on the smaller area of the LED light and be as slow as possible. Do not apply the hot dryer too much otherwise, it can damage the wall paint. Use your fingers to take off the LED strip while you are applying the hot dryer at the same time. Next, you can use a sharp object like a butter knife or a credit card to remove the LED adhesive.

Caution: Before you actually start playing with the LED light strips, make sure you’ve turned off the light from the main socket.

Method 1: Use a hairdryer to remove LED from the wall

Using hairdryer to remove LED lights without ripping paint
using hair dryer to remove LED from wall

A hairdryer is one of the easiest ways to remove LED lights without peeling the paint off. Heat makes the glue soften and easier to pull off from walls.

However, applying the required amount of heat on the light strips is a crucial point. Excess heating of the LED lights can damage the lumen and can even damage the wall paint quality. Just remember, don’t expose the heat on LED light strips for more than 2 minutes.

You can start the process from the corner or edge of the strip. So, apply a hot dryer on the smaller portion of the LED strip light and simultaneously use your fingers to take off the strip. Remember be slow as slow as possible. You need patience and softness both at the same time to get led lights off the wall.

You can also use a sharp flat object such as a butter knife or credit card. Wiggle this knife or card gently under the strip and use your finger to slowly pull the LED from the wall.

After you have removed the LED from the wall, you might notice the leftover adhesive stuck to the wall paint. Gently use your thumb and rub in a circular motion over the leftover. It will automatically get off easily. Additionally, you can also use warm water with a soft cloth.

This method has always been working for many homeowners and has successfully removed the LED strips without peeling the paint.

Method 2: Use rubbing alcohol to remove the LED light

Using rubbing alcohol to get the paint off the wall
Using rubbing alcohol

If LED strips are attached to a wall with latex paint, you can use rubbing alcohol(also known as Isopropyl Alcohol) to remove them. Rubbing alcohol seems to have very positive results in removing LED strip lights without peeling the paint off.

Rubbing alcohol is a good solvent that can help you to remove that LED light without taking off the paint. Strong agents in alcohol work to dissolve adhesive from the tape and loosen the attachment. It also doesn’t hurt the paint or wall quality during the process.

All you have to do is put some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray it on top of the LED strip. Wait a few minutes to let it soak inside the adhesive and slowly remove the strip from the wall.

Again, you need patience and have to be slow as slow as possible.

Method 3: Using warm water

Using warm water to remove LED strip lights
Using warm water to remove LED strip

You can also use 50/50 warm water with vinegar to remove the LED light strips from the wall without damaging the pain. However, this method isn’t as effective as the first two. It may not properly remove the LED strip adhesive and can leave some residue on the wall.

So, how to get led light residue off the wall?

These residues can be removed using a cloth and rubbing it in a circular motion over the adhesives.

You have to use the same process as we did with the rubbing alcohol. Simply, take some warm water on a cotton ball or a cloth. Then, apply that cloth to the LED strip. Make sure you start from the edge.

Bonus Tip: Use a product called Goo Gone

Goo Gone adhesive remover
Goo Gone adhesive remover

The above methods that we discussed in this post are more than enough to take LED lights off without ripping paint.

As an additional method, you can also use a product called Goo Gone that has worked for many homeowners. It actually helped people to get the LED off the wall easily. This product is easily available in most of the hardware out there.

All you have to do is, apply this product on a clean cloth. You can also put this Goo Gone adhesive remover in a spray bottle. Then, simply spray it over the LED strip and let it soak inside the adhesive.

Once it’s been 2 minutes, gently use your finger to get the LED off. Again, you need have patience and be slow.

Can LED strip light damage my wallpaper?

Removing LED strip lights from the wooden surface, cabinets, and tiles is an easy task. The LED strips will come off easily without damaging such surfaces.

However, the real pain starts when you try to remove an LED from the pain or a wallpaper.

So far we learned that poor quality adhesive can easily damage the wall and rip off the pain. But, what about wallpaper?

Can LED light damage the wallpaper as well?

Obviously, YES, it can easily damage the wallpaper. Wallpapers are soft and built of paper. Due to their weakness, an LED light can easily rip, tear, or damage the wallpaper. Additionally, it is really hard to get the LED light from the wallpaper without ripping it.

Can I reuse LED strip lights?

While you were removing the LED strip light from the wall, it may have loosened it’s stickiness. As a result, this LED strip light may not stick to the wall again.

Now, the question is – can we reuse that LED strip light?

Of course, YES, you can re-use the LED strip lights. However, you may have to use an additional back tape(such as 3M) or a double-sided tape to stick it properly on the wall.

Applying 3M adhesive tape will make the LED strips stackable, just like when it was a new one. As an alternate method, you can also use a double-sided back tape. However, don’t use super glue or any strong adhesive.

You might not be interested in a double-sided tape or 3M back tape. If yes, go for command hooks or command strips. These command strips are easy to install as well as easy to remove. Additionally, it won’t rip the paint off when you remove them.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Can you stick your led strip lights using super glue?

No, NEVER use super glue to stick LED lights to the wall. Super glue is a strong adhesive and may damage the wall as well as the wall paint. Instead, use 3M black tape for better stickiness of LED strip lights.

Can you reuse an led strip light after removing it from the wall?

Yes, you can use an LED strip light after removing it from the wall or wallpaper. However, the adhesive may have been damaged. You might have to re-apply 3M back tape or a double-sided tape to re-attach it to the wall.

Do LED strip lights take off the paint?

Most LED strip lights won’t take off the paint as they are backed with 3M back tape. They are one of the finest adhesive manufacturers used in LED strips. They are strong but easy to remove at the same time.

Do Led Strip Lights Ruin Wood?

Most probably, NO, LED strip lights won’t damage the wood. Wooden cabinets or wooden surfaces are harder and have strong paint that doesn’t come off so easily.


So, this was the detailed guide on how to remove led lights without peeling paint. I hope you liked the discussion and the methods we discussed in this post.

To summarize everything, LED strip lights don’t damage the wall paint so easily. Manufacturers use 3M tape on strip lights which is a good adhesive. They don’t come off so easily but also don’t damage the wall paint.

However, not every light strip is backed with 3M taping. And such LEDs can damage the paint. In such situations, you need to certain methods that help you to remove LED lights without ripping the paint.

In this post, we talked about 3 best ways to remove LED strip lights from the wall:

  • Using a hairdryer
  • Using Isopropyl alcohol (or rubbing alcohol)
  • Warm water with vinegar
  • And, a bonus method; Using goo gone adhesive remover

All the methods discussed in this post have been verified by many homeowners and came out to be working fine.

In case, you have a few better ideas or have something to discuss about, feel free to reach me by filling out my contact page form.

So follow our recommended steps, and you can easily pull off the bands without damaging the surface.

About Gilly Assuncao


Hey Everyone,

I am Gilly Assuncao but, people call me Gilly. Earlier before starting the home decor blog, I was a singer and my dream was to create music and sing songs.

However, later as the years passes on, I started losing interest in singing and started loving home decoration and home improvement which was my keen interest from the beginning.

I've worked as a home decor expert in various companies. And, I've many years of experience in home decoration and DIY-related topics.

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