How to Remove LED Lights Without Peeling the Paint

How to Remove LED Lights Without Peeling the Paint

LED lights are versatile. These are not only functional but also can add a soft touch of cozy ambiance to any space. As well they are available in a variety of styles and colors, so you can adapt them to suit any purpose. And the best thing about them is their—3MM backing! With their adhesive back and simple design, you can effortlessly add a little extra flair and light up your space. 

However, there are times when you have to move the LED light. Reasons might be varied. You may have rented the space, are now moving out, and want to remove the LED lights you applied in your room. Or perhaps you’re not satisfied with the current location of LED lights and now want to change their location. This leaves the question of how you can remove your LED lights without peeling paint. 

Well, continue reading on; here, we will discuss everything you need to know about peeling LED lights from your wall without causing any damage to your fixtures.

Steps to Remove LED Lights Without Damaging Your Walls

Because LED strips are semi-permanent, you can remove them when you want to. The downside is, however, LED strip lights can damage your walls due to their adhesives. So, you need to be careful when removing them. 

Basically, the process of removing LED lights isn’t too painful or difficult. You just need to be attentive and follow the steps below closely to ensure your LED light strip comes off the wall safely without damaging it. First, here are the things you’ll need for the process:

Things You Will Need

First of all, you will need to place the equipment that you will need during this process, including:

  • A softener (hair dryer/solvent/thinner)
  • A remover (any flathead tool that isn’t too sharp, like a spoon/fruit knife/ or credit card)
  • Besides, to prevent chemical burns to your eyes and skin, wear protective clothing, glasses, and gloves when removing strip lights.

Now let’s get to the PROCESS.

Step-1: Unplug the Power

Turn off the main power switch before working with anything electricity-related. It is sometimes dangerous to work on live wires or circuits, and if you’re not careful, you could get injured. So, unplug the power instead of putting yourself at risk.

Step-2: Soften the adhesive

Now, you need to deal with the adhesive that sticks the LED lights to the wall. However, remember the paint will come off your walls and ruin your walls if you pull the strip right away. That’s why you should need to soften the adhesive layer first. And you can do this by a different method. 

Here is a quick rundown:

  • Method 1: Hair Dryer

Heat can soften adhesives more quickly. And when the adhesive layer is softened with heat, it will be easier to peel off LED strips. 

Ideally, you can use a hairdryer as a source of heat. To begin, turn the hair dryer on its hottest setting. Then, move it back and forth as you hold it close to the adhesive, so the adhesive melts down. 

Using a med-high heat setting for about one to two minutes will loosen the adhesive, which will make it easier to remove the lights. If it doesn’t come off, continue to apply heat until they gradually peel off. However, make sure not to overheat the wall. 

  • Method 2: Use Adhesive Removers

The adhesive on LED strip lights can be removed with acetone and isopropyl (also known as rubbing alcohol). First, soak a clean cloth in the solvent. Next, wipe the adhesive with the soaked cloth. Once the adhesive has dried, rub it with the fabric in a circular motion until it comes off. 


Do not use adhesive removers containing oil. Oils can soak into plaster and drywall, creating permanent stains that will not fade even after repainting. On the other hand, cleaning with alcohol-based products won’t damage the wall paint.

  • Method 3: Use Thinner

When your walls are painted with latex paint, you can use Thinner to soften the adhesive without harming the wall with a few drops of Laquer Thinner. It is essential, however, to wipe off the Thinner as soon as possible so that it does not penetrate the latex. 

Step-3: Remove the Strip

After being softened with heat or any method you use – the adhesive will weaken. Still, if you pull it out straight away, it might damage the paint. Firstly, use a blunt object, such as a spoon, knife, or credit card, to wedge it. Place it under the LED strip, and twist the object until the LED light softly separates from the wall. When you do this slowly, it will come off the wall without damaging it. 

This is how you can remove LED strip lights without damaging your paint. Wash off any residue with soap water, or use a citrus-based cleaner or WD-40 after removing the adhesive.

The work is very simple. Be patient and careful, as it may take a bit longer than you expected. And even though it may take a while—the results will be well worth it! In the event that you prefer not to do the work yourself, you can hire a professional who is familiar with removing led strip lights without removing paint.

What Causes LED Light Strips to Damage the Paint? 

Here are some of the most common causes why LED light strips cause paint damage:

  • A strong adhesive backing: It will be difficult to remove the lights without damaging your wall if the adhesive is too strong.
  • Installed the time of the lights: If the LED lights have been installed for so long, it will be difficult to remove them without peeling paint on the wall. The viscoelasticity of the wall will become stronger or weaker as time goes on, causing more damage to the lights. Also, wait at least three weeks before installing LED if the surface has recently been painted. 
  • Paint type & durability: These are the most common reasons for wall damage. It is generally more likely that there will be no damage if the paint is of higher quality
  • Surface type: Instead of wallpaper or drywall, LED lights are best to be installed on wood or ceilings. 

Can I Reuse the LED Strip Light After Removing it? 

Yes, you can usually remove and reapply the LED lights because of their adhesive back. However, if the adhesive backing doesn’t remain sticky after removal, you can use double-sided adhesive.

Wrapping Up

Compared to other sources of colored lighting, LED strips are much more cost-effective and efficient. Besides being easy to apply, they are available almost everywhere as well. Additionally, these can be removed and reapplied quickly. The only concern with them is how to remove LED lights without damaging walls. The process of moving them, however, is not something you need to be afraid of. Because you can do it without removing the paint from the walls or damaging the wallpaper, simply follow the steps outlined above, and you will be good to go!

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