How to Remove Led Strip Lights Without Removing Paint?


LED lights provide a cheerful and fun atmosphere wherever you place them. Their ease of use makes them a very popular item in modern living spaces. The adhesive backing of Led strip lights allows them to be attached almost anywhere near an electrical outlet.

There is one thing to keep in mind, and that is the adhesive. Some are more difficult to remove than others, and too much force can peel paint from the walls. For this reason, it is useful to be aware of how to remove LED strip lights without removing paint.

How To Remove Led Strip Lights Without Removing Paint?

  • Arrange Safety Equipment

First of all, be careful when removing the strip lights. By Wearing protective clothing, glasses, and gloves, you will protect yourself from potential chemical burns to your eyes or skin from the paint and adhesives.

  • Unplug the lights

Make sure to unplug the lights to reduce the risk of electrocution. This also protects the lights from a potential power surge.

  • Remove The Cover

The light cover needs to be removed. This can be done with a putty knife, flathead screwdriver, or credit card by gently placing the blade beneath the cover and prying it off.

  • Applying rubbing alcohol

Just place some alcohol in a spray bottle. Then, spray the top part of the adhesive area and wait until it absorbs. After about two minutes, gently try to pry the corners for removal of the strip.

If you use this process, just make sure to use a clean cloth to wipe the surface afterward, then remove the LED light strip. This will prevent the risk of the thinner penetrating the paint and causing damage to the inside of the wall.

  • Heat the adhesive backing with a hairdryer

The LED light strips won’t peel off without damaging the paint unless heat is first applied to the adhesive. Using a hairdryer will prevent paint damage, and you can place the heat exactly where you need it. Heating the adhesive backing for about one or two minutes on medium heat will loosen the adhesive making it easier to gently peel the lights off. Keep applying the heat until you find it easy to gradually peel them off.

  • Place a blunt edge beneath the light

By inserting a dull edge beneath the light, you can slowly peel the light from the wall. It may take some time, but the results will be worth the effort. That said, if you’d prefer not to do it yourself, then you can hire a professional who will know how to remove led strip lights without removing paint.

  • Clean the residue

There will most likely be residue left after removing the lights, so you can use a citrus-based cleaner or WD-40. Either of these liquids and using a microfiber cloth in a circular motion will remove any residue. You could also use warm soapy water and a rag or sponge.


Why do LED light strips damage paint?

Below are the main reasons LED light Strips damage paint:

  • The adhesive backing’s strength

It could be that the adhesive is not as strong as needed to hold the lights in place, causing peeling from the wall and most likely damaging the surface. If the adhesive is too strong, the lights will be hard to remove without damaging your wall.

Applying any other products, such as glue dots or hot glue, will not provide good results.

  • The length of time the lights have been installed

You will find that the longer the lights have been in place, the more likely they are to cause damage to your wall due to the strength or weakness of the viscoelasticity. This also includes factors such as humidity and temperature. In general, usually, led light strips come with a warranty that lasts three years.

  • The type and durability of the paint

These are the main reasons you could run into problems with wall damage. Generally speaking, the better quality of the paint, the more chance there will be no wall damage.

  • The environment

The environment where you have the lights is crucial. Factors such as humidity, sunlight exposure, and temperature are all to be considered to prevent wall damage. High temperatures will cause the viscosity (thickness) to increase, making it really hard to stick to the wall.

  • Type Of surface

Best to be installed on wood or ceilings instead of wallpaper or drywall, for instance.

  • The length of time paint has been on the surface

If the surface has been recently painted, then it’s best to wait for at least three weeks before installation. Also, if the paint has been on for several years and shows signs of aging, then the lights will most likely peel off, ruining the wall’s surface.

Tips to keep LED strips from damaging the paint

Now you are aware of some of the reasons that LED strips peel off, let’s see how to prevent them from falling in the first place.

  • Make sure the surface is clean

First of all, make sure to clean the surface where you will be mounting your LED strip. Removing any dirt or other particles will decrease the strip’s ability to adhere to the surface. All you need is a mild detergent and cloth to remove any residue. Then rinse the area with water and dab it dry.

  • Apply the Adhesive

Once the area is completely dry, use an adhesive such as 3m General Purpose for adhering the strip to the place where you will be mounting the lights. This step isn’t for sticking the strips but for limiting the risk of them peeling off. It allows the lights to stick better.

  • Position in the appropriate place

Position the strip where you are looking to install it but make sure not to apply any pressure. You don’t want to keep mounting them, so getting it right the first time is what is needed.

  • Press down

Once you’ve found the place where you would like to install them, then you need to press on the led strip in order for it to stick for longer.

You could use both hands or anything else to provide a decent amount of pressure without causing any damage to the lights or surface.

  • Let the adhesive Dry

Let the adhesive dry for as long as necessary. If they have not been given time to dry thoroughly, they will be more inclined to fall off as quickly as last time. Just remember to make sure everything is dry prior to adding any weight.

  • Last Test

Do a last check to ensure the led strips are firmly in place. Once they are in place, any weights can be removed, and you are ready to enjoy using your strip lights.

Can You Reuse LED Strip Light After Removing?

There’s no reason to discard led lights after they have been used. It is possible to reuse led lights, especially if care was taken when removing them. The adhesive backing does not remain sticky after removal. In order to reuse, you will need to apply a double-sided adhesive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you Fix a Damaged Led Light Strip?

If the reason your led lights are damaged is due to continual plugging, you can change the connector with another one of the same types. If the warranty has expired, use electrical tape or something similar to cover the damage/gap on the led light for further usage.

How can you hang led lights without removing paint?

Wallpaper hangers are a popular product to use. They are narrow metal clips allowing for ease and secure fastening of panels to a wall. Another popular option is LED holders or brackets. The led lights are attached to wall mounts, so there is no contact with whichever surface is used.

The last method is magnetic hooks rather than holders/brackets or wallpaper hangers.

How do you reattach led lights?

When you have all the parts assembled, place the connecting cord’s opposite end from where it was pulled. Then, the other end is plugged into the outlet. If the adhesive tape was used for attaching the led lights, apply some to another clean area and mount the strips firmly for instant bonding.

Finally, make sure the lights are working properly by switching them on and checking they are functioning as they should.

Can super glue be used to attach LEDs?

Super glue can damage surfaces which is why it is not recommended.


To sum up, how to remove LED light strips without removing paint is quite straightforward. You just need to unplug the light, remove the cover, heat the adhesive to an effective temperature, and gently peel the light from the wall.

Keep in mind to use personal safety equipment to protect your eyes and skin, and follow the precautions outlined in this article to protect your walls.

Scroll to Top