does led lights take off paint

Does LED lights take off paint? Are you wondering the same?

If you are the type of person that takes care of your house, you are probably wondering about the safety of LEDs for your wall before buying them.

The general answer is “no.” In most cases, LED lights won’t take the paint away when you peel them off. However, you must observe the state of the paint when you install them.

The guide below offers all the necessary information to safely install your LED strip lights.

It is especially useful if you rent a house and want to avoid the trouble of painting again when the contract is over.

Does LED Lights Take Off Paint?

do the led take off paint

LEDs can completely alter the atmosphere of a space and make it more welcoming.

In addition, because of their adhesive nature, they are only temporary, making them convenient for moving.

In general, LED light strips won't cause any damage to walls, but this can change depending on several factors.

Many factors influence the adhesion of the LED strips to a certain surface:

  • The strength of your adhesive
  • The durability of the paint or wallpaper
  • The application time
  • The weather 

What Is The Adhesive Material Used In LED Strips?

what are the adhesive materials

The LED strips you use are probably all backed with 3M adhesives, regardless of whether they are a single color, multicolor, 1 foot, or 10 feet in length.

Regarding adhesives, 3M is without peer; their tape consistently ranks as the strongest on the market. The reason for this is that it is made out of sturdy acrylic.

Put another way, such acrylic has several uses and is an extremely viscous liquid with solid elastic properties.

The term “viscoelasticity” describes this quality.

Alright, so the 3M Adhesive is viscoelastic. That means it may stick even to wavy or unflattering surfaces

What Kind of Wall Can Light Strips Damage?

what kind of wall can damaged

Let’s be honest here. Design trends in the interior realm are dynamic. But, compared to even a decade ago, today’s fashions and alternatives are far superior.

When you were a kid, did you ever ask your parents to let you paint your bedroom a fun, bold color?

At this point, how do you feel about that choice?

A permanent installation of LED strip lights is generally not something you want to undertake.

To that end, how difficult is it to take them off after the adhesive has been set?

How well they stick to a given surface will determine the correct response. 

Your wall shouldn’t be an issue, whether made of tile, wood, or plastic.

The strips are designed to be easily peeled off and will leave no marks or harm to the surface they are removed from.

There may be leftover glue that has to be removed. We will teach you how to remove that close to the end of the article.

Problematic Surfaces

a problematic surfaces

However, problems can arise if the surface is plasterboard, painted, or wallpapered.

Such materials are constituted of multiple brittle layers, making them more susceptible to damage.

After all, wallpaper is very fragile. Therefore, a strong bond will form if a strong adhesive is applied to any paper. That’s the reason duct tape wraps gifts.

However, separating the two parts will be challenging when it comes time to remove the LED strips.

As a result, the wallpaper is likely to rip, tear or curl.

That will be especially frustrating if the wallpaper has a pattern, as the gaps will be very visible.

Also, if the wallpaper is decorated, you will not be able to paint over it to hide the damage.

Do The LED Strip Lights Come Off Easily Without Peeling The Paint?

led light come off easily without peeling

As such, you may be curious about the long-term effects of LED strips on freshly painted walls.

Can you compare the endurance of paint with wallpaper?

Once again, the paint and LED adhesive strength are key factors. Many different factors come into play here.

Generally speaking, you have to calculate how delicate the painting is.

Eventually, the paint will dry up and crack, proving that it is not indestructible.

LED strips are more likely to cause paint to peel off the wall if the paint is too old.

Even fresh paint isn’t safe. While freshly painted walls may seem dry to the touch within 24 hours, a complete cure time of 2-4 weeks is more customary.

The Worst-Case Scenario

worst case scenario

If you apply LED strips to a recently painted wall, the adhesive will merge with the paint.

The LEDs will form a stronger relationship with the paint than the paint will with the wall. But, long term, it will damage the paint.

The bad news is that it’s not even the whole story. Additionally, the paint job’s quality will make a difference.

For instance, applying paint on dusty, rusted, unprimed, or filthy walls can reduce the paint’s effectiveness.

Because LED strips are so abrasive, your paintwork will quickly deteriorate.

Nothing will be wrong with the wall itself, but a little section of paint will be gone.

How To Avoid Peeling Paint Off With LED Lights?

how to avoid the peeling

How to remove LED lights without peeling paint? As we already said, it is most unlikely that LED lights will remove your paint. 

We pointed out cases where they will damage the paint. However, in most situations, you can easily take care so that won’t happen.

Your LED strips are unlikely to damage the wall if you apply them to a durable surface and rely on the 3M adhesives on them.

But of course, no one can be 100% sure.

How To Safely Remove LED Strips From The Wall?

Here’s a quick guide if you want to safely remove the LED strips.

Shut off the power to the LEDs first. Never mess with live wires unless you know what you’re doing.

A hairdryer will do the trick to soften the adhesive layer of the LEDs. As a result, it will be less sticky and simpler to remove.

Take Care With the Heat

take care with a heat

Remember that LEDs can generate a lot of heat, and that heat can cause the lights to dim more quickly.

So, keeping that in mind, try to limit your time with the hairdryer to no more than two minutes.

A flat, dull object (like a butter knife or credit card) should be inserted under the LED strip, beginning at a corner or edge piece.

Once the LED strip is removed from the wall, you can move the flat object.

With your other hand, carefully peel the LED strip away from the base. Continue the action until the LED strip is fully unwrapped.

Take your time, and don’t rush.

How To Remove Remaining Adhesive

Use your thumb to rub the wall in small circles to remove any remaining adhesive. You can usually remove the residue with minimal effort.

If that doesn’t work, try applying some WD-40 or a citrus-based hand cleaner to a rag and rubbing back and forth on the adhesive until it’s gone.

How To Know If LED Strip Lights Are Safe For Your Wall

how know if led strip are safe

LED strip lights are a godsend for those who want to switch things up in the home on a regular basis.

However, a patch test may be performed if you are still uncertain. It’s best to use the 3M adhesives in a hidden spot in the house, like a closet or a corner.

Check for paint or wallpaper damage by leaving it on for two days and then removing it.

What We Learned

So, does LED lights take off paint? Usually, LED lights don’t take away any paint when you remove them from the wall.

However, that is only true when the LED strips are applied in the appropriate conditions.

If the paint is too old or too recent, the damage will most likely show up once you take them off.

Dirt and dust in the walls also cause damage if it gets between the strips and the wall.

Nicole B