Practice Safe Sticker Removal

Tammy brought over a rescue find one day. A dainty little nesting doll had been sitting in Salvation Army for quite awhile. Bonus points: is she vintage? Alas, no, she’s not and she was already abandoned and destined to be tossed. The reason? A sticky tag was half-ripped off and there were tiny paint chips where the tag had been removed. When Tammy found her, half of the tag was still on and any further attempt at removing caused more paint to come off.

So what to do? The solution here was extremely easy and painless.

Nesting Doll Rescue

Grab a hair dryer, heat up the glue and carefully, carefully pull in the correct direction while the glue is still hot and gummy.

Sticky Tag Direction to Pull   Sticky Tag Removed

Instead of peeling the sticker back further or pulling it straight up, I pulled the sticker in a direction nearly parallel with the doll’s surface and slightly upward. You can see the after image: no paint was removed. Success!

This works on all sorts of tags that aren’t ridiculously old and even adhesive tape. I normally leave vintage price tags in place and generally those stickers look way cooler than $0.99 scrawled in black marker. For vintage books, heating up the price tag is a necessity. Most times you need to be extremely firm to get a seller to actually leave the tag on the book. I couldn’t tell you the number of times someone has ripped a tag off even after I asked to leave it on and the tag left a white blank on an otherwise perfect cover.

In cases where there is a residue left on non-porous surfaces, check out Formby’s Almond Lustre. I used this on a desk I refinished earlier this summer and it did clean old price tag residue off. Plus my garage had a gentle almond scent for a day or so. Austin and I will gush about the wonderful properties of Formby’s in another post since we use it all the time.

Have you had a price tag that you ripped off and felt great remorse and thrown the treasure in the trash? Don’t worry: you’re not alone. We’ve all done that too.

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