Will Packing Tape Damage Wood?

Should you put packing tape directly on the surface of the wood furniture that you're loading for your big move? Can you use packing tape to protect wooden surfaces when you're painting? We've got the answer to these questions straight from the experts! Here's what they have to say.

Yes, packing tape can damage wood. Its adhesives can leave a residue on the wooden exterior and remove its paint or finish. Aside from being unsightly, it can also cause dirt and debris to stick to its surface which can further cause damage to it. To help keep it in great condition, do not use packing tape directly on wood.

Keep reading to learn more about why you shouldn't use packing tape on your wooden furniture and fixtures at home. We'll also share tips on how to remove packing tape on wood and what kind of tape you can use instead to avoid damaging its paint and finish. Let's get started!

Silver duct tape roll on wooden background - Will Packing Tape Damage Wood

Does packing tape leave a residue?

Close up of a guy's hands holding packing machine and sealing cardboard boxes with duct tape

Wood is one of the most expensive materials used for home furniture and fixtures. Wood adds a touch of charm, elegance, and sophistication to your home.

To protect wood surfaces, a protective layer is usually applied to them aside from other finishes to enhance their appearance and make them last longer.

Wood also requires careful use and maintenance to preserve its beauty. For example, you need to clean its surface regularly as dust and debris can scratch its exterior. You also need to take note of the cleansers that you use since its surface is very sensitive to harsh chemicals.

Whether you're preparing your wood furniture before you move to a new house or you're doing a home improvement project near a wood fixture, you might be tempted to use packing tape on its surface in an attempt to cover and protect it.

But hold on right there as you might be doing more harm than good on your wood furniture or fixtures.

Since this type of tape is specifically designed to adhere to different surfaces effectively, it can stick to the wood really well. The problem is that the adhesives used in packing tape can leave an unsightly mark or residue on the wood.

It can remove whatever paint or finish has been applied to that particular area. Obviously, this will ruin the overall look and appeal of your lovely wood furniture.

The adhesives on the packing tape are hard to remove. They're so stubborn that water won't work on them. And the longer they stay on the surface, the more dirt and dust they'll attract which will further damage the furniture or fixture.

That's why you shouldn't put packing tape on the wood directly if you want to preserve its condition. Experts advise you to use blankets or thick padding to cover them and then use packing tape on these materials instead to secure them in their place.

How to remove packing tape residue from wood furniture

Silver duct tape roll on wooden background.

In case this warning came a little too late, here are some recommended ways to remove packing tape from wood to remedy the situation. You don't want to damage its paint or finish.

It's also helpful to state here that you shouldn't attempt to just rip the packing tape off the wood. Additionally, do not use acetone, lacquer thinner, or other solvents that contain harsh chemicals.

These actions will cause the finish or paint to come off and you'll have an ugly mark on your furniture that'll make it unpresentable.

There are two methods to help you remove the packing tape without damaging your furniture.

Hairdryer method

  1. Use a hairdryer to heat the area covered with packing tape. The heat will loosen the adhesives.
  2. Once the area is warm enough, peel the tape carefully. Don't wait for it to get cold as the adhesives will harden again and you won't be able to remove the tape.
  3. Continue to blow heat on the tape as you peel it off.
  4. Use a flat-edged scraper or putty knife to remove the residue from the surface.
  5. Put a few drops of WD-40, olive oil, or any household oil product that you have on a clean piece of cloth.
  6. Rub this on the wood surface with adhesive residue.
  7. Let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Wipe off the oil using another clean piece of cloth.
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 as needed.
  10. To get rid of oil on the surface, wash it off with soapy water.
  11. Wipe your furniture dry.

Vinegar Method

  1. Prepare a bowl of white vinegar and get some paper towels.
  2. Soak the paper towels in vinegar.
  3. Put the paper towels on top of the packing tape.
  4. Leave them there for about 5 minutes.
  5. Set aside the towels.
  6. Peel off the packing tape.
  7. Use the vinegar-soaked towels to remove any residue on the surface.
  8. Clean with soapy water.
  9. Dry the furniture using a clean cloth.

These are just some of the ways to safely remove packing tape from your wood furniture or fixture so that it won't damage the paint or finish. With a little more effort, you can remedy the situation.

What kind of tape can you use on wood?

Scotch tape, duct tape, and masking tape on the wood surface. The painting tool. The attributes of the repair.

This brings us to this question. What tape is okay to use for wood furniture? Or is it just safe to say never to use tape on wood?

If the situation calls for it, there are tapes out there that you can use on wood products.

Experts say that you should use tape that has a weak adhesion so that it'll be easy to remove later on and won't damage the finish or paint on your wood furniture or fixture.

Here are the most recommended products to use:

Scotch Painters Tape for Delicate Surfaces

It's interesting to note here that a wood floor company conducted an experiment to find out how different tapes would affect different hardwood floor finishes.

Across all wood finish types from lacquer to polyurethane and UV-oiled, only Scotch-Blue Painters for Delicate Surfaces did not leave any residue on their surface even after a month of being taped on the hardwood floors.

Find this product on Amazon.

Scotch Wall-Safe Tape

This tape was manufactured using Post-it brand adhesive technology. We all know how Post-its work. They stick to the surface and you can remove them easily without causing any damage. That's why you can be assured that it is safe to use on your delicate wood furniture when the need arises.

Click this link to find this Scotch Wall-Safe Tape on Amazon.

3M No Residue Duct Tape

This is getting the best of both worlds. You have a powerful adhesive and yet cleaning it up from the surface is no hassle. You can remove it without a mess even six months after application.

That's why it is recommended for temporary or permanent repairs that need to be done on your wood furniture or fixture.

Check out this link to find this product on Amazon.

These are just some of the tapes that you can use safely on wood products. Just a reminder that it's always best to check the manufacturers' recommendations and instructions regarding the use of their products.

You can also read customer reviews to learn about the experience of other buyers regarding the product that you intend to buy.

Final Thoughts

roll of masking tape on wood.

You need to handle wood products with care at all times to protect your investment. Don't use packing tape on the surface directly. Look for tapes that are safe to use on wooden surfaces to avoid damaging them.

If you want to get more helpful packing tips for moving, feel free to read the following posts:

How To Pack Bowls For Moving

How To Pack Empty Plant Pots For Moving