How To Remove Paper Backing From Picture Frame

Framing pictures is a beautiful way to showcase your favorite photos. You can frame photos of you and your friends, yourself or your pets, or just of beautiful scenes.

Framing pictures can be cost-effective or expensive, depending on what materials you use and how you have them made. At the end, they are a great treasure to have!

Some people receive framed pictures as gifts, so how would you know how to properly remove the paper backing from a frame? Some frames have plastic covering the image, so this tip will not work for all frames.

Using strong tape to secure the picture inside the frame is another way to prevent damage to your picture or painting.

Peel from center

how to remove paper backing from picture frame

Once you have lined up the picture correctly, you can start to peel off the backing. The best place to start peeling is in the center of the frame.

By starting in the center, you can peel down either side. This makes it easier to get off than starting on one side and having to pull off the other side first.

Peeling from the center down also reduces the risk of tearing the picture or putting too much pressure on it, which could possibly tear the picture.

Reminder: When removing frames make sure to do it in a well-lit area and use a sturdy surface to work on like a desk or table. Using a hard floor could result in dropping and possibly breaking your frame or painting.

Use a sharp knife

how to remove paper backing from picture frame

Removing the paper backing from a picture frame can be tricky. It is important to use a sharp knife or scissors to cut away the extra backing material.

If you use a dull blade, you may run the risk of dragging the paper underneath the frame, which would look awkward. You also risk tearing the picture or damaging the frame while trying to cut away the extra backing.

It is best to use a sharp knife to cut away the extra backing within the frame itself. This way, you can ensure that you are cutting away all of the unnecessary backing material.

Frame makers use different types of glue to attach the backing to the frame. Some glues are stronger than others, so it depends on what kind you have for how long it takes to remove it.

General tips: Try taping down any loose edges of paper that are still on the framed picture with tape.

Use steam

Removing the paper from a picture frame can be tricky, as it can damage the frame or take a very long time. The best method is to use steam to soften up the glue that holds the paper in place.

To do this, hold the picture frame above a bowl filled with just-boiled water. Let the steam warm up the wood for a few minutes until you can feel that it is soft.

Then, use a towel to gently rub off the glue. Make sure to go with the grain of the wood so you do not tear up the frame.

Lay flat and use a dry towel to rub the frame

how to remove paper backing from picture frame

Once you have completed the previous bullet point, lay your frame flat on a dry towel and rub the frame up and down to get rid of the leftover adhesive. The towel will catch any falling glue.

This is an important step to take as if you just remove the adhesive without rubbing off the excess, it will stick to the picture frame backing when you place it down.

Glue can be tough to get off so using a towel that can easily be replaced or washed is a good way to prevent having to buy new towels every time you do this.

Try a hair dryer

how to remove paper backing from picture frame

Removing the backing from a picture frame can be tricky, and it can be even more difficult if the frame has been painted or had to have additional layers of paint applied.

To easily remove the paper backing, try warming up the glue with a hair dryer. Hold the dryer several inches away from the back of the frame and run it over the entire surface to warm up the glue.

Once done, you can pull off the backing to reveal your picture! Make sure to keep working with the hair dryer as you pick up your new picture so you do not burn yourself.

If you do not have a hair dryer, you can use a vacuum to pull off the excess glue. Turn off the suction and hold down the back of the frame while picking upthe backing to reveal your picture.

Use tape to pull the paper off

how to remove paper backing from picture frame

The best method for removing the paper from your picture frame is to use tape to pull the paper off. You can use any type of tape, but you may need several layers to get all of the paper off.

Cell phone adhesive tape works well for this! Just attach it to the back of the frame and pull it off. If you use too much tape, you can always peel some off later.

The trick is to put the tape on in such a way that it pulls off the paper, not the frame. Put the tape on lightly and then pull down slowly with enough strength to get rid of all of the paper.

Soak in water then peel off paper

how to remove paper backing from picture frame

Another way to remove the paper from your picture frame is to soak the frame in water until the backing softens and can be peeled off. This method works best if the backing is made of cardboard.

To do this, put your frame in the shower with you or in a bowl of water. Let it sit for as long as it takes for the paper to soften and then peel it off.

The trick here is to make sure your frame does not float away or get damaged by getting wet itself.

Cardboard frames are best for this method as they are more absorbent than other frames.

Rub with an oil-based product

how to remove paper backing from picture frame

Even though the paper is glued to the frame, you can still remove it. All you need is the right tool—in this case, an oil-based product like vegetable oil or olive oil.

Simply brush a little bit of the oil onto the picture frame where the paper is glued. Then, use your hands or a piece of paper to rub out the paper backing. Make sure to rub in all directions to get rid of all of the paper!

This works because oil dissolves glue. Glue is what binds the picture frame backing and the paper together, so by using an oil that dissolves glue, you are breaking down the bond between them.

An extra tip: If there are parts of the picture frame that have very little glue on them, you can use some tape to cover those spots before brushing on the oil. That way only the less secure parts of the frame will come loose.

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