How do you start to remove the plastic backing from 1-inch double-sided tape without lifting the actual tape right off again? There must be a trick to do this, just to get it started (then, of course, it peels right off). I’ll appreciate any helpful ideas. – Heinz Jaeger
Chris Marshall: I wouldn’t want to be without double-sided carpet tape in the shop. It’s helped me in so many different ways over the years, but that backing layer can be frustrating to remove. I don’t have a great solution for getting it off, but I do want to share a trick that Richard Koury, a fellow reader, sent into the magazine eight years ago (see below).
In terms of what I do when I apply it, I press it down really firmly and burnish the end of the tape repeatedly with my fingernail to make sure the adhesive is stuck down to the substrate (wood, plywood, metal, etc.) well. If the sticky tape isn’t firmly adhered, you end up wrestling with both the backing and the tape layer peeling up at the same time. Then, I scrape the end of the backing with a fingernail, and that usually lifts the end or a corner of the backing up for easier peeling. I’ve also found that the backing on mesh-type tape peels off better than older forms of double-sided tape that were made of a film material (closer to office tape) instead of mesh.
Richard Koury: Separating the backing paper from double-sided tape can be hard to do, especially for those of us whose dexterity may have diminished over the years, but here’s my trick: Just make a slit through the backing at one corner to form a triangle, with a sharp utility knife. Now slip your knife blade under the slit and lift the backing up far enough so you can grab it with your fingers to peel it off. The little triangle of backing paper that’s left in the corner is easy to lift off the same way — with the knife blade.