What BluTak does to your walls

I sat down to write a calm informed article about BluTak, and why it is the Devil’s work when it comes near nicely painted interior walls.

And what did I find, dear reader, in a quick Google search: a Council Health & Safety order banning use of BluTak on windows in a Scottish school on the grounds that ‘it might explode’.

You will be relieved to hear that this is a good old ‘Health and Safety Gone Mad’ story, but that doesn’t stop me hating BluTak with a passion.  The stuff contains oil to keep it pliable. Paint, plaster and paper (in other words, all the things we decorators lovingly put on your walls) are porous and love to suck the oil out of BluTak. Once it’s in the wall, you’ll be very lucky to get it out and repainting is usually all that’s open to you.

I quote from the BluTak website:

What surfaces can I apply Blu Tack to? Blu Tack can be used on non-porous surfaces, painted surfaces, vinyl coated wallpaper, glass, metal ,etc. Do not use on absorbent, silk screen-printed or hand stenciled wallpaper nor on porous brickwork.

How do I get Blu Tack out of the carpet? Unfortunately this is a difficult one. Try dabbing with a citrus based stain remover to soften the material and pull away. These types of cleaners are available in good grocery, variety and hardware outlets. Always spot test first to make sure that the stain remover doesn’t strip the colour out of the carpet.

How do I remove faint stains from the walls? Citrus based stain remover is the best. If the walls have been painted sometime ago, they can become porous which will suck the oil out of Blu Tack. In this instance, you will need to clean with Sugar Soap and generally repaint the surface.

Why does Blu Tack pull paint off the wall? Care should be taken on painted plaster as Blu Tack’s adhesive qualities may cause paint to come away from wall. When walls haven’t been properly prepared prior to painting or there is insufficient paint on the plasterboard. Blu Tack will stick to the paint surface and over time the Blu Tack coupled with the weight of the item its attaching, will eventually fall off, taking paint with it because the paint hasn’t sufficiently stuck to the plasterboard. Blu Tack becomes more adhesive as time goes on, so when removing it after a while, it’s a good idea to soften the edges with a citrus stain remover. Remember when removing Blu Tack, roll it off carefully never pull it off the walls.

How can I get Blu Tack off Brick Walls? We do not recommend you use Blu Tack on Brick Walls because its porous and as Blu Tack is a putty, it will go into crevices which makes it difficult to remove. If this has happened, recommend you try and gouge out the Blu Tack and try and camouflage the Blu Tack by using a grout.

I rest my case.

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