Removing Tar Paper From Wood Floors With Goof-Off And Citristrip


I am remodeling a hard wood floor with tar paper on it. Currently I am using a scrapper and a heat gun to remove it. Is there a better way?


Dear Craig

You can try odorless mineral spirts, and if that fails lacquer thinner. And lastly Goof-Off ( Squirt the solvent under the paper and try pushing it off with a good quality putty knife.

If all that proves ineffective try a safe paint stripper (Citristrip at Also, read my article on this great stuff, which can be found at the top of the web page in the search box. But as a last resort you can use some of the more dangerous methyline chloride strippers, just leave the house as the stripper does its work.

And you really must be diligent about removing all this tar paper. It may be glued with an asphalt cut back adhesive, and these can never be sanded off, because of the asbestos concern. It may be best to have it tested for asbestos before you get much further.