Weekend Mini Project – Removing a Leatherskin and Reapplying a Gelaskin to My iPad 2

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I’d been using a ZAGG Leatherskin on my iPad 2 until yesterday. I liked it a lot and the color of the leatherskin matched the color of my iPad 2 smart cover near perfectly, creating a very handsome effect. But as the weeks went by, I began to notice the extra weight of the leatherskin as opposed to a Gelaskin that I had been using before with the iPad 2.

It’s only a very tiny amount of difference in weight, but I’ve been missing that lightness of the Gelaskin – so I decided to have a go at removing the leatherskin and reapplying the same Gelaskin I had been using before – the ‘Vintage Dr. Gonzo’ one shown above. I’m far from adept at applying screen protectors and skins so I went into this little mini-project knowing it could easily end up being a mess.

Here’s how it went for me …

I found that I needed to go quite slowly when removing the leatherskin from the iPad 2. If I pulled too fast it seemed to leave a little thin layer of its adhesive on the iPad. I also had to work on it from all sides, bit by bit – as in, peel a section on one of the sides, then work on the cutouts on that side, then move to the other side and do the same, then to the bottom, then the top, and so on.

Working slowly, I gradually got up a good amount and the more I had up the more leverage I had for getting the remainder off. After about 5 minutes I had it all the way removed, with just one small area where there was a thin layer of adhesive left – just above the SIM card slot and below the headphone jack.



A bit of prying with a fingernail and rubbing with a ZAGG cleaning cloth soon got rid of the leftover adhesive in that area and the back of the iPad 2 was back to normal.


Then I set about reapplying my Dr. Gonzo Gelaskin. When I had removed it I had tried my best to place it back on the board it came on as neatly as possible – which it turns out (as with most things I do) was not that neat.

It took several aborted efforts and restarts before I got the Gelaskin back on. It is not on as perfectly as it was the first time I applied it, but it’s close enough. It had a few bubbly areas that I smoothed out with a cleaning cloth and the main body of it is now quite smooth again. It’s got a few of the sections around buttons that are just a hair off being perfectly positioned – but it will do for now. I may decide to pull it off again and reposition it when I have more time.

For now though, I’m happy to have the Gelaskin back on. The iPad 2 feels as light as ever again and the Gelaskin still makes for a superb partner for the smart cover.

Have any of you done any swapping out of skins on your iPad recently? If so, how did it go for you?

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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