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Probably depends on the paint. The tank I'm currently cycling as my sump came with a blue painted back and sides I'm not fond of. Once, I started at it with a razor blade and after managing to clear about 1 or 2 square inches in about 10 minutes of scraping I decided I didn't mind the background anymore and left the rest. No doubt that paint would survive a magnetic scraper being run across it for quite a while.

In my main tank the background is black and thinner and can come off easily with a razor blade. But, in the past I didn't typically bother cleaning it off, and seeing how my tank is 6' long and up tight against a wall, when I did wipe it down I did from the inside anyways. Have you considered a stool or step ladder to be able to reach from the inside?
 
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