If you're removing silicone, a plastic scraper generally will not gouge or remove paint. Anything else will, and make your job look terrible. You'll go through a few of them as when they loose they're sharp edge they're useless. When sharp though, they do a great job! You might consider starting in an area not seen as often. Tape is an EXCELLENT plan! Try to keep the width of the sealant about the same as what was there originally. Wide seams can be pretty unsightly?
I use silicone, but that's mostly because I've been using it forever and have grown accustomed to it's use. It's also what the factory used (regarding front/rear/sides).
Patience is the password!
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
03 CR-V Blue Ox, Ready Brake