In woodworking, glue is an essential product that makes working with wood a lot easier. Wood glue provides a long-lasting and rigid bond between your wood pieces.
When using wood glue, you would likely spill the wood glue on unwanted surfaces leaving behind glue marks or an unpleasant mess. It is important to remove the glue stains from the wood for quality furniture and carving.
How we remove dried wood glue from wood.
1. By using sandpaper.
Using sandpaper is one method that is widely used because it is easy and accessible.
How to remove wood glue using a sandpaper
- Acquire a small piece of 120 To 3000 Assorted Grit Sandpaper, just enough to cover the glue spot.
- Sand until the glue looks flat on the wood.
- Use back-and-forth motions, applying minimum pressure to the area.
- Next, change to 1200-grit sandpaper and carefully remove the remaining glue. Be careful not to sand any wood.
- Lastly, wipe the area with a soft cloth and check if you sanded any wood.
- Apply a finish similar to the last finish in case you could have accidentally rubbed it.
- Use satin or dull gloss or wood polish to make the area shine.
However be aware that, if you have a lot of wood glue to remove, sandpaper just isn’t going to cut it, so you’ll need a better way.
2. Using a sharp chisel.
When you need to remove a lot of glue, especially droplets that sandpaper can’t entirely remove, this method is much superior.
How to use the chisel
- Place the tip of the sharp chisel at the base of the drip of glue.
- Hold the chisel at a 15-degree angle and rock it back and forth as you move it forward to get under the glue.
- Lastly, tap on the end of the chisel with a small mallet or any other light object if the glue resists.
- Lightly scrape the area with the sharp edge of the chisel to get rid of excess fibres that might have pulled loose during the glue removal.
However, you must exercise caution when using a chisel. You don’t want to overuse the chisel and end up with a lot of damage to fix. You’ll cause the least amount of harm to the area if you go slowly and carefully
3. Using a glue remover
How to apply it;
- Put a minimal amount of the glue remover on a clean piece of cloth and press lightly on the glue spot.
- Once the glue has softened, use a clean cloth to erase it. The glue is easy to erase because the remover breaks it down.
- Do not apply more than recommended. You must follow the instructions on the label.
Be keen not to put the remover on the wood because it can damage or finish the wood.
- Apply only the glue. To do it perfectly, place the painter’s tape around the glue to prevent the remover from leaking onto the wood.
See how to remove acrylic from wood
4. Use Nail Polish Remover or Acetone.
Sometimes what you want to erase is a glue smear. Before scraping it off with sandpaper, you can use Acetone or nail polish remover to soften it.
How to use it;
- Strips of masking tape around the area of the smear.
- Wet the smear with a cotton swab soaked with Acetone. Acetone evaporates quickly. Therefore, keep the spot wet for almost 15 minutes.
- Use a chisel for scratching off the softened glue gently.
- If it is not practical, scrub the smear off with medium-grit steel wool.
When you apply direct heat to the glue softens it and makes it easier to remove.
How to use it;
- Use the low heat setting on a hairdryer or heat fan to avoid damaging the wood.
- Place the dryer or fan 2 to 3 inches(5.1 to 7.6 cm) from the glue.
- Apply the heat fan or dryer on the glue for 15 seconds. The glue is softened and made easier to remove by the heat.
- Use a plastic scraper or your fingers to take off the softened glue by placing the scraper underneath the bond and sliding it gently severally to dislodge it and remove it.
- If the spot consists of a thick layer of glue or if the bond is extra sticky, you may be required to apply the heat for 20-25 seconds.
- Do not apply the heat for 30 seconds at a go; that will be damaging the wood.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe the area down to ensure there is no remaining glue.
5. Use Petroleum Jelly.
Vaseline or any other petroleum jelly also softens the glue, making it easier to erase.
How to apply it;
- Leave the petroleum jelly applied to the glue overnight for it to be effective.
- Use your fingers and gently take off the glue the following day.
Remember to be careful not to scrape the glue too hard when removing it to avoid scratching the wood.
6. Applying household alternatives.
You can also use household products to remove wood glue.
How to apply;
- Apply white vinegar.
- Soak a clean rag in half a cup (200ml) of white vinegar.
- Squeeze out the rag and dab the glue with it.
- Use small amounts of vinegar at a time until the glue softens and loosens.
- Then use your fingers to roll off the glue gently.
Vinegar is the best option for removing glue when you don’t want to ruin the finish on your wood with chemical products.
7. Using Mayonnaise.
The oil in mayonnaise makes the glue easy to remove by softening it.
How to use it;
- Use your fingers to rub a small amount of mayonnaise on the glue.
- Let the mayonnaise settle for 15 minutes.
- Then wipe off the mayo and glue using a clean cloth.
- If the glue doesn’t come off with the first round, you may be required to apply another layer to take it off.
- Use of orange peels. The citrus in the orange peels can help break down the glue and make it easier to get off.
- Peel an orange and put down the peel over the glue and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Remove the peel and use a cloth to wipe off the glue.
8. Applying rubbing alcohol.
How to apply;
- Put some alcohol on a cloth
- and lightly rub it back and forth until you start seeing the glue dissolve.
- If the glue is restraining, place a cloth with rubbing alcohol on the glue and let it settle for a while.
It may take some time to loosen the glue bond, but it will work well eventually.
9. Use Methylated spirit.
Also referred to as denatured alcohol. Methylated spirit is ethanol with additives. It is highly poisonous and has a foul odour. However, it is effective for removing wood glue.
How to use ;
- Use a small bottle with a small opening top.
- Direct it to where the glue is and use it in minimal amounts.
- Allow it to sit for 5 minutes and begin to shake the wood glue bond.
- Apply as you shake the joint to avoid cracking the wood glue joint.
How to prevent wood glue spill out into the wood
Types of wood glue in the market
Knowing the different types of wood glue helps you understand how to remove the spots.
- Gorilla/ Polyurethane glue
it foams during its curing period. It works well when filling cracks, splits as it expands, and fills the wood’s pores.
2. PVA ( Polyvinyl Acetate)
The most common one. It joins wood signs together. It is the yellow or white wood glue comprised in products like Titebond III.
It joins wood together and fills a crack in knots. You first apply the gel and then use a spray to activate the glue. It works better with thinner woodwork applications when compared to wood sign joints.
4. Hide glue
we have two kinds:
- Hot glue is granules heated in water and solidified when it cools down.
- Liquid glue comes in liquid form, and its applications are close to PVA glue.
The easiest way to remove wood glue – Summary
when wood glue dries, it creates a tight bond hard to be removed; hence trying to get it off might harm the wood surface underneath. Nonetheless, When you use the correct methods like the ones above, the process can be successful. In addition, to make the process of removing wood glue a success, you will be required to know the type of surface you are working with or the type of wood.