how to get adhesive off wood

How to Get Adhesive Off Wood – A Guide for Beginners

There is a good chance that some adhesives can spill on your wooden furniture after finishing a craft project. Everyone can make a mistake when crafting, constructing, or repairing, which could include shedding some adhesive on the wood surface. Whenever that happens, learning how to get adhesive off wood can be helpful. However, this task can be knotty. You must work with gentleness when removing the adhesive from wood to make sure you will not ruin its surface.

A small amount of adhesive may look ugly on your wood and it can potentially destroy your wooden furniture if not properly and quickly removed. That is why it is always recommended that you immediately act whenever such a case happens. In this article, you will learn the easy steps of removing adhesive from wood. Read on to know the steps.

What you will need to follow this Tutorial?

There are actually several methods that you can try to remove the adhesives from wood, but this tutorial prefers to tackle the sandpaper method. This method involves simple steps. However, you cannot do this tutorial without securing the right materials. Here are the things that you need to secure before starting with the tutorial:

  • Tools and Supplies

Obviously, since this is a sandpaper method, you will need sandpaper to do this tutorial. Secure 600- and 1200-grit sandpaper. Small size sandpaper may already work provided that its size can already cover the entire adhesive in the wood. You will need the 600-grit sandpaper for the first round of sanding and the 1200-grit sandpaper for the final round of sanding.

You should also prepare a wood finish and soft cloth. You may also want to get ready with a wood polish in case you want to improve the overall look of your wood.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Lower-quality adhesives may not require an aggressive approach when attached to the surface of the wood. However, polyvinyl acetate, cyanoacrylate glue, construction adhesive, and contact cement are very powerful that you should use aggressive methods to remove them.

This tutorial will involve the use of the sandpaper. This method will most likely damage the finish of the paint of your wood. However, if it is a pre-finishing approach, this will make a great method. Here are the steps to get adhesive off wood using sandpaper:

1. Use 600-Grit Sandpaper

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Use 600-grit sandpaper. A small piece will do as long as its size can wrap the adhesive. Start by sanding the adhesive until such time that it will look flat on the surface of the wood. Apply gentle back and forth movements while putting average pressure on the spot. This will be considered the first round of sanding. Basically, your objective here is to sand down the adhesives until it becomes more manageable. Sand the adhesive until it becomes level with the surface of the wood.

2. Use 1200-Grit Sandpaper

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When the first round of sanding is done, you should then change your sandpaper to 1200-grit. The 1200-grit sandpaper is finer than the first one and starts taking off the remaining adhesive. Sand until you notice that the entire adhesive is removed. Be careful not to touch any part of the wood when sanding. Just sand the adhesive part.

Use a soft cloth and wipe the part of the wood you sand. Double-check your work and see whether there is no part in the wood that was touched during sanding.

3. Apply Wood Finish if Necessary

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In case you accidentally touched the part of the wood during sanding or if the adhesive has removed some of the wood’s finishing, consider applying a wood finish that suits the original finish. Utilize a dull or satin-gloss to polish the area.

You may also consider applying a wood polish layer to make the wood less dull.

Nevertheless, it is always best that you protect your wooden furniture whenever you are doing craft projects to prevent adhesives from getting on the surfaces. A drop cloth, plastic wrap, or old newspapers can already work to prevent the adhesive from attaching to the surface of the wood.


Whether it is your first time learning how to get adhesive off wood, you can easily carry out the task as long as you are willing to follow this tutorial properly. You should see that the steps above are understandable and doable. Although the method of using sandpaper to get the adhesive off wood is quite aggressive, you will see that doing this tutorial is worth both your time and effort. The entire process could take time depending on the volume of adhesives attached to the wood.

Just get ready with your materials. Follow the steps as instructed and you can save your wooden furniture from the messy and ugly look.



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