Reply by JBrow

  • Advertise with us

Posted on Disolving PVA glue?

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1524 days

#1 posted 02-15-2017 06:37 PM

Bill White,

A non-water resistant PVA glue can be softened with water. I have also heard that methylated spirits, acetone, and vinegar can also weaken and/or remove PVA glue.

I have not tried methylated spirits, but I have recovered from major glue-up blunder with PVA (indoor, i.e. non-water resistant) glue. I let the 6” long dado and tongue joint soak in a bucket of water for I think about 6 hours. That was enough for the glue to soften and joint to come apart. I observed some staining on the wood along the water line but the staining was easily removed with normal sanding. Since a lot of water can enter wood setting in a bucket, I do not necessary recommend my bucket approach; but if water can be kept in a joint long enough it should come apart.

I have tried acetone and vinegar to remove cured non-water resistant PVA glue from the surface of a walnut scrap. The scrap walnut was where I mixed some of my own wood filler with PVA glue and wood dust. This left a layer of clearly visible glue that had cured for at least a week on the surface.

I soaked a paper towel with acetone and rubbed across an area of the glue (as if hand sanding). Some glue was removed but it was a slow go. When I soaked a paper towel with white vinegar and then rubbed the glue spot I was surprised to see the glue disappear from the surface. My conclusion is that both acetone and vinegar are effective agents for removing non-water resistant PVA glue on an unfinished wood surface but white vinegar works faster. But then I am not sure whether it was the acetic acid dissolved in water (that mixture constitutes white vinegar) or simply the water in the vinegar that was the effective agent. Since I did not try plain water, plain water might be worth a first try. If you try plain water, distilled water would reduce the chances of any mineral staining problems that might otherwise emerge if tap water is used.

Probably obvious; any finish that was applied over the glue would have to be removed to expose the glue before water, acetone, or white vinegar would be effective.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics