How to remove wood glue after stain & poly

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Forum topic by EdsCustomWoodCrafts posted 07-12-2016 02:27 PM 2456 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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931 posts in 1852 days

07-12-2016 02:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: removing dried glue stain

I made some bedside tables and I made my own dentil moulding.. I used regular wood glue and after I used a stain polyurethane combination I see white glue marks around the moulding.. I spent so much time building these and white stain are ruining my tables

What can I do.. Because it’s around the the nooks and cranny of the moulding it’s not as simple as sanding and re applying the stain please help


-- Thanks Ed “A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working. ~Author unknown” . Come check out my website for more about what I make and how at

7 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3184 days

#1 posted 07-12-2016 08:45 PM

At this stage of the game there are 2 options that I am aware of. you can scrape it and sand back to the wood as you have mentioned. That will probably do as much bad as good. Not impossible but not fun. The second thing would be to take some you your top coat and mix some stain in it. Get a small brush and gently apply this over the white places. In the future you can use a liberal amount of water on a rag with something small like a pick or knife point to remove the glue. Put the rag over the point of the tool and remove all the glue. This will not hurt the wood or your project.

View jumbojack's profile


1689 posts in 3133 days

#2 posted 07-13-2016 01:57 AM

Man I hate it when this happens. I have used scrapers, chisels, special sanding ‘sticks’ made specifically for the project, pocket knife, exacto knife anything you can get in there to get the glue.
I am getting better at using tape, or prefinishing problem areas.
By the way YOU are likely the only one that will notice the lighter areas.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Robert's profile


3537 posts in 1989 days

#3 posted 07-13-2016 02:10 PM

The only way I know of is CAREFULLY use a chisel like a scraper to remove the finish and glue down to bare wood, then hope the finish matches…..:-(

In future when dealing with the issue, I’ve found a toothbrush and water to be the best way to remove the glue.

Another way is to tape off with painters tape squeeze out goes on top of tape.

And yet another way is monitor the squeeze out and when its rubbery after an hour or so, scrape out with a chisel (but I don’t do it because I usually forget).

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View JayT's profile


6295 posts in 2720 days

#4 posted 07-13-2016 02:17 PM

The other guys have said anything I could about fixing the issue.

In the future, one way to prevent this is to wipe the surface down with something like mineral spirits before finishing. It doesn’t remove the glue, but does show where there are still glue spots that need removed before you put a finish on.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Kazooman's profile


1359 posts in 2461 days

#5 posted 07-13-2016 02:24 PM

All of the suggestions above are good ones. Applying the dyed finish is probably the best choice at this point. With dentil molding it would be virtually impossible to use the blue tape to protect the surface during the glue up and wiping, brushing, or scraping the uncured glue would be a real problem as well. One problem with allowing a lot of squeeze out and then removing the excess is that the glue can penetrate the wood and then it will not take stain like the surrounding area. Diluted glue can be used as a sealer to prevent blotching when staining for just this reason. The best “fix” is to avoid the squeeze out in the first place. With difficult things like your molding avoid the temptation to use too much glue. It doesn’t take much to get the pieces to adhere.

View Plain's profile


157 posts in 1207 days

#6 posted 07-13-2016 07:05 PM

The best way is to remove the moldings sand off the finish and redo.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3021 days

#7 posted 07-14-2016 11:08 AM

Use a good sharp metal paint scraper and work at the marks gently to scrap the glue off than using a 150 or so grit sand paper crease the paper and sand the area. Depending on the application sometimes a heat gun of 400 degrees or more will delaminate the glue causing it to become soft and putty like so be careful with the heat as you don’t want to remove the molding also not sure how the heat will react with the finish/stain.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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