Squeeze out clean up before staining

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Forum topic by woodgu posted 10-23-2010 12:54 PM 1119 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 2771 days

10-23-2010 12:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing

I know that prevention is the best cure, but despite my best efforts, occasionally I will have some glue marks on a joint or something that becomes very obvious when applying stain.

A friend recently took a piece he built for the church to a cabinet shop to have it professionally stained and finished. The cabinet maker remarked that there were a few glue spots, but he took care of them. When we asked how he dealt with it, he said he has a mixture he concocted over the years that helps disolve the glue. He would not divulged his secret.

Have any of you heard of something like this? A cabinet scraper is what I have found most effective on solid wood, but plywood is a challenge since the laminate is so thin. Someone mentioned warm white vinegar does a decent job.

How do you approach cleaning up cured glue that you had missed?

-- Phil G

4 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


8012 posts in 3373 days

#1 posted 10-23-2010 01:28 PM

Usually the time I find cured glue that I missed, it’s already been stained and sticks out like a sore thumb. Historically, my choices have been to sand the area down and try again, or to dab a little furniture marker over it to disguise it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3890 days

#2 posted 10-23-2010 01:49 PM

if its wet glue, then I use a damp rag and clean it off, putting a pencil mark around it so I remember to sand it again (water raises the grain and ir shows up blotchy after staining)

if the glue is dry I use a very sharp chisel for corners, a cabinet scraper for flats. With the chisel I get under it, in both directions (ie., a corner/joint) and the glue should just fall off,then re-sand

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View ChuckV's profile


3118 posts in 3524 days

#3 posted 10-23-2010 02:09 PM

I take off as much excess glue as I can after 20 – 30 minutes, when it is just the right gooey consistency (I use Titebond III). I have a cranked-neck chisel that is devoted to this to avoid getting glue on my other chisels.

There are sometimes spots that I do not see until after finishing. I have had good results with Huckleberry’s idea:

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View woodgu's profile


63 posts in 2771 days

#4 posted 10-23-2010 07:42 PM

I will be staining a project later this week. I hope I will have no unknown glue spots, but if I do, I have a few more ideas to employ. I especially like Mr. Huckleberry’s suggestion.

Thank you everyone!

-- Phil G

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