Price Sticker Residue

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Forum topic by KenBee posted 07-29-2011 11:33 PM 4593 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View KenBee's profile


109 posts in 2633 days

07-29-2011 11:33 PM

I am working with some walnut and the store I bought it from in their infinite stupidity use price stickers that are difficult to remove and once removed leave a dark sticky residue on the wood. Is there a safe way to remove the stickers and residue that will not change the wood characteristics or color before or after finishing? I understand sanding is an option, but would rather use some type of cleaning agent if possible to prevent gumming up the sandpaper and possibly seating the glue in the wood pores in the case of oak and other woods with an open grain.

Thanks for any info,


-- If it won't fit get a BIGGER hammer.

23 replies so far

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3038 days

#1 posted 07-29-2011 11:36 PM

Sorry, I have not heard of any such thing yet!!

I usually just sand it off.

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2969 days

#2 posted 07-29-2011 11:45 PM

I have used lacquer thinner to get this off red oak and maple. Didn’t seem to mess anything up. Just be sure to test a scrap first and let it dry completely.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3430 days

#3 posted 07-30-2011 12:09 AM

I has those nasty stickers on some oak.. I also had some alcohol pads – the kind you see in a doctor’s office- tried it and it worked pretty well. You might try it to see if it works on yours.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2921 days

#4 posted 07-30-2011 12:20 AM

I thought I was the only person in the world that had this problem. :-)
Sometimes mineral spirits will do it. Like Ellen said, alcohol. Lacquer thinner and some of them only responds to sanding. I have at times used a heat gun and scrapped them off.
Good luck and if you find something that really works, let us know.

-- Life is good.

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 2836 days

#5 posted 07-30-2011 12:38 AM

Available at auto parts stores is a product called “wax & grease remover.” It is sold under numerious brands. It usually comes in quart & gallon cans. It is used in the auto body industry to remove contaminants that would cause top coat systems to fail. It works well on tape glue. It’s much less caustic than thinner and it will not raise grain. It removes just about anything that would cause any wood finish to fail.

-- Tom, MI, SC

View KenBee's profile


109 posts in 2633 days

#6 posted 07-30-2011 02:28 PM

Thanks for the input folks.

I tried the alcohol route and it didn’t work on my walnut. I suspect there is a variety of different glues used on the stickers and thereby what works with one will not work with another. I will try other methods put forth and let y’all know what I found works best on the several different varieties of wood I have with the stickers on them.

-- If it won't fit get a BIGGER hammer.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5859 posts in 3192 days

#7 posted 07-30-2011 06:22 PM

I’ll tell you one product that WILL work…...lighter fluid….Leave the sticky labels on the wood, let it soak in for a few seconds or a minute, and take a rag or paper towel and just wipe it off….It completely removes sticky labels, tar, grease, and it will not hurt the wood one bit, or discolor it in any way. Once dry, you can work the wood any way you need to. I’ve did this for years, and satifaction is guarenteed…..I use RONSONOL.
It’s in a yellow plastic bottle…..It’s been used in my Zippo cigarette lighter for 50 years…..All you’ll ever need is the lighter fluid… me…

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View pierce85's profile


508 posts in 2560 days

#8 posted 07-30-2011 06:54 PM

I use a small strip of clear packing tape to remove sticker residue. You firmly stick the tape to the residue and slowly pull the tape off. It usually takes me at least half a dozen or more applications before it’s all removed but it does work and leaves nothing behind. Just make sure you use a new strip (or a clean area of the tape) with each application.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2637 days

#9 posted 07-30-2011 06:59 PM

Goof off and (as said above) lighter fluid are my usual choices. They are both aromatic solvents that have some “hang time” but will flash off and out of the wood without leaving oils in the grain.

Acetone and lacquer thinner are “gone” before the work is done. Oops, mineral spirits, and others work well, but are are pretty oily and IMO would require me to immediately go over the spot with acetone or lacquer thinner to clean up the cleaner from the wood after the sticker is gone.

Sanding is the fastest, but sometimes that is not appropriate.

When I choose my lumber, I look for damage, knots, crown, bow, and where the sticker is located in my selection process.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View RobWoodCutter's profile


113 posts in 3228 days

#10 posted 07-30-2011 07:18 PM

Thus far most of the wood I had been getting the past couple of years was all rough cut, so no stickers to worry about. Last week I picked up some boards (Bocote,Cocobolo,Wenge,Bloodwood,Yellowheart,Bubinga) from WC when they had the 15% off sale. They put two stickers on every board. One with the price and one with the BF and Price/BF. I don’t like to sand, from the days I used to buy pine from the Borgs. Sanding seemed to push the glue into the wood grain. So I used a Card Scraper sharpened with a light edge to take the residue off, figuring I would ultimately be using one for he finishing stage anyway. Worked for me. Rob

-- Rob-Yorktown "Shop's still not done, Tools are bought, Wood is bought, need to find time to start a project.."

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4216 days

#11 posted 07-30-2011 08:02 PM

+1 for Goof Off!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3686 days

#12 posted 07-30-2011 08:23 PM

Great question and some great answers as well : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3156 days

#13 posted 07-30-2011 10:20 PM

I just use a Kobalt 3” paint scraper (Lowes). Comes off clean that way. What’s left, if anything, quickly disappears with sand paper.

BTW, I think any discoloration is occuring because the wood under the sticker is NOT exposed to UV light and dirt. Once the entire board is sanded, the color difference goes away, in my experience.

-- jay,

View KenBee's profile


109 posts in 2633 days

#14 posted 07-31-2011 03:50 PM

Thanks for all the responses to my question and the various ways to remove the stickers and residue. I do keep a can of Goof-Off on hand to clean my tools and such, but had never considered it for cleaning wood.

CessnaPilotBarry…Granted I probably do pay too much for my wood, but when you have a small shop such as mine without the proper tools I have to make do with what I can to accomplish the end result of my projects.

-- If it won't fit get a BIGGER hammer.

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2691 days

#15 posted 07-31-2011 03:53 PM

You have stumbled upon a topic that has infuriated me since I first became a consumer. I am known to blackball companies that slather stickers. Goo Gone and a lot of profanity in my shop.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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