Glue and Stain

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Forum topic by scvwooding posted 02-24-2013 08:35 PM 1405 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 1945 days

02-24-2013 08:35 PM

Why is it that when I go stain a project where I have used glue in the joints the stain won’t stick. I clean and sand the glue area prior to staining. Probably a basic question, but I’ m new at this. Help please.

12 replies so far

View scvwooding's profile


26 posts in 1945 days

#1 posted 02-24-2013 09:59 PM

any thought?

View waho6o9's profile


8187 posts in 2571 days

#2 posted 02-24-2013 10:03 PM

After all the stock is prepped, and the dry fit is up to snuff,

I finish my project so that doesn’t happen. don’t forget
to tape off your glue areas before you finish.

Live and learn and a belated welcome to LJ’s.

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2945 days

#3 posted 02-24-2013 10:05 PM

Glue penetrates into the wood fibers so that if you just sand the surface, the glue will still be there and block out any stain. The solution is to use less glue, or even use painter’s tape around the glue joints so that any excess glue oozes onto the tap, rather than your project. Any glue that does get on your project can be cleaned off immediately with a wet rag.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29216 posts in 2332 days

#4 posted 02-24-2013 10:08 PM

Same as what was said previously. Causes noise pollution in the shop when it happens.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Kazooman's profile


1005 posts in 1946 days

#5 posted 02-24-2013 10:13 PM

Well, there were a few posts while I was typing (two fingers is a slow way to go!). Some of what I said is duplicated by others. That must mean it is right!

Stain doesn’t “stick”, it penetrates into the wood. Unfortunately, glue penetrates into the wood as well and once it is in there it isn’t coming out. It repels the stain and you get the results you have shown.

You really need to keep most of the glue off there in the first place. A few tips:

Don’t over do it with the glue. It is the glue that stays in the joint that is holding it together. A lot of squeeze out means you are probably applying too much glue in the first place. A thin layer, spread over the mating surfaces with a small brush is all you need. More is not better.

Wherever you can wipe the glue that does squeeze out off with a damp rag before it has a chance to soak into the surface and harden. This may raise the grain a bit, so try to avoid a lot of squeeze out in the first place.

For joints like the one you show you can apply strips of blue painter’s tape right up to the edge of the joint before applying the glue. The squeeze out ends up on the tape. You will probably find that the tape actually leaves some residue. This should wipe off with a cloth and not require much if any sanding.

Prefinishing was mentioned above. That doesn’t have to mean complete finishing. You can stain the pieces and then glue them up. The glue will have much less of an effect on “most” types of finishes you would apply.

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26 posts in 1945 days

#6 posted 02-24-2013 11:03 PM

Thanks for the help.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2678 days

#7 posted 02-24-2013 11:28 PM

I tend to “pre finish” when possible. If not a wet sponge immediately after assembly (before the glue starts to set) works somewhat. All else fails, gel stains (more like paint than stain IMHO).

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2498 days

#8 posted 02-24-2013 11:49 PM

Scv, try this LJ thread and then let us know if it works.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2399 posts in 3864 days

#9 posted 02-25-2013 06:14 PM

try cleaning it well with some acetone, it seems to cut glue better than anything I am aware of, but the above suggestions to mask off and so forth is very sound advice

View upinflames's profile


217 posts in 2156 days

#10 posted 02-25-2013 08:38 PM

You can take this with a grain of salt or an aspirin,....canning wax…..this stuff works on any glue up with squeeze out and easily cleans up with mineral spirits. This works for me, the stuff is cheap and has numerous other uses in the shop as well.

View runswithscissors's profile


2750 posts in 2019 days

#11 posted 02-26-2013 04:53 AM

Sometimes you can just leave the squeeze out, and cut it away later with a knife or sharp chisel. Don’t wipe it or anything, as that will drive it into the pores of the wood. But I agree with the others, it’s best not to have glue on surfaces to be stained at all.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2498 days

#12 posted 02-26-2013 05:12 AM

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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