Securing wood appliqués

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Forum topic by RainRunner posted 05-09-2015 01:22 AM 596 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RainRunner's profile


2 posts in 537 days

05-09-2015 01:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: applique wood glue wood bond wax chalk paint adhesive spray

I’ve just given my old pinewood bedroom furniture a facelift with new hardware and chalk paint, distressed, and sealed in clear (and dark) soft wax. I also separately stained some fragile, unfinished pine appliqués with Minwax, (so the wood wouldn’t be so pale when I coated it with chalk paint and wax (which I also did).
My first (poor) assumption was to use wood glue, and since clamping where they are positioned is not an option, I strapped some painter’s tape across the appliqués to secure them while they dried. Consequently over the course of a few days, they started to just drop off of the furniture.
I read under another appliqué topic within this site that clear puddy or adhesive spray and small nails could be used to attach the appliqués. However, a couple of my appliqués are fairly delicate (one even split, (but the wood glue did serve its purpose, here) and I’d prefer to not use even small pins/nails, if it can be avoided. What’s the best way to bond these? Are clear puddy, adhesive spray still appropriate on the chalk paint & wax finish?

7 replies so far

View pjones46's profile


986 posts in 2066 days

#1 posted 05-09-2015 01:38 AM

Use a 23 guage pin nailer.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View NDakota's profile


68 posts in 969 days

#2 posted 05-09-2015 05:08 AM

CA-super glue

View jerryminer's profile


498 posts in 864 days

#3 posted 05-09-2015 06:08 AM

If you’ve got wax on the mating surfaces, glue will not stick. Get the wax off first, then CA glue or PVA should work.

View RainRunner's profile


2 posts in 537 days

#4 posted 05-09-2015 12:24 PM

Thanks All that have replied but the clear wax is the only way to seal the chalk paint as it won’t stay on otherwise. And trying to avoid the nails due to the fragile pieces I’m concern could split. Will Super Glue truly be the “magic potion”? And if that’s the trick, will it adhere to the surface of the back of the appliqués which already have a thin layer of dried wood glue on them? Should I try to sand that glue to rough it up a bit prior to attempting the Super Glue (or any other type of adhesive you might reccomend)?

View HerbC's profile


1569 posts in 2282 days

#5 posted 05-09-2015 04:42 PM

You need to prove to your satisfaction if a solution will work or not before using it on the real project.

Create a test surface finished with the same materials and techniques as the actual project. Then create a test applique finished the same as the actual project appliques. Then test your methods. I think you’re going to find that the wax on the surface will render any adhesive ineffective. Can you not clean off the wax, repair any problems caused by that to the chalk paint, attach the appliques and then reapply the wax?

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View jerryminer's profile


498 posts in 864 days

#6 posted 05-09-2015 05:15 PM

the clear wax is the only way to seal the chalk paint as it won t stay on otherwise.

Glue first. Paint and wax after

View Yonak's profile


979 posts in 944 days

#7 posted 05-09-2015 05:44 PM

I think the wax is the problem. If it were me, I would trace around the appliqué and, using a tool I have that is similar to a Dremel, remove all the finish from the area, down to and even slightly into the bare wood as necessary, getting as close to the line as I can. Then, wood glue would work. I would experiment with construction adhesive, as well.

Adequate, even pressure is the key. I’d figure a way to lay the furniture flat, then I would roll up cloths or use cotton balls to fill in the low relief areas of the appliqué. If the finish is still impressionable you may have to wait until it cures or put on a, say, waxed paper layer. Then cover with a flat panel and a heavy weight on top of that. I don’t believe there will be a shortcut approach.

You will probably have to take a knife and carefully remove squeeze out afterward. Again, experiment first. Be sure to report back your methods and results.

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