Many wooden things you purchase at a store have price tags or other kinds of stickers on the surface.
You might want to remove that sticker, but do it without damaging the wood.
In this article, we will explain to you in detail how to get stickers off the wood by using simple household items like dish soap, oils, or even peanut butter.
- 1 How to get stickers off wood from different items?
- 2 How to remove stickers quickly
- 3 The universal way of removing stickers from wood
- 4 Removing stickers from untreated and painted wood
- 5 Different tools and liquids for removing stickers and how they work
- 6 Conclusion
How to get stickers off wood from different items?
The removal method you want to use depends on the type of wood surface you’re dealing with. Some kinds of wood get damaged more easily than others.
Wood paneling has one major problem: when you try to remove stickers, they leave that an unpleasant sticky residue on the wood surface. We will show the methods of getting rid of those traces and white marks safely, without scratching the surface of the wood paneling.
The furniture has the same problem that the wooden paneling has: it is hard to carefully remove stickers from wood without leaving lots of shallow, sticky residue on the surface.
First, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions for your furniture to figure out whether your cleaning products can be used to remove sticker residue from wood.
Doors made from different materials also come with stickers attached to the most noticeable spots. The wood door type of surface is not that different from the furniture surface, so you can use the same methods to remove stickers from wood doors.
Wooden picture frames
Picture frames allow you to use your imagination – you can choose different stickers to decorate the frame and the picture you have inside it.
From time to time, you might want to change the sticker on the frame. In that case, you’ll have to remove the old sticker carefully by using one of the methods given below.
Tip. You can read my guide and learn more from the post How to get paint off wood floors.
How to remove stickers quickly
It is easier to remove stickers when they are fresh and the wooden piece was shipped to you not too long ago. The longer a sticker stays on the surface, the harder its removal is.
Different kinds of stickers remain sticky for different periods. Some adhesives keep being sticky for 5 years after sticking.
Before using any of the extra methods we give you below, you can do a couple of things that would really help:
- Soak the sticker area with a clean, wet, and warm cloth. It will loosen the parts of the sticker and make it easier to remove sticker residue;
- Keep the damp cloth piece on the sticker for several minutes. This method is also good for removing carpet glue and adhesive spots.
If the sticker residue is still there, you can proceed and use the general method of removing stickers.
The universal way of removing stickers from wood
Here’s a simple guide to removing sticker residue from wood. You can either try all of the steps if you’re having a hard time with a stubborn sticker or just use one of them that works best for your type of surface.
Tip. Also, you can read more about How to remove polyurethane from wood.
Things you will need
- Hair dryer;
- Scraper: any flat and solid piece like a paint scraper, even a credit card would do;
- Some hot water;
- Mild dish soap;
- A clean cloth piece;
- Rubbing alcohol (optional);
- Vinegar (optional);
- Vegetable oil (optional);
- Baking soda (optional).
The step-by-step guide
- Use your hair dryer on the sticker. Place the blow dryer on low heat and 2 inches away from the sticker. If the sticker is large, aim at the corner of it first. 15 seconds of heating is enough to loosen the sticker parts and the sticky adhesive. Then start pulling the sticker while still heating it until it drops off.
- Use some vinegar. If you want to remove stickers from laminate wood, for example, you should clean the surface with a solution first. The solution recipe is 1 part water and 1 part vinegar. Damp a rag with the solution and apply it to the area, then wait for the acid to do its job. Try to remove the sticker gently and wipe away the vinegar residue afterward.
- Use rubbing alcohol. You can dampen a cloth with alcohol and use it on stubborn sticker residue. It helps remove the tough sticker adhesive. Then wipe the surface with a dry cloth.
- Sand the surface. Once the sticker is pulled off, the sticker residue can be treated with sandpaper. Don’t go too hard with sanding to avoid damaging the wood, though.
The steps described above might not be suitable for treating all the wood types. If you’re afraid of damaging the wood, you can try the methods mentioned below.
Removing stickers from untreated and painted wood
Untreated wood and painted wood are more difficult to clean from stickers. In the case of untreated wood, you would rather not damage the texture and wood grain.
In the case of painted wood, a sticker that uses strong sticker glue will be held to the paint layer. When trying to pull the sticker, pieces of paint will be falling from the layer.
That is why you should always try to remove stickers carefully and not rush them. The method we give you below is suitable if your wood is untreated or painted.
Tip. See my tips on How to remove acrylic paint from wood.
The safe way of removal without damaging the wood
- Loosen the glue or adhesive. Take your hair dryer and soften the sticker adhesive. Put the blow dryer on a low heat setting and hold it a few inches away from the wood.
- Pull the sticker. As soon as the sticker softens, pull its corner with your fingers or tweezers. You can also scrape the residue using a scraping tool.
- Use baking soda to remove sticker residue. Make a soda solution in water and apply it to the area with the sticker residue. Then let it stay for several minutes and gently rub the residue. Once the surface feels smooth, clean it with a dry towel.
Different tools and liquids for removing stickers and how they work
There are many ways described on the internet that allow you to remove stickers from wood easily. All of them use the materials that we will describe here.
Many different types of oils can do well at removing stickers.
The oil has a chemical structure that allows it to soak into the adhesive residue and soften it.
Vegetable oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, baby oil, coconut oil, and mineral oil will suit the purpose. You can use paper towels to apply your type of oil to the surface of the sticker.
Let the oil act for several minutes before wiping it down.
Most common oils do not damage the wood, which is a plus.
Liquid dish soap can serve not only as a cleaning agent but also as a tape residue remover.
The molecules of soap interact with the adhesive residue and break it down.
Here is the approach: put a clean cloth in hot water and dampen the sticker area to loosen the adhesive. Then add a couple of dish soap drops to the area and use a cotton ball or a rag to rub the soap into the adhesive.
Let the soap work for several minutes and then wipe it away with a clean paper towel or cloth.
White vinegar contains acid that easily dissolves grease, dirt, and tape residue. It is a great household item that can help remove sticker and tape residue from wood, remove carpet glue from the wood, get stickers off doors, and so on.
But sometimes vinegar can leave a stain on some surfaces. You should test the vinegar you’re using on a hidden spot to see how the surface material reacts. If it does leave a stain, you should choose a different sticker residue remover.
Take some clean cloth or a paper towel, put some vinegar on it, and place it over the sticker area. The vinegar will somewhat dissolve and loosen the residue. Then wipe the vinegar away using a dry towel.
Tip. Get more useful information about How to get crayon off wood.
Some liquids used as antiseptics and cosmetics can also be utilized as adhesive residue removers. Those include rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover.
Nail polish remover contains acetone that liquifies adhesives and glues. Rubbing alcohol acts similarly.
Soak a paper towel or a cotton ball in one of the liquids and start carefully rubbing the residue area. If the adhesive is stubborn, you can let the cotton or paper sit on the surface for several minutes before removing it.
Alcohol is also great for getting the residue from metal and glass.
You can use even peanut butter in order to remove the sticker residue from wood.
The butter contains fatty oils that act pretty much like regular household oils that we mentioned earlier. The oils break the adhesive down and make it easier to remove.
Take the butter and put a good amount of it on the sticker residue area. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then wipe the oil away with a wet rag.
Peanut butter is pretty versatile and can be used on a variety of surfaces – wood, plastic, glass, metal, etc. It can be used on furniture, doors, paneling, frames, etc.
Adhesive removing tools
Some especially stubborn adhesives and glue stains might require some extra mechanical work. Even good adhesive removers sometimes fail to get all the adhesive particles off the surface. That’s why you might need some scraping tools listed below:
- Plastic putty knife;
- Plastic scraper;
- Old credit card.
You can use these tools to deal with the remaining residue after trying one of the methods we introduced to you before.
You should use a plastic tool on wood, not a metal one. Metal scrapers can easily scratch the wood. Scrape the surface carefully.
If you follow the methods we’ve talked about in this article, you will be able to remove stickers easily.
Remember to check your manufacturer’s instructions before doing anything. They should give you an idea of what kinds of liquids and tools can be used with your type of wood furniture, wood paneling, or frames.
We hope you manage to remove any sticker residue from the wood easily!
My name is Alex Mashinsky
I am an enthusiastic woodworking hobbyist who created topwoodworkingtools.com to provide helpful information and advice to fellow woodworkers.
The goal of the website is to help readers make informed decisions about woodworking tools and materials, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that they achieve the best possible results from their projects.
My main focus is on offering accurate, honest, and well-reasoned opinions and advice to help readers choose the most suitable tools and materials for their particular needs.