How to Remove Glue from Particle Board

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
General Purpose Thinner/ Organic Solvent (denatured alcohol)
Putty Knife
Paper Towels
Soap Water
Sand paper
Particle Board Protective Varnishes
Latex Gloves

Particle board is made of mechanically compressed saw dust and wood shavings. These boards are available in sheets of ranging sizes depending on your needs. Using particle boards is a cheap alternative to hard wood and is used in furniture making and domestic construction of cabinets, countertops etc. In most cases if the board is properly finished it will pass as wood in appearance at first glance, but particle boards are highly susceptible to humidity and swell up when exposed to moisture.

Step 1 – Remove Any Wet Glue

If it’s a glue spill, immediately take action. As once the glue soaks into the particle board it is impossible to remove it. So use paper towels to remove any wet glue. Don’t forget to wear your gloves.

Step 2 – Using Organic Solvent/ General Purpose Thinner

Do not use lacquer to dissolve glue, but particle boards come with a factory finish which protects it from moisture, which the lacquer thinner will eat away. Therefore if the glue is on the surface use alcohol; apply denatured alcohol to the glued area and wait for it to dissolve. You might have to redo the procedure a couple of times; If the glue is really tough than you might have to use general purpose thinners or acetone.

Step 3 – Clearing Away Dissolved glue

Clear away with rags every time you repeat step 2. By repeating the process a couple of times you will be able to remove tough hardened glue. A glue stripper can also be used. Once you have cleared away the solvents, use mild soap water dipped rag to clean the area.

Step 4 – Working with Already Dried Up Glue

Most particle wood counters in kitchens are usually covered with a coating, when you remove it you are left with a layer of glue. For this you will have to follow the above mentioned steps and work harder on the finish or apply a new layer of contact paper.

Step 4 – Sanding the Remaining Glue

Once all the dissolved glue is removed you will need to sand the remaining pieces off. This you can do with a sanding paper or a small handy sanding machine. But before sanding you remove any chunks left with a putty knife. Be careful while sanding particle boards; always use a relatively fine grit sanding paper as to not damage the board.

Step 5 – Protecting Your Particle Board and Finishing Up

There are a wide variety of particle board finishing varnishes available in the market, purchase one and apply to the area that has been treated for glue removal. This is very important as particle boards react to humidity and quickly swell up. Therefore to protect your boards, once you have dissolved, stripped and cleaned it’s important to seal them up. You can finish by using a wax finish or applying contact paper. This will give the particle board a more refined look.

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