How to Remove Veneer Glue From Wood

When the veneer of your wood furniture becomes damaged beyond repair, you may want to remove it altogether.

However, although removing the veneer is often straightforward, removing the glue that binds it to the furniture can be challenging. Fortunately, with the right techniques you can remove the veneer glue without damaging the rest of the furniture. 

In this post, you will learn how to remove veneer glue from wood.


Veneer glues are often water-based. As such, exposing the dried glue to water will soften it, making it easier to remove. To remove veneer glue from wood do the following: 

  • Place a wet towel on top of the dried glue
  • Leave the wet towel on the dried glue for a few hours
  • Scrape the softened glue with a putty knife

Tools and Supplies

Gather the following tools to get started:

  • Towel (preferably cotton as it absorbs water well)
  • Scraper or putty knife
  • Water
  • Flat Iron (optional)

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The Wet Towel Method

Step 1: Wet the towel and place it on top of the dried glue

Soak your towel in water and then gently wring it out so that it’s not completely dripping wet. If the towel is holding too much water you could inadvertently waterlog your furniture. 

Place the towel on the area of the furniture with the dried glue. 

Step 2: Let the wet towel sit there for a few hours

Let the wet towel sit there for a few hours before moving on to the next step. As most veneer glues are water-based, the dried glue should break down after a while. Generally, the longer you let the damp towel sit on the dried glue, the softer the dried glue will become. Leave the damp towel on for three or four hours. 

If you live in a dry and hot climate, you may have to resoak the towel a few times in a four-hour period to keep it moist.

Step 3: Scrape off the glue from the wood

After a few hours, the dried glue should be soft enough to scrape off.

Remove the wet towel. Then, use a scraper or putty knife to remove the glue. Slowly and gently scrape off the veneer bit by bit to avoid damaging the underlying surface. 

Tip: Use a flat iron to speed up the process

To speed up the process, you can use a flat iron. Place the flat iron on top of the wet towel for 30 seconds or so. Do this for each area that has glue you want to remove. The heat will soften up the glue faster than just a wet towel.



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