How to Remove Gorilla Glue from Wood [2 Easy Ways]

Gorilla glue is a very strong glue and can become a headache if you don’t know how to properly remove it from wood without damaging it and without leaving traces.

Gorilla glue is a very strong glue, but it can be removed with some household items and hard work. 

For best results, immediately clean the damp glue with paper napkins and acetone. 

Remove the dry glue by scraping it off with a sharp tool or knife. 

Work carefully and you will soon have a wood surface that is free of unsightly glue.

What it is Gorilla Glue?

Gorilla Glue has a consistency similar to honey, a brownish thick liquid. The main component of the gorilla glue is polyurethane. It is a polymer that has many uses and when it dries, it looks like a foam. 

The biggest advantage of polyurethane is its physical properties, such as, say, water resistance (more in the next paragraph).

 As with all adhesives, Gorilla Glue’s chemical composition is quite toxic, so you should take all precautions when using it.

Read this step by step guide how to remove polyurethane from wood! I will show you the easiest way you can do this!

How to Remove Gorilla Glue from Wood Step by Step

Things you need:

  • Paper napkins
  • Acetone (nail polish removal)
  • Scrape spatula

Remove Fresh Gorilla Glue From Wood

Step 1.

Clean off the excess gorilla glue with a paper napkin. Remove everything you can from wood with your hand before attempting to handle the glue. Use a disposable towel or you will have another sticky surface to clean.

Step 2.

Moisten another paper napkin with acetone. Acetone is a component of most nail polish cleansers. Buy a bottle of nail polish cleaner from a store and check the label to make sure you have acetone. 

Then pour a little on a napkin or cotton ball to moisten it without soaking it.

  • You can also use paint thinner or acetone from a hardware store. It’s stronger, so you run the risk of staining varnished wood.
  • Another option is a commercially available stain remover. This product is usually sold in hardware stores.

Step 3.

Use a napkin to scrub the glue. Quickly scrub the wet part of the napkin back and forth over the gorilla glue stain. 

Press down firmly on the glue to apply pressure and prevent the gorilla glue from setting. Apply acetone again when the napkin begins to dry. 

Keep scrubbing the tip until no more glue comes out.

Step 4.

Scrape off the remaining gorilla glue from wood with a spatula. Hold the spatula flat against the wood. 

Gently nail the edge into the glue and scratch it. Work slowly to avoid an unsightly bite on the wood. 

You can apply more acetone with a napkin to re-expose the glue. In the end, the wood will go back to normal.

80-grit sandpaper is another option. This can damage the wood if you are not careful. Scrub the glue and stop when you reach the wood.

See how you can remove dried glue from wood in this article I wrote! You will get the best tips and tricks!

Remove Dried Gorilla Glue from Wood

Things you need:

  • Paint scraper
  • Chisel
  • Polishing block

Step 1.

Use a paint scraper to remove most of the gorilla glue. A paint scraper from a hardware store is perfect for removing large pieces of glue. 

Set the wood on a level surface if you can. Hold the end of the flat edge against the wood. 

Using pressure, nail the edge into the dry glue and push it through the wood to shave most of the glue.

Most of the glue comes out in a long strip. Again, feed it through a point where there is still large amounts of glue.

Step 2.

Use a chisel to remove small amounts of glue. A chisel works like a paint scraper, only it has a smaller head. Use this option to focus on small and difficult areas and corners of the wood that the scraper cannot reach. Hold the flat edge against the wood and scrape the glue as you did before.

Step 3.

Sand off the remaining glue. Pick up a buffing block from your hardware store if you don’t have one. Place the block on top of the glue and start scrubbing the area.

 As you do this, apply pressure to get through the adhesive. You should start flanking right away, so be careful not to sand the wood.

An electric grinder will work if you know how to use it.

Do you want to change an angle grinder disc? Learn here how to remove an angle grinder disc in the most easiest way possible.

If the adhesive film that cannot be removed with a razor must be removed from the wooden surface using the 150-180 sanding pad and light pressure applied. You only want to remove the glue.

If the material has parts or discoloration that could be rubbed off or damaged using the previous two suggestions, you need to carefully and patiently use a dental latch and magnifier to clean the adhesive backing.

Having trouble removing caulk silicone from wood? I have wrote an indepth step by step guide how you can easily remove caulk from wood.

How to Remove Gorilla Glue from Wood

Gorilla glue bonds with materials such as foam, glass, stone, wood, metal and ceramic. When using Gorilla Glue on wood either remove it quickly before it dries out or be prepared for some extra effort in order to remove it.

Wet Glue

1. Put on gloves and wipe the area with a dry, lint-free cloth.

2. Pour in a 1/4 teaspoon. of standard diluent into a small container and dip a portion of the tissue into the chemistry.

3. Wipe the wet glue with the cloth until removed from the wood.

Cured Glue

1. Scrape the dry glue off the wood surface with a sharp spatula.

2. Sand the area lightly with a thin (80-120) quality sandpaper to remove any remaining dry glue.

3. Clean the cleaned area with a dry, lint-free cloth.

Advice and warnings

  • If you are using paint solvents, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area because fumes can be excessive.
  • Be careful not to gouge the wood with the spatula.

Remove paint from wood with these 5 easy methods. Each methods was designed to help you do the job in the perfect way!

What will dissolve Gorilla Glue?

Type of SurfaceHow to Remove / Dissolve Gorilla Glue
WoodAcetone (nail polish removal) / Scrape Spatula
Wooden FurnitureRag with Warm Water /Acetone
CountertopDish Soap / Acetone
SkinSoap and Warm Water
CarpetRubbing alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol)
MetalPliers and a Chisel with Alcohol paint thinner 
ClothAcetone / Paint Thinner
PlasticAcetone (nail polish remover)

How to remove gorilla glue from finished wood ?

Dried Gorilla Glue can only be mechanically removed by sanding, scraping, scraping, or slicing through the glue with a knife, chisel, razor blade, or other tool. 

Since Gorilla Glue is a urethane glue, its curing process is not reversible with a solvent like acetone or paint thinner.

If the glue is still wet, any paint thinner mineral spirits will remove it. 

Gorilla Glue can stain skin and ruin clothing. Gorilla Epoxy and Gorilla Wood Glue can be cleansed from the skin with soap and water, but Gorilla Super Glue sticks to the skin instantly. 

The company recommends always wearing protective clothing and gloves with one of their glues to avoid skin exposure. 

They also recommend using safety glasses or eye protection if there is a risk of eye exposure.

Conclusion

Gorilla Glue is both cold-heat resistant and waterproof which makes a tough adhesive that is difficult to remove from wood.

Gorilla Glue is a very strong adhesive, but it can be removed from wood using any of the methods presented above and with a few household items and “a little elbow grease”.